The Tea Planter’s Bride: India Tea Series, Book 2
Sophie Logan only remembers the Indian tea plantation of her childhood through snippets of hazy memories. When she was six years old, her parents both died, supposedly of a fever. Sophie was sent to Edinburgh to live with her Aunt Amy. The story really picks up in 1922 when Sophie is a beautiful young lady of marrying age. She is independent (she has a job), daring (she rides a motorcycle), and anxious to find a way back to India. When her friend Tilly becomes engaged to older tea planter James Robson, and the couple plan to move back to India, Sophie’s desires for India only deepen. Opportunity arrives in the form of Tam, a forester who has recently been stationed in India and will be leaving soon. Sophie and Tam enter into a whirlwind romance, resulting in their engagement and subsequent departure for her beloved homeland. But all is not as idealistic as Sophie hopes. With the help of Tilly, Sophie learns the truth of her parents’ deaths. Tam also becomes ill and cantankerous. Sophie becomes lonely, depressed, and secretly intrigued with another forester, Rafi, of Indian descent and a lower class.
This second book in the India Tea Series is as equally delightful as Trotter’s first. Characters from the first book appear as secondary characters, connecting the two stories together. This incorporation, however, means that there is a complex plotline that takes a little while to get into. Sophie’s choices are questionable at times, but she learns from her mistakes. While the focus is a romantic drama, there are more serious undercurrents that demonstrate the uneven class systems and political upheaval during this time period. Trotter also does an excellent job with plot twists and surprises, keeping the reader on edge throughout. There were times when I wasn’t sure if it was going to end the way I had hoped. All in all, this is a remarkable tale best read with a pot of tea.