Rachel Hore - Last Letter Home
A big novel that is a satisfying read. Briony, a historian, is holidaying in Italy when she discovers an intriguing derelict villa. When she's given an old section of film about the villa, she realises that her grandfather was stationed there during the war. Then some wartime letters come into her possession, and she becomes immersed in the love story a young German, Paul, who was her grandfather's friend, and Sarah, an Englishwoman. This leads Briony to the estate of Westbury House in Norfolk where they once lived. As she reads their letters, she finds that there are secrets that have an impact on her life today, and that someone would like to remain hidden. Atmospheric, sensitive and full of emotion.
Dinah Jefferies - The Tea Planter's Wife
Set in the tea plantations of Ceylon in the years between the wars, this is a poignant and moving tale. Into this exotic setting comes Gwen, newly married to Laurence, a widower. On his tea plantation she must come to terms with her new station, her husband who is somehow different from the loving man she married, and her sister-in-law Verity who seems to be living with them. Then there is Savi Ranasinghe, a charming local artist who becomes entwined with the whole of her family. Gwen soon becomes party to a secret that could threaten her marriage, and forces her to make heartbreaking decisions. A sensitively written, compelling novel that is totally engrossing.