Being associated with tea so very much both titles by this author attracted me and I was very happy when Netgalley sent the books on to me.
Set in the hills of Assam during the waning period of the British Raj we have a family who love India as their own and very different to the majority of the English settlers who always felt it was them and us. Clarissa is having the whole burden of Belgooroo on her young shoulders. Her father cannot cope with the unending financial burden of the estates, is unwilling and does not have the know how to modernize and bring a better return to the fields and she has to find a way out not just for the estate but for herself and her younger sister Olive, very frail and totally dependant on the strong willed Clarissa.
Moving from colorful busy India to the teeming town of Tyneside is a culture shock for Clarissa and Olive. Bereft of their father, they have to turn to their cousin Jared and his wife Lily who treats the two as the lowest of the low - menials of the lowest order and extracts from them every ounce of work she could.
An emotional story of the hardship that both sisters face while Clarissa plots how to get away from the grasping Lily and make a life for both of them.
A story of survival against many odds, this was a stirring tale of enduring love as well so the romance element added a nice flavor to the story.
Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review courtesy of Lake Union Publishing.