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The Tea Gardens Dr Isla Fenwick has a life that most modern women of 1933 might envy her career gives her status her pedigree adds freedom and her oldest crush Jovian Mandeville has reappeared in her life with a marriage proposal Her life is beginning to feel complete However she insists on keeping a private promise she made to her late mother to work at the coalface of medicine in India before committing to life as a dutiful wife With Jove's blessing Isla sails to Calcutta to set up a new midwifery clinic What she can't anticipate is how India will test everything she relies upon within challenging her professionalism and her loyalties But it is the fateful meeting of enigmatic Professor Saxon Vickery that will call into uestion what she trusts most about herself When the pair travel into the foothills of the Himalaya for a stay on a tea plantation outside Darjeeling Isla must make the most important choice of her life And at the roof of the world where heaven and earth collide a price will be exacted for glimpsing heaven From England's sually seaside town of Brighton to India's slums of Calcutta and breathtaking Himalayan mountains this is a heartbreaking story about the pursuit of passion by the bestselling author of The Chocolate Tin

About the Author: Fiona McIntosh

Fiona writes best selling historical adventure romance alongside the heroic romantic often brutal fantasy she built her career upon She lives in Australia but freuently roams the world meticulously researching the locations and gathering material for her historical novels that have international settings Her books are published worldwide and in various languages Her most recent historical fi

10 thoughts on “The Tea Gardens

  1. Brenda Brenda says:

    Dr Isla Fenwick loved her father dearly and wasn’t surprised he disagreed with Isla’s need to work at the hospital in Calcutta Her desire to teach midwifery to bring standards up to those in Britain was strong It was also where her mother had worked as a young woman; where she had contracted the disease which eventually took her life When Jovian Mandeville re entered Isla’s life and brought with him his desire to marry Isla she knew she still had to fulfil her life’s dream before she could marryThe journey at sea from England to India was a long one but Isla made few acuaintances When she finally arrived at the hospital in Calcutta she was exhausted But her immersion into the job began the following day and it wasn’t long before the thrill of teaching was once again upon her The reputation of Professor Saxon Vickery had preceded him Everyone was in awe of him but declared he was a horrid man Isla’s first meeting with the man himself proved the second part of that reputation to be true But as Isla taught her craft it seemed she also had much to learn – the slums of India were horrifying; the divisions of religion vast Everything Isla had ever known was being tested – her life would be forever changed from the experienceAs the time drew near for Isla to leave India to travel home to marry Jove her desire to see the Himalayan mountains was strong She knew she would feel deep regret if she left India without seeing them – but what would happen when she arrived at the tea plantation outside Darjeeling? The Tea Gardens by Aussie author Fiona McIntosh is another brilliant historical fiction novel by an author who proves time and again that she’s a master at her game Set mainly in 1933 Isla’s narration of her months in India are fascinating Written in a way that I felt I was experiencing it all; the gentle nature of the local midwives the smells in the slums the horrors that were there daily – right down to the beauty of the mountains and the fresh pure air at the tea gardens A thoroughly enjoyable novel and one I highly recommendWith thanks to Penguin Random House for my ARC to read and review

  2. Jenny Jenny says:

    The Tea Gardens is about a young woman's dream of helping others during childbirth in India Dr Isla Fenwick's mother died soon after her birth and made her father promise to ensure that Isla married before turning thirty one Dr Isla Fenwick was in no hurry to find a someone to marry so her father took upon himself to do it Charles Fenwick's candidate for his daughter was Jove Mandeville However Jove Mandeville understood Dr Isla Fenwick dreams to go to India and allow her to go The readers of The Tea Gardens will continue to follow Dr Isla Fenwick's advantages in IndiaThe Tea Gardens is the first book I have read of Fiona McIntosh and I did enjoy reading it I know readers of The Tea Gardens do not like Jove Mandeville they think he is wimp I love him Dr Isla Fenwick was so lucky to find a man that allows her to follow her dreams The Tea Gardens is well written and research by Fiona McIntosh I like her portrayal of her characters and the way they interact with each other Fiona McIntosh does a great job of describing her plot and settings to her readers The readers of The Tea Gardens will learn about working and living in India Also the readers of The Tea Gardens will start to understand the medical procedures for Tuberculosis and the conseuences of the disease on the suffers and family I recommend this book

  3. paulinereidbookreviewer paulinereidbookreviewer says:

    Book ReviewTitle The Tea GardensBook Details Paperback 398 PagesAuthor Fiona McIntosh Genre Historical FictionRomanceCountries England London Brighton India CulcuttaNearing Christmas time Isla was walking with her father on an Autumns day through Kensington Garden of which they lived in South Kensington when father just happened to mention marriage You see Isla was now 30 and her father kept reminding Isla that he promised his wife now deceased that Isla will be married by 31 Father just slipped into conversation a certain Jove Manderville a crush love Isla had when she was flat chested and had pigtails Isla hadn't seen Jove for fifteen or so years Father was keen although Isla wasn't however she reluctantly said yes only for her father's sake Jove had picked a common ground venue and Isla had no idea where she was being chauffeured to a marriage proposal that was full of glass and with a condition suggested and both agreed uponIsla Dr Fendalton she was officially called dealing in obstetrics ideal dream was to go to Calcutta India and help set up a decent clinic there however life was not straight forward as she planned being introduced to one rude obnoxious doctor called Saxon Vickery a Professor who should be avoided by all costs and Miles who had an ego the size as the universe There was tension between the two males and Isla heart set on one of them was she going to risk it all and break the condition promised by herself and Jove back in England?I can't get over how well written this book is I thought this was a nicely paced book the way this story was told and the plotting of it all suited it well the pacing was just right Immediately I was transported to London nestled down amongst father and Isla eaves dropping to see who was winning the war of whether father was successful with his matchmaking Isla was definitely a strong willed character but wise with it too so I didnt despair if things didnt go according to plan as I felt Isla would come out of it in one piece Jove to me a perfect gentleman his conditions fair and honest I absolutely lived in this book I was going on a train to of all places Calcutta a place I thought I would never get to and never by a train and only the creme de la creme for Isla a perfect train ride for sure I was all ears as Mr Professor and Mr High Almighty tossed Isla into uite a sea of emotions and wondering was Isla playing with fire? Because as far as I was concerned Isla was going to drown if she kept doing what she was doing going Or is she wiser than that? Can she distinguish the fire? Or is the rough sea going to put it out for her? Isla doesn't half pick her menThis book comes highly recommended by me I gave this 5 stars on Goodreads I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Historical Fiction especially London England Culcutta India This book is very much a womens book as it does go into woman's birthing issues etc so I would recommend to women out there that have gone through child birth This book also does explain on how tea is grown so I recommend to anyone with the fascination and curiosity on how it is made This book also deals in love triangles so I recommend this book to anyone who likes being entertained by character dynamics that arent too complicated but deals in heart ache cheating and happy endings I would at this point like to thank Ellen Read for gifting me this beautiful book and recommending it to me

  4. Andrea Andrea says:

    35★ for Fiona McIntosh's West Bengal tale of tea and temptationIt's 1932 and Isla Fenwick is fast approaching the age by which her father had promised her dying mother he would have walked her down the aisle Isla's far interested in her medical career than in the conventions of marriage duty and homelife In fact she hasn't discussed it with her father yet but she plans to follow in her mother's footsteps and travel to India to practice medicine But when her father suggests her teenage crush as a potential suitor Isla's curiosity is piued and she agrees to meet with the man In the blink of an eye the two meet fall in love and agree to marry Isla confides in her fiance Jove about her plans for India and surprisingly he agrees to give her some time to pursue her ambitions before they wed Isla travels to Calcutta to take up a position in the maternity department of a local hospital where she meets Professor Saxon VickeryThis book has all the ingredients for a great read I love Fiona McIntosh I love historical fiction I love the present day West Bengal location I love a strong female protagonist and on the whole I did really enjoy reading it In particular there were some lovely descriptive passages; the treats in the window of the teahouse in Brighton the dresses Isla wore on a few pivotal occasions and of course the mountains But there were a few moments when I felt like I was reading a Mills Boon romance not that there's anything wrong with that if that's what you're into I also felt a bit cheated that we didn't get to the mountains until uite close to the end of the story And a couple of references to Bangladesh in 1933 irked the pedant in me So for me this book was not as great as the sum of its parts I didn't love it but I liked it a lot

  5. Ace Ace says:

    3 stars⛤⛤⛤I am not a romance lover but I do love my historical fiction Thank goodness for me there was a fair amount of history for me to learn from in this book or else I may have thrown my very expensive headphones across the roomDr Isla Fenwick is a great doctor but she is a hopeless fool She heads off to India to practice there for a few months and puts herself into situations which were completely contradictory to the promises she made to her dad and her boyfriend back in England I didn't like her but I did learn a lot about India and tea

  6. Carolyn Carolyn says:

    The Tea Gardens by Fiona McIntosh is a captivating new novel set in the magical Tea Gardens of Darjeeling in IndiaStarting in Brighton where jonuils bloom to a meeting at a Lyons Teahouse where love blossomsIsla sets her hopes and dreams on India working as a doctor only to fall in love with one amidst the backdrop of the breathtaking Himalayas and Tea Gardens of DarjeelingIt's the Story of Tea and it's makings whether it be Darjeeling Assam or Chai this story will delight you as you travel through the Tea Gardens in IndiaThis is a real page turnerYou won't be able to wait to hear what happens nextIt's hot and steamy just like your favourite teaOr bubble bath Just you wait and see in this new captivating novel The Tea Gardens by Fiona McIntosh Escape to India this time with the Master StorytellerYou'll be glad you did

  7. Sam Still Reading Sam Still Reading says:

    The Tea Gardens was a mixed book for me Some parts of it I absolutely adored others I had to really push through to suspend disbelief well it is fiction I picked it up and put it down several times Some days I missed it others I didn’t It’s a book of contrasts – the different cultures of England and India the roles of women in the 1930s passion versus love and acceptance versus fighting for your beliefs The book started off well for me Isla is a female doctor single and working hard in England to improve the lives of women in obstetrics Her true desire is to go to India to work in tropical diseases but her father is against that as he believes India and tuberculosis is what killed Isla’s mother They’ve come to a compromise – Isla to go to India but work in obstetrics However her father has one last trick up his sleeve – reintroduce Isla to her teenage crush Jove who is now looking for a wife I was a bit uncomfortable at this point – surely as a female doctor in a very male dominated field Isla would have developed the strength to stand up for what she wanted to do? Perhaps at heart she was willing to defer to her father’s wishes When Isla and Jove met it was an instalove involving a long date culminating in a proposal Again this was a bit weird for me – one date and you’re happy to be bonded for life? Jove also seemed a bit controlling already in what he wanted Isla to do and not do during her time in India – could Isla not see it?Doubts aside Isla arrives in Calcutta and turns the obstetrics ward around to improve things She has a follower in fellow doctor Miles a seemingly benign ladder climber and soon an enemy in tropical diseases specialist Saxon But amongst the sparring is an essence of respect between the pair and it’s to Saxon Isla turns to when she tries to help out a young couple This has disastrous conseuences for all involvedIsla was a character who didn’t always sit uite right with me as you’ve likely guessed from above She can be uite headstrong and irrational at times but also kind of stupid There was one line where she was looking at a wound and says to herself “just beginning to leak bloodor extravasate I corrected in my mind’ If Isla is an experienced doctor I would think she would automatically think in medical terms Nor would she go on to define extravasate to herself – she should automatically be speaking that language to herself and her colleagues I could go on about her use of the word painkiller but I’ll get off my high horse – maybe it’s just us moderns who would never say that to a co worker She’s a mish mash of devotion romance and immaturity – not really a typical woman in her thirties for me Saxon I found much interesting as he spoke bluntly honestly communicating his thoughts without social niceties Plus he had a good knowledge of tea The style of writing of The Tea Gardens wasn’t uite my cup of tea As the previous paragraph shows I’m not one for a ton of description unless it seems natural I felt that some of the descriptions particularly of the scenery were over the top in use of adjectives for me The story was also very well researched but again I personally thought there was too much at times It felt like when you’re answering an exam uestion but know so much about something a bit off topic and decide to cram it in there to demonstrate your knowledge If you enjoy romantic historical fiction you may well disagree with my opinion Unfortunately the story and I couldn’t uite make it work for each otherThank you to Penguin for the copy of this bookhttpsamstillreadingwordpresscom

  8. John Reid John Reid says:

    I surprised myself and uite a few others when I reuested The Tea Gardens by accomplished women’s author Fiona McIntosh I could get into mild trouble if I call this a romantic novel – it is – although it carries an interesting clinical greographical and historical base to the storySo then how did I get on with it? Very well indeedCharles Fenwick arranges for his daughter Isla to meet Jove Mandeville a man she has not seen since she was barely into her teens and he mid twenties At the time she had a crush on this handsome man while he found her attractive and especially mature An obstetrician now nearing thirty Isla remains unmarried Early in the book she attends a number of women pre and post partem and as the most senior available doctor at the Hunter Street hospital on the day scrubs up and performs an emergency caesarean when a baby’s umbilicus prolapses Isla is determined to help women in a needing society She works with an Anglo Indian woman Ellen who admonishes her that everything in India where she intends to practice will be greatly different “It’s not your world don’t try to change anything just make a small difference for a few while you’re there” Her departure for India is to follow in the footsteps of the clinical work previously done by her mother from which she contracted tuberculosis Her father approves her wish provided she sticks to the field of midwifery and warns her against working anywhere TB may be prevalent Isla and Jove spend a day at Brighton where he has booked a pier for their sole use in the hour before official opening A dormant love re awakens She respects him because of his delight in her intelligence and personality rather than her beauty and he in the fact she won’t ever bore him with tedious conversation He proposes and she accepts although Jove makes the proviso she will spend less than a year in India in midwifery cautious of the fact she may face the underlying cause of her mother’s deathArriving in her new hospital in Calcutta where she must learn as she goes about faith and caste all is well until Isla meets Professor Saxon Vickery He creates an angry scene and she confronts him setting him straight on how he must treat the female medical staff She has mixed feelings for this tall man with broad shoulders and unruly golden hair He might be Apollo on a visit from Olympus; what a pity then he lives up to popular opinion that he is contemptible Despite Isla’s initial impressions there may be a different side to the professor; the hospital matron takes time to extract a promise from her that she’ll at least look at the humanitarian work he does The Tea Gardens – the name originating from a major setting in a Darjeeling tea plantation – is a book of great passion in ways than one Everything prior to Isla’s departure to India seemed clear straightforward Now working in the mountain country everything seems to become complex The situation is intensified when one falls ill and the other provides clinical treatmentI found this a beautifully crafted story as readers evidently expect from the pen of Fiona McIntosh Her audience will remain enthralled

  9. L F L F says:

    This author has a wonderful ability to create atmospheric exotic locales The visuals smells and even the feels of surfaces transport you exactly to that spot She also has some wonderful plot lines In this story a young British doctor travels to India to work in a hospital where she continues her Mother’s work Just before she leaves she has a romantic encounter with her first love who to her surprise asks her to marry him She accepts with hope he will agree to let her travel to India to fulfill her dream He agrees but later asks her to not wear to ring on her travels This plays out for an enchanting romantic journey A must read for all who enjoy romantic historical fiction

  10. Claire Claire says:

    What an absolutely beautiful story it pulled me in and didn't want to let me go Isla is a young progressive woman in 1932 who as a doctor has dreams to help people in India She is lucky enough to meet a man who loves her but is willing for her to chase those dreams so long as she promises to return to him The way Fiona McIntosh writes enables you to travel to the time and place and to experience the whole thing as if you were there Experiencing the harshness and beauty of India the trials and hopes of being a doctor in this world and learning about who Isla is and what she learns on this journey was just wonderful A story of love and redemption and following your heart I highly recommend this novel

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