Saturday, March 29, 2014

G287 E-Reading Book Review of Tea and Primroses by Tess Thompson

Name of Book: Tea and Primroses

Author: Tess Thompson


Publisher:  Booktrope

Type of book: Dreams, love, full circle, death, life, moving, becoming a family, relationships, romance, secrets, passions

Year it was published: 2014


Nothing is as it seemed in calm, quaint Legley Bay.

Famous novelist Constance Mansfield lived a seemingly straightforward – if private – and somewhat predictable life. Friends, beloved daughter Sutton, a beautiful home, and all the success an author could wish for. A perfect life….but was it?

When a hit and run accident suddenly takes her mother’s life, Sutton finds hidden secrets with her heartbreak. Emotional walls she assumed Constance had built to protect her privacy may have been to protect something – or someone – else entirely. Family and friends return home for support, including her own lost-love, Declan. He’s the first thing she craves to help her cope with her loss and the questions she’s left with, but he’s also the last person she wants to see. Will he be able to put down roots at last?

Can the loss of true love be the making of a life, or is it destined to be the undoing of everything? When money, power and love combine across time, anything is possible.


The characters were somewhat distinguishing, but I have to admit that I had a hard time keeping track of who's who as well as their stories. All I recall is that Constance's mother was a very cold woman who wasn't happy with anything, while Constance's father is different than the mother and stayed with her because of Constance. I also recall Declan and his mother Roma who were like family for Constance and Sutton and while there are towns-folks, it was difficult for me to remember their functions.


Life is full circle


The book uses flashbacks between Sutton and Declan, and that of Constance's life up to her death. Whenever its flashbacks in form of the manuscript that Constance wrote for her daughter, the narrative is in first person from Constance's point of view, and if its modern times between Sutton and Declan, then the narrative goes to third person narrative. I did read multi-generational love story before (Love's Fate, Love's Destiny and Love's Chance which I reviewed on my blog,) and those were believable and well written. This tried to be like the Love Trilogy, but it failed.

Author Information:

in The United States 

twitter username


member since
March 2011

Tess Thompson is a novelist and playwright. She has a BFA in Drama from the University of Southern California. 

After some success as a playwright she decided to write a novel, a dream she’d held since childhood. She began working on her first novel, Riversong while her second daughter was eight months old, writing during naptimes and weekends. She considers it a small miracle and the good-nature of her second child (read: a good napper) that it was ever finished. Riversong was released in April 2011 by Booktrope, a Seattle publisher and subsequently became a #1 Nook book and Kindle best seller. Learn more about Booktrope at

Like her main character in Riversong, Tess is from a small town in Southern Oregon. She currently lives in Snoqualmie, Washington with her two small daughters where she is inspired daily by the view of the Cascade Mountains from her home office window. 

She was an active member of the theatre community in Seattle as an actor and director during the late nineties. In 2000 she wrote her first full-length play, My Lady’s Hand which subsequently won the 2001 first place prize for new work at the Burien Theatre. 

A voracious reader, Tess’s favorite thing to do is to curl up on a rainy afternoon and read a novel. She also enjoys movies, theatre, wine and food. She is fed emotionally by her friends and family and cherishes relationships above all else. 

Tess will be releasing her second novel, Caramel and Magnolias, in February 2013. She is busy working a historical fiction set in 1930’s Alabama that is based on a short story of her great-great grandmother’s.


I'm sorry to say that this has been a very disappointing and predictable book. (Many stuff I saw come from miles and miles away.) For me personally the conversations tended to be awkward and the idea of life coming full circle, although an interesting one, is executed poorly. Also as well, the way men talked seemed to be unrealistic for me. I liked the way beginning was written, and I seriously thought I'd be awarding it four stars instead of two because of the intriguing idea of why Constance shut herself and everyone around her from the world. After the funeral, her daughter Sutton stumbles upon the manuscript that Constance wrote and finally learns many hidden secrets that her mother has kept. I think for me the story fell at when Constance and Declan began to read manuscript. The writing style was awkward as well as the chapters for sections that Constance wrote. I had a very difficult time connecting to the writing and the characters, unfortunately.

This is for Reading Addiction

2 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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