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July 1, 2020

The Woman in the Green Dress by Tea Cooper ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

1853 Mogo Creek, NSW

Della Atterton, bereft at the loss of her parents, is holed up in the place she loves best: the beautiful Hawkesbury in New South Wales. Happiest following the trade her father taught her, taxidermy, Della has no wish to return to Sydney. But the unexpected arrival of Captain Stefan von Richter on a quest to retrieve what could be Australia's first opal, precipitates Della's return to Sydney and her Curio Shop of Wonders, where she discovers her enigmatic aunt, Cordelia, is selling more than curiosities to collectors. Strange things are afoot and Della, a fly in a spider's web, is caught up in events with unimaginable consequences...
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The Woman in the Green Dress cover
June 2020; Thomas Nelson; 978-0785235125
audio, ebook, print (352 pages); historical fiction
1919 Sydney, NSW

When London teashop waitress Fleur Richards inherits land and wealth in Australia from her husband, Hugh, killed in the war, she wants nothing to do with it. After all, accepting it will mean Hugh really is dead. But Hugh's lawyer is insistent, and so she finds herself ensconced in the Berkeley Hotel on Bent St, Sydney, the reluctant owner of a Hawkesbury property and an old curio shop, now desolate and boarded up.

As the real story of her inheritance unravels, Fleur finds herself in the company of a damaged returned soldier Kip, holding a thread that takes her deep into the past, a thread that could unravel a mystery surrounding an opal and a woman in a green dress; a green that is the color of envy, the color buried deep within an opal, the color of poison

The Woman in the Green Dress is a  dual timeline story started out a little confusing on the switch back and forth but the longer I read, the clearer it all became.  It was interesting to read about Australia during the time period when it sounded like the old west.  In 1853, Della is the main character. She is a taxidermist who sends her completed items to a Curio Shop in Sydney. In 1918, Della has just found out that her husband died in the war and has left his estate in Australia to her. She travels to Australia from London but since she is convinced that he didn't die, she at first refuses his estate. She is also the owner of the Curio Shop that is boarded up.  As she tries to find out more about her husband's life and financial holdings, she finds herself trying to discover the mystery behind the curio shop.

I didn't connect with any of the characters in this book which means that I liked it but didn't love it. It is, however, a very interesting look at Australia during two very different time periods.  I found the descriptions of the countryside to be very intriguing and interesting.   Overall, it's a very interesting book and well worth reading.

About the Author

Tea Cooper writes Australian contemporary and historical fiction. In a past life, she was a teacher, a journalist, and a farmer. These days she haunts museums and indulges her passion for storytelling.
Connect with Tea

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Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling. She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their family and friends. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter

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  1. though it is not a book i would probably read, i did enjoy your review and the location, australia, interests me
    sherry @ fundinmental

  2. I really can't think of any book I've read with an Australian setting so I'd love to read this just for that. Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours