The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

A Novel

Large Print - 2017
Average Rating:
11
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A thrilling new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa See explores the lives of a Chinese mother and her daughter who has been adopted by an American couple.
Li-yan and her family align their lives around the seasons and the farming of tea. There is ritual and routine, and it has been ever thus for generations. Then one day a jeep appears at the village gate the first automobile any of them have seen and a stranger arrives.
In this remote Yunnan village, the stranger finds the rare tea he has been seeking and a reticent Akha people. In her biggest seller, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, See introduced the Yao people to her readers. Here she shares the customs of another Chinese ethnic minority, the Akha, whose world will soon change . Li-yan, one of the few educated girls on her mountain, translates for the stranger and is among the first to reject the rules that have shaped her existence. When she has a baby outside of wedlock, rather than stand by tradition, she wraps her daughter in a blanket, with a tea cake hidden in her swaddling, and abandons her in the nearest city.
After mother and daughter have gone their separate ways, Li-yan slowly emerges from the security and insularity of her village to encounter modern life while Haley grows up a privileged and well-loved California girl. Despite Haley s happy home life, she wonders about her origins; and Li-yan longs for her lost daughter. They both search for and find answers in the tea that has shaped their family s destiny for generations.
A powerful story about a family, separated by circumstances, culture, and distance, Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane paints an unforgettable portrait of a little known region and its people and celebrates the bond that connects mothers and daughters."
Publisher: Farmington Hills, Michigan :, Wheeler Publishing, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning,, ©2017.
ISBN: 9781410498014
Branch Call Number: LPE FICTION SEE
Characteristics: 635 pages (large print) ; 23 cm

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m
m0mmyl00
Aug 06, 2017

Li-yan is an Akha girl, a Chinese minority tribe whose livelihood depends on tea. They govern themselves by ancient traditions, all of which Li-yan breaks in one way or another. Not casually, but with great despair and anxiety. And her veering from the set path does cause her problems, though obeying them would have been deeply unfair. She marries a man she loves rather than one who is "suitable" -- and he turns out to be a loser who wanted to ride the coat tails of a smart successful woman. She has his baby before they are married, and according to tradition should have killed her. She cannot, though, and leaves her at an orphanage. This, too, causes her great sorrow, although killing the baby would have, too. She leaves her tribal homeland and becomes a very successful purveyor of tea. All the while she yearns for the daughter she gave up. Meanwhile, her daughter was adopted by an American couple, and we meet her through letters and essays she writes as she wonders about her origins. Ultimately she and Li-yan find each other.

I enjoyed this book, but somehow didn't get caught up in it. I followed the narrative, but the feelings of the characters didn't resonate with me. The words just didn't leave the page and get into my heart.

m
mariho
Aug 06, 2017

This is Lisa See's best book. Well, I have read "Peony in Love" which was interesting but lacking something I can't put my hand on. The characters are kind of weak and wimpy to me. The tea girl book is much better with strong characters and likable personality. I feel like I'm cheering for the main character"The Girl" the moment I met her. The novel described a lot of hard to understand ideas that the western world have over come and yet still exists such as male dominated society and superstitions.
I'm a tea lover and have visited countrysides where tea were produced. The locations were beautifully described. I enjoyed this book a lot.

s
SRZ37
Jul 26, 2017

What an enjoyable book, with abundant and meaningful cultural detail and rich characterization. I could visualize everyone and really pulled into the story. I was in tears at the end. I want to read more Lisa See!

AL_ALYSONC Jun 12, 2017

I learned so much, I craved tea, I was astonished by the changes China experienced in such a short time, I was pulled into the characters stories...In other words I loved it.

l
lgraf
Jun 08, 2017

What an interesting book! Loved learning about the Chinese tea industry & the Akha mountain tribe's beliefs & customs. A wonderful story of a mother's love for her child.
Highly recommended!!!

r
Rubicat
May 02, 2017

this was the first of Ms. See's books I've read. It was compelling and interesting. I loved the exotic locales and cultures. I will be requesting & reading more of Ms. See's novels.

f
FVReader
Apr 29, 2017

Another good story from Lisa See. We learn about tea (a lot) and the customs & lifestyle of the Akha people of China.
Li-yan lives by the customs of her people but when she gives birth an illegitimate child, she cannot bring herself to follow her people's custom and, instead, finds a way to bring the girl to an orphanage.
A story of loss, growth, love, acceptance and cultures.
Lisa See manages to tell Haley's story as well in a manner that brings her close to us and at the same time, distant....since we don't meet her directly as she grows up.
A heartwarming story. I enjoyed every page.

l
laphampeak
Apr 21, 2017

The author creates a fine balance between story-line and detail. It's a beautifully written story about an isolated culture in a time of modernization with stringent traditional views on children. The work of the village is to produce and sell tea. A daughter given to an orphanage blends heritage, lost family, and a burgeoning tea trade that brews a story as rich and smooth as the tea that is produced. I'd put this toward the top of her list of books.

b
brangwinn
Apr 16, 2017

I am so glad I had taken an introduction to tea class at a local tea shop before reading this book. In particular, knowing about Pu’erh tea which is featured in this book was helpful. I would have enjoyed the book without the class, but being able to visualize how the tea was picked and processed as I read was very helpful. Another aspect I enjoyed was featuring a minority group. I’ve taken numerous college classes on China, and was pleased to be reading about a group other than the Hans. Watching a young girl fight the sexist world view of her community, watching her find her voice and become successful was a vital part of the story. Adding the personal story of her daughter given up for adoption and the open ending of the two meeting by chance created a very pleasing book to read in my otherwise dreary rainy winter.

w
writermala
Apr 05, 2017

This is the story of Li-yan and her mother and Li-yan and her daughter, whom she had to give away, as she was born out of wedlock. The novel had everything I wanted and more. It was very informative about the Yunan tribe, Akha, and their tea. The three generations are bound by their love for tea and the plot is woven cleverly. At first I thought the practises of the tribal village were gruesome but later I developed a "who am I to judge" philosophy and enjoyed the book thoroughly. Li-Yan's daughter Haley sums up her philosophy brilliantly when she accepts that she is 100% American and 100% Chinese. She is not half and half. She is fully both. Yes, she is truly a GLobal citizen as are many of us today. You cannot go wrong with this book.

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