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Mystic Tea

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  563 ratings  ·  136 reviews
A community of quirky, mismatched, and endearing women struggle to find meaning and purpose on a ramshackle monastery in upstate New York. Having spent their lives in service to a church that seems to no longer serve them, they are confused about their own futures and the future of the entire monastery. Led by Mike, the practical no-nonsense prioress, and Augusta, the gran ...more
Paperback, 349 pages
Published November 10th 2013 by Wiawaka Press (first published October 7th 2013)
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Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  563 ratings  ·  136 reviews

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Karen Sirabian
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As diverse a collection of women as I've ever encountered, and nuns, to boot! The richly drawn characters in this book range from an ex-junkie novitiate to an aged prioress who seems part religious and part wizard. Holding them together as the once tranquil world around them frays and crumbles is a nun/psychotherapist, who is facing her own questions about a much-tried faith. Martin delivers a wild ride--at times hilarious and often poignant--that keeps you riveted to your seat until the last pa ...more
Dec 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
greatly enjoyed this book. excellent character development, unexpected. difficult to put down.
Stefan Emunds
May 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Mystic Tea by Rea Nolan Martin is an unexpected story of six eccentric nuns and two novices, who live on a needy monastery that is not much more than a run-down farm. Quote: Two seamstresses, a TV junky, a hermit who creates magical teas and consecrates her own Eucharist, a sickly invalid, a psychotic runaway, a teenage ninja*, and a lame prioress.

*A former addict and reincarnation of St. Grace, the miracle-working founder of the order.

We experience the estrogen-soaked chaos in the limited POVs
Jul 06, 2020 rated it liked it
I liked this book even if it was a bit slow and that's because it is a character driven story , I usually prefer plot driven stories , when I was reading it I was fully immersed and when I put it down I didn't think about it , I think that is one of the criticism I have : it's not a page turner , but like I said that is a personal preference so I don't think other readers will be bothered . Overall it was a beautiful story .
This book is mystical , I would recommend it to anyone who loves magical
Rave Reviews Book Club
Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Rea Nolan Martin crafted the most ingenious characters ever and threw them all together in one book. I don’t typically get into stories or even movies, for that matter, where there are so many different characters, each with a different tale that has to be told…because it makes me feel as if there is just too much going on in one place. Martin gave life to Gemma, Arielle, Mike, Maya, Grace and Augusta to name a few, and she did it with such ingenuity, I was blown away! As soon as I started readi ...more
Victor Smith
Nov 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Confessing my prejudice against what might be chick-lit, I somewhat skeptically started into Rea Nolan Martin’s Mystic Tea after seeing it reviewed by a colleague on the Visionary Fiction Alliance website. I was, however, quickly drawn into its quirky world, inhabited by dopers, grumpy nuns, and genuine mystics, all drawn together into a decaying convent along the Hudson River. And I thoroughly enjoyed its superb blending of all the elements of an excellent story. Rea even wielded the ax against ...more
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed Martin's ability to intertwine the lives of women from different walks of life and ages in a nunnery of all places. Opening their heart to each other and God enables them to realize despite differences, the love of God is unconditional allowing them to embrace and discover who they are even if it does not fit in the mold that others might follow.

Note: Received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
Robin Morgan
Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-own-books
Becoming the member of the week of an internet support group I belong afforded me the opportunity to choose a book written by another member from a list of books. Amd as a Book Reviewer I prefer to read REAL BOOKS especially when they’ve been signed, which is why I’ve chosen “Mystic Tea” for my next book to read/review. The following review is my honest opinion for this book.

While not being a Catholic has prevented me from knowing what nuns are really supposed to be li
Cathleen Dungy
Jul 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Delightful Tale of Spiritual Redirection

This was a very good story centered around a monastery of nuns that presumably lost their way in life; just moving forward almost hypnotically. They're then invaded by two unforgettable characters (perhaps divinely) that would change their lives forever.

I loved this book because of the author's attention to detail, the message of forgiveness and the reminder that it's never too late to live the intention God has for us.

I was drawn to this book as Christi
Nadege Nicoll
May 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book exceeds a five star review! The writing is wonderful and flows very nicely. The characters appear so consistent in their differences. They all complete one another, despite the sometimes massive gap between them. Life puts them in each other's path for a reason. Basically, they all matter and all have a role to play - it just takes them some time and life changing events to realize it! I love this book. By the end of it, I was in tears, and at peace - like a lot of the characters thems ...more
Nov 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I completely enjoyed this tale, more than I anticipated. I think the author could have drawn out the stories of the other nuns a little bit more; I would have like to have known them a little better. All in all, a delightful read.
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The pages take you on a journey from the heart as you follow the lives and unconventional antics of these women all thrown together. You will be touched by so many emotions, most delightfully by Ms. Martin's humor. Not to be missed!
D.L. Finn
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a charming, insightful story told through the eyes of strong and unique women. Being a Catholic, I enjoyed the setting of nuns in a monastery. It was familiar, but it took its own twist into the unknown. Each character had her own strength and weakness. I was drawn to the journey, particularly the relationships of: Prioress Mike searching for her faith, Gemma’s self-abuse, Arielle’s past addictions, and the most intriguing character the Mother, or Augusta. The self-reflection and growth ...more
Laurie Randolph-adams
Rae Nolan Martin’s Mystic Tea brims with possibilities. The nuns who serve as protagonists present a variety of viewpoints: some having been in place for generations, some new and some in training for even understanding Christianity. When the threat of closure of the monastery by the head church looms, a spunky young woman named Arielle (recently sober from divine assistance) arrives and turns everything upside down. The book shows the reader multiple angles as there are not chapter dividers but ...more
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an enjoyable story about a group of women living in a monastery and the Vatican is investigating them. None of the women act typically like nuns. They are all very different and not attuned to normal life in any sense of the word. The story is told from different POV so you see and understand what makes them act the way they do. Even with the changing POV, the story flows and is very easy to follow. The character development is exceptionally well done.These people are very believable an ...more
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
First time reading this particular author's work. It was sure interesting to find such a grand variety of characters.It is a nun's monastery, but ever the fun place to be since the arrival of the boundless,crazy,fun-loving Arielle.
She has her demons that haunt her but never allows anything to get the best of her.
It was awesome turning each page.Always finding something unexpected.
It's a great read.
April Adams
Aug 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is more about character development than plot - not that it doesn't have plot! It does! That's why I like it so much. The characters are real and raw and the plot is surprising in places. What I most appreciate about it is that it colors faith with the many shades of doubt, uncertainty, indefinably, and inexplicable hope that anyone with faith invariably experiences. As a woman of faith I appreciated it very much. I don't know anything about Catholicism, which is the faith presented in ...more
Jun 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
I don't remember choosing this book, but there it was on my Kindle, all unread. Plus it was a bit chilly and the cup of tea on the cover looked good.
Was I in for a surprise!
This is not the type of book I would normally select, and I don't even know how a synopsis would read...I thoroughly enjoyed this story!
This is the tale of nuns and potential nuns living on a farm in upstate New York. Their monastery is under threat of being revoked and this tale is of the crises of faith faced by the Priores
Nov 05, 2017 rated it liked it
I don’t really know what to think about this one. I’d rate this book about 3.5 stars. It’s a somewhat mystic, somewhat psychological novel told from four different perspectives that deals with subjects like self-loss, identity, faith, Christian mysticism and redemption. The chaos of having 4 different points of view mirrors the general chaos we find in the monastery/Order where we meet the principal characters. All the characters in the book are basically going through a crisis of self-identity ...more
Rebecca PG
May 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Not my usual cup of tea, pardon the pun, but engaging in many ways I wasn’t prepared for. The characters are a real mixed bag of energies, attitudes and flaws, all brought together for the purpose of finding just that: purpose. Each character is built well with plenty of depth and some, at times, rather bizarre quirks. The juxtor-positioning of their character designs - a recovering junky prone to drug-fuelled religious visions - with the setting of the worlds most unusual nunnery nestled by the ...more
Harmony Kent
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favourite reads this year! Mystic Tea takes you on a rollercoaster ride of the heart, mind, and soul. Full of quirky characters real enough to leave the printed page to come sit and share a cuppa with you, it's sure to entertain. From a myriad of backgrounds and situations, this mixed bunch of nuns and bride-of-God hopefuls each has to confront epic challenges. Mike the prioress with her doubts and anger, who not only needs to find a way forward for herself but also her community. The ...more
Mary Ellen
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Cover of Mystic Tea is beautiful. The Angel arising from the Tea.The characters are complex and simple.They are seeking, as we all are. There is always a bigger picture, and we often can't see the vision from where we stand. These endearing women keep at life with strength and determination, love and compassion. They find the Divine in all the small moments of life... each challenge pulls them forward. Their faith inspires them and their love for each other and their community is an inspirat ...more
Gwendolyn Plano
Jun 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Heartwarming and endearing....

Mystic Tea was a gift, and while I don't usually write reviews for gifts, this one deserves comment.

The title captured my attention from the start, but after just a few pages, it was the characters that won my heart. Real and endearing, these women of faith shared their struggles and wonderings with one another. Their quirkiness and charm evoked both my smiles and tears, and thus made me feel part of their community. This is a book about matters of the heart, about
Feb 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
I won this book on Goodreads and I'm glad I did. This was a thoroughly enjoyable book. It started out kind of weird and I wasn't sure if I was going to like it but after I moved on I saw why she started it that way. I loved all of her very descriptive, loveable and unique characters. Her writing style is easy to read but has depth, humor and real feeling in it. The story itself is a feel good after chaos and torment kind of tale which I find appealing. I was pleased that the end didn't leave me ...more
Mary Lou
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It is beautifully written with compelling characters - all of whom I felt I knew. Telling the story through the voices of 5 separate characters gave me a 360 degree view of the happenings and states of mind of everyone at the monastary. The combination of quirky, imperfect characters, day-to-day realities and mysticism made for a great reading escape, and kept me guessing what would happen next. I was truly sad to come to the end, and hope that there is a sequel soon.
Dianalee Velie
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Endearing middle-agedd nuns under a struggling prioress; an ancient mystic hermit with potent tea recipes; a fiery 19-year-old redhead initiate with a snake tattoo circling her neck; a stunning, self-punishing novitiate with a psychiatric past;two handsome male paramedics; angels, saints, and enough secrets to keep them all guessing. Steep together and brew a cup of MYSTIC TEA. Enjoy the journey through this magical book and pray for a sequel!
Michelle Nichols
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
I won this book as a first reads edition from goodreads.

This book was awesome! Such an intriguing group of ladies and it kept me guessing the whole time. I truly felt invested in each of the characters and was trying to figure out and understand the mystery involved in each of their lives. I especially loved the different stories put into play and seeing how they were all intertwined throughout each other. Definitely worth reading!
Zachary Thomas
Apr 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Mystic Tea was an altogether uplifting, spiritual, nourishing piece of literary joy. At times uproariously hilarious, and others appropriately somber, Mystic Tea delivers on multiple levels through it's clever use of character perspective. I highly recommend this book to everyone, especially those interested the amalgamation of old and new. This group of nuns never ceases to inspire and I guarantee the end will leave you wanting more. Kudos on a job well done! ...more
Feb 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful read about a quirky woman who takes refuge with a group of nuns who are struggling to keep their abbey afloat. Poignant, funny, beautifully written -- Mystic Tea will give you new insights into the Catholic church's regard (and disregard) for women, in a lovely, character-driven novel of discovery and redemption. ...more
Feb 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book driven by characters that will keep you reading. The rural upstate NY nunnery is a very unassuming setting for the emotional havoc and self discovery that pervades this novel. The dynamic between "little mamma" and Arielle alone makes this story a page turner (and of course, there's always Gemma...) ...more
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Rea Nolan Martin is the author of three novels: THE SUBLIME TRANSFORMATION OF VERA WRIGHT (2009), MYSTIC TEA (2014), THE ANESTHESIA GAME (2015), and a collection of inspirational essays, WALKING ON WATER (2016). She is the author of numerous short stories and poetry published in national literary magazines and anthologies, and a founding editor of INKWELL literary magazine. MYSTIC TEA was the reci ...more

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