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The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

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4.24  ·  Rating details ·  34,317 Ratings  ·  4,901 Reviews
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 peo
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Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published March 21st 2017 by Scribner
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Lisa See Nope! I don't have a sequel planned. A lot of people have asked for a sequel, though. Here's how I look at it: I hope readers will use their…moreNope! I don't have a sequel planned. A lot of people have asked for a sequel, though. Here's how I look at it: I hope readers will use their imaginations to think about what could or should happen next. What will Li-yan and Haley say to each other? Will Sean and Haley get married? Is Haley there to help with the trees in some way? I've been hearing all kinds of wonderful ideas from readers, which tells me that I was right to end the novel as I did.(less)
Lisa See The new novel is about an Akha ethnic-minority girl in Yunnan, China, who gives birth to a daughter and abandons her. The baby is then adopted by an…moreThe new novel is about an Akha ethnic-minority girl in Yunnan, China, who gives birth to a daughter and abandons her. The baby is then adopted by an American family in Pasadena. I always have a historical backdrop. This time it's the birthplace of tea and the Akha ethnic minority. The novel is completely immersive in the way that Snow Flower and the Secret Fan was immersive in the Yao culture of Hunan.(less)

Community Reviews

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Elyse
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Lisa See fans.... ARE GOING TO BE HAPPY with "The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane".
ANOTHER HISTORY LESSON WITH INTIMACY of CHARACTERS....and TONS of HEART!!

Lisa's new novel has all the elements we loved from several of her books....
"The Snow Flower and The Secret Fan", "Shanghai Girls", and "Dream of Joys"....
Compelling storytelling, historically-set in a remote region, and culture, well researched, beautifully woven plot, an expanded appreciation for the Chinese history,
Heritage, family tradition
...more
Pouting Always
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Angela M
4.5 stars

This story gives us a fascinating look at this ethnic minority known as the Akha in a rural village in a tea growing region in China. It also provides fairly in depth information on the tea industry. But this is Lisa See and so it is of course so much more. It has language that flows and characters that you grow attached to even though you might not understand their culture and a captivating story of mothers and daughters, families, fate and love. There are multiple layers here. Li-yan
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Linda
Simply this:

Lisa See kicked in the door on this one. If you are a long-standing fan of her writing, you will have experienced the solid depth and breadth of her superb skill. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane is exceptional.

"All you can do is live," she says. "You don't have a choice. Life continues whether we want it to or not. The sun will rise despite our suffering."

The Akha people of the remote mountainous tea regions of China live in almost pure isolation. At the very center of their existe
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Jen
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm no tea connoisseur, but this story was so flavourful I could imagine myself sitting back enjoying a tea from The Naunnu mountains - perhaps even in a hammock. Hmmm.

Steeped in traditions and superstitions, this is a richly textured story of Li-yan who becomes the only one in the Akha village who is fortunate enough to get an education. But young love intervenes and her path is changed. She is forced to give up her daughter but fortunate enough to be able to leave her at the city's orphanage.
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Cheri
Aug 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
!! NOW AVAILABLE !!

I’d only read one book by Lisa See before Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. I enjoyed it very much, so I was more than pleased to have the opportunity to read her latest - The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane!

Li-Yan and her family are Akha, an indigenous hill tribe who live in the higher elevations; they are classified by the Chinese government as part of the Hani. The Hani are “an official minority.” The Akha culture is one with much respect for those with age and experience. The
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Jaline
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This epic family saga begins in the high mountains of China where wild tea trees grow some of the most sought-after tea in the world. The people are known as the Akha people, one of 55 minority groups in a country whose majority group is called Han.

With her renowned attention to detail and copious research, Lisa See has created a story that is as broad and sweeping as China itself yet her characters are formed like the most delicately detailed paintings and the story itself flows like skillfully
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Karen
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it


I really enjoyed this story of Li-yan, born in a remote Yunnan village in China, of the minority Akha people.
Rare tea is made from the trees here, and we learn so much about tea making, Chinese customs and beliefs, and life in a small village.
Li-yan has a child very young, and she has a tough journey, but this shows the resilience of her people and this is a heartfelt story.
This is my first novel by Lisa See and I really enjoyed it!

Thank you to NetGalley, Simon and Schuster, and the author Lisa
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Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was way out of my genre and I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. It was so beautifully written and I got to experience a Lisa See book. It was a wonderful experience. This is a historical fiction book of the culture of China. I got to learn a lot about their beliefs and superstitions. When I saw the title of the book I was attracted to it since when I was younger I lived on a street called Hummingbird Lane.

The story starts out about a young girl named Li-Yan who starts a relationshi
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Lindsay - Traveling Sister
4 stars! Wow – did I ever learn a lot about tea and the Chinese Akha culture!

I always love learning new things while reading and this book definitely educates the reader on the history, production and manufacturing, marketing and selling of tea as well as the drinking, enjoyment and health benefits. I am a tea drinker myself (I’m actually drinking tea while writing this review!), so I enjoyed learning about everything involved in the tea business, however, I did find it a bit overwhelming at ti
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Diane S ☔
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 Once again Lisa See brings to her readers a different culture, the Akha, seeped in their own beliefs and superstitions. A culture that is immersed in the picking and cultivating tea leaves, though many barely make a living from this practice, having a hard time feeding their families. Li-Yan is a young girl in the village, her mother has prominence of a midwife and hopes that some day Li-Yan will take her place. She also has a secret and rather strange inheritance to pass on, which will figu ...more
PorshaJo
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Now *this* is why I love to read Lisa See's books. It transports me to this other time, other location, and just immerses me into the culture I know nothing about. I'll be honest, I did not care for her last two books, but this one just takes me back to her earlier books. Where See excels, is in her storytelling of Chinese women, traditions, and history. You often hear of such tragedies that people suffer, but how they pull themselves up, and prosper. And this book is a perfect example of all of ...more
Suzanne Leopold
Dec 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book follows the life of Li-yan who is a member of the Akha hill tribe in China. Her family, along with a large majority of the tribe, makes a living growing and harvesting tea. The tribe has some very strict practices and rituals based on superstition. Twin births are considered defects and classified as human rejects. Custom requires that they be killed by their father and the parents banished from the community.

Li-yan falls in love with a boy in the village named San-pa. The family does
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Linda
Apr 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This Lisa See fan has awaited this book for three, long years. My expectations were "cautiously" optimistic, however.

I read her last five novels, with "Shanghai Girls" and the sequel "Dreams of Joy" being two of my all-time favorites. Her last book, "China Dolls," didn't quite live up to her previous ones in my eyes.

"The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane" begins in the latter part of the 20th Century in a remote village situated high in the mountains of China. It is home to the primitive Akha people
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DeB MaRtEnS
For me, this is Lisa See's best work to date. Before I began to read the novel itself, I read through the Acknowledgements because I was curious about the amount of and quality of research that the author did prior to writing her book, and the information I discovered greatly enhanced the quality of my enjoyment of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane.

The rare Pu'er tea and the unique customs of the Chinese hill tribe, the Akha people are central to this fascinating story, featuring the young Lin Y
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Bam
I am listening to Sarah Chang playing Sibelius's Violin Concerto in D Minor and enjoying a cup of tea while writing my review this evening. I have long been a tea lover (no coffee for me!) so on that subject, this book was utterly fascinating for me, being filled with all aspects of tea harvesting and processing but also with the poetry and philosophy of tea. My favorite quote:

"In drinking the best tea, you and I are having a conversation with the wind and the rain that the ancient Daoists had a
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Brenda - Traveling Sister
Mar 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
From reading other reviews for The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane I was intrigued by the tea in this story as tea is my choice of beverage while reading. It used to be wine but I read too much for that.

I loved the quiet time reading and drinking my tea with this remarkable and intriguing book that drew me into a fascinating world of pu’er tea and culture. I partially listened to the audiobook and found it a good one to listen to as well.

The story is mostly told by only daughter Li-Yan called gir
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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Mar 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
4.5 stars. Wow. This book. I was quickly reminded of why I studied anthropology in undergrad. Culture. This book was filled with Ahka culture: the spirituality, the superstitions, the food, the work, the daily life, and the tea. The Ahka are an ethnic minority group living in a mountainous region of China famous for its ancient tea trees. We watch Li-yan grow up in this culture, where she is going to be a "first woman," and eventually get a formal education; until all that changes when she becom ...more
Holly  B
3.5 Stars

Buddy read with Tessa!

I just loved the first half of this book. I learned about the Akha tribe and China. I especially enjoyed the character of Li-Yan and how she was able to escape the backwards beliefs of her family.

She becomes pregnant and her life takes a different path. There are some suspenseful moments and intrigue, but I struggled with the second half of the book. It is well researched and explores adoption, but the extensive information on tea and her daughters schooling ende
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Margitte
This is a go big, or go home kind of book. Targeting a global village of readers from different walks of life. Reading this book is not only a story, it is a journey through history, into a documentary field and finally lying down in a political hotbed. Now, add a strong mother-daughter bond, with a mother tree into the mix, and you have the whole picture.

There are three main themes in the book:

1) The introduction of the Akha People from the Yunnan Province in the southwest of China, bordering L
...more
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people interested in China, people who love tea
Recommended to Evelina | AvalinahsBooks by: Goodreads newsletter!
The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane sounds like just another pretty name, when you first spot it. It brings promise, as does the author's well-known name, Lisa See. A promise of secrets, twilight and fantastic cultures it might take you too.

I'm going to tell you that it delivers. Brace yourselves for this book.

Read full review here on my blog. Includes pics and links to buy.

First of all, this is probably the first book about China that has not given me nightmares or made me feel like I don't ever w
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Stephanie Anze
Lin-yan is from a remote village in the Yunan province of China and also part of the Akha people. Her family are tea leaf harvesters, its how they earn their living, a very modest one. Lin-yan, however, is one of the few in her village that can aspire to higher education, which is an unusual route for a girl. When a foreigner visits her village inquiring about their tea, it sets off a series of events that will have a marked effect on Lin-yan's life.

Lisa See is not a new author for me. Having re
...more
☮Karen
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

Lisa See has made me very happy. She can always be trusted to provide historical pieces that both entertain and inform the reader. So even though the only tea I care to drink is Arizona Zero Calorie Green with Ginseng, I now know more about making tea in China than I could ever imagine, and I loved reading about the ancient customs and superstitions of the mountain people known as the Akha. Li-Yan's Akha family spent their lives selling tea, her mother also using it for medicinal purpos
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Marilyn C.
Apr 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017

5 Stars for Outstanding Writing and Character Development
3 Stars for Storyline

Lisa See became a favorite author of mine when I read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan many years ago. See writes stories that pull the reader into the Chinese culture, and has you come away feeling like you have learned something about their beliefs and customs. She develops her characters in such a way that you feel a connection to them, even though many of them don't even exist in your era.

The Tea Girl of Hummingbi
...more
Jennifer
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-books
This book started off very slowly for me. I nearly gave up before I was 10% of the way done with the book (I went back to look at reviews from trusted friends to determine whether or not to keep going). Thankfully I made it over the hump and continued, because if I gave up it would have been my loss.

Lisa See once again beautifully describes the life of Li-yan, a young girl who is part of an enthnic minority in China known as the Akha. Li-yan's community makes their livlihood primarily by picking
...more
Karen
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Rich in tradition and culture, this is an engaging story about mothers and daughters navigating through a changing world and the bridging of East and West. I enjoyed this book almost as much as my favorite See book, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.

See’s research of the Akha tribal people is impressive. I was fascinated by the culture and lifestyle of these remote ‘hill’ people who believes that every living thing has a spirit. I was appalled by some of the cruel traditions they’d adopted, like t
...more
Sharon Metcalf
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars
Spanning almost three decades from 1988 to 2016 The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See was a truly lovely novel and one I'm tremendously pleased to have finally read.    In her Acknowlegements she stated " Every detail matters to me, and I try to be as accurate as possible."    This much I had already figured for myself but seeing her extensive list of resources and huge number of contacts really drove that point home.      As I write this review and think back over what I've read
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Karen
I received this ARC from netgalley.com in exchange for a review.

Another great novel by Lisa See. The book starts out in the late 1980's but it feels more like the 1880's. Li-Yan grows up in a remote mountain village where picking tea, homeopathic remedies and superstition is the only way of life. At 16 and unmarried, she has a baby and surrenders the child to an adoption center which sends her daughter to America for adoption.

Li-Yan is fortunate and able to attend school where she goes on to s
...more
Diana
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book made me wish I liked tea. It is rich in Chinese history as well as the tea making process, history of tea, tea facts, etc. Some of the history involving the Ahka tribe customs is shocking.

The story spans nearly 30 years following Li-yan through her fascinating life. It explores culture, tradition and the bonds of family, particularly between mothers and daughters.

This was my first Lisa See book and now I see why she is a favorite of many. She has an ability to draw us into her story
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Lori
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lisa See does it again with this very well crafted novel. I appreciate the amount of research that had to have gone into the writing of this. Enjoyed learning about the complexities of tea and its history, though, it did seem to drag on a bit. I kind of wish that the story had stayed more in China and not ventured into the US as much as it did. Still very educational & entertaining. 4 stars.
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41,968 followers
Lisa See is a Chinese-American author. Her books include Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (2005), Dragon Bones, and On Gold Mountain. She was named the 2001 National Woman of the Year, by the Organization of Chinese American Women. She lives in Los Angeles.

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“No coincidence, no story.” 12 likes
“Tea reminds us to slow down and escape the pressures of modern life,” he says” 8 likes
More quotes…