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All the Tea in China

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  746 ratings  ·  95 reviews
The good young Englishwoman knows that her destiny depends upon a good marriage match. But Isabella Goodrich is not your typical good young Englishwoman. After an encounter with those less fortunate than she, witty and fun-loving Isabella makes a shocking decision. Against everyone's advice and wishes, she is going to become a missionary in the Far East. Fighting against c ...more
Paperback, 349 pages
Published June 1st 2007 by Fleming H. Revell Company
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Sarah No, it appears to be a purely fictional character.

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3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  746 ratings  ·  95 reviews

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Sep 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of clean romance that isn't formulaic
Recommended to Werner by: My wife
When I saw this book at a yard sale last summer, the captivating picture of a sword-wielding lady on the cover, coupled with the knowledge that the book is a romance by an evangelical Christian author, convinced me that this read would be right up my wife's alley. I wasn't wrong; she was initially skeptical of the historical setting (being more into modern settings), but once she got into it, she "couldn't put it down." She in turn recommended it to me; and obviously my reaction was positive as ...more
Andrea Cox
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
by Andrea Renee Cox

What a story! All the Tea in China was a romp across the globe that took twists and turns I could never have seen coming. It will be difficult not to spoil anything for you, but I shall try. This was probably the best-done first-person POV book that I’ve ever read, though I did get annoyed at the occasional “dear” and “dear friend” comments directed at the reader. It was quite an enjoyable perspective, and I am eager to read another book by this author, who was new to me this
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Refreshingly unique! I really enjoyed how different this book was from others that I have read. The setting, plot twists, and especially the characters were a refreshing change. Phineas Snowe was definitely one of a kind and quite an intriguing character.
Apr 28, 2010 rated it did not like it
I read this book, funnily enough, in China. It definitely provided some entertainment and the story, at first, is fairly engaging. however, and its a big however, midway thru the story it gets to the point where all of a sudden the lead male is described as having weird slit eyes. Suddenly Oh No! We then discover, after reading about him for half the book, that he is half Chinese! As if no other English characters in the book, would have detected that, by looking at him at first sight. I laughed ...more
Victoria Bylin
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
This book has been on my list for a long time. I'm so glad I finally read it. My senior essay at UC Berkeley was about women in China in the 1920s. This story is set much earlier, but it has the atmosphere I was looking for. The story starts in Regency England, then moves to a sea voyage and finally China itself.

There's much to love here--witty writing, plot twists and turns, and a heroine with a very unique skill set. I enjoyed the story and am glad I read it.

Recommended for readers intereste
Orcutt shows some talent but she lays on the Jane Austin a little too heavily. Improbably shipboard actions, especially how our protagonist got shipboard. Would have to try a contemporary work before I could judge either way.

On the other hand, the tale itself is well thought out and engaging.
Dec 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the second time I've read the book, and it still greatly entertained me. It's definitely not one's average Regency romance, since it takes place primarily at sea on the voyage to China, and many of the popular social situations of the Regency era do not apply on an ocean voyage. Isabella is hardly the average Regency heroine, being not only scholarly but also athletically inclined, and actually desirous of marriage (whereas so many bluestocking spinsters tend to be in denial). For that m ...more
Jan 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a most unusual story, and could never be perceived as 'predictable' (something I hear readers complain about so often-and find the term rather annoying). At times I felt like I was living in Isabella's dream, because some of the paths she took seemed rather outrageous to me. However, I loved the dialog between characters and thought it to be a very cleverly written story with some laugh out loud moments. I was a little bit disappointed in the ending.... just fell a little flat to me.
Joy H.
Added 12/13/2009

1/16/2015 - I read a sample of this book at:

I read this book in January 2015. Enjoyed it a lot.
Jan 06, 2014 rated it liked it
This book was enjoyable! Fun and lighthearted, it sucked me in pretty quickly. The romance was fun and the characters' growth was fun to watch...but...

The reason for the 3 stars is that 1. Some of the characters' actions didn't seem super logical or fitting with their character (i.e. Phineas' whole story) and 2. The presentation of their Christian faith was SO weird. Phineas did not seem like a Christian at all until magically it is revealed he is. Why would a Christian pretend to be a missionar
May 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
I truly enjoyed reading this book upon having it recommended to me by a writer-friend of mine. Being that I write historical romance from first person point of view, I am always on the lookout for such books to read. I loved that it was written strictly from the point of view of the heroine, Isabella, and that the reader gets to know Phineas Snow right along with her.

For the first 75% of this book I was COMPLETELY in love with it. I loved the characters, the writing, the plot... but then the las
(Jen) The Artist Librarian
3 1/2 stars.

Saw this in my favorite used-book store and thought I'd give it a shot. So much potential in this novel! The main characters are likeable over time, though their Christian/spiritual maturity of was a bit lacking (and is a weak point of the novel). However, it is the unique plot that kept my interest. Also, having a [spoiler regarding Phineas] (view spoiler)
Aug 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really wanted to like this book because I loved the story premise, especially the setting in China! But for some reason, the hero's personality really rubbed me the wrong way.

The heroine is WONDERFUL--she's strong, feisty, a bit older than a typical Regency heroine, and a bluestocking. And I LOVE that she knows how to fence! How fantastic!

The writing itself was entertaining and witty, although I'm not a huge fan of first person point of view. She made the settings come alive, whether in Oxford
Heather Gilbert
Aug 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
I truly enjoyed this fast-paced read, esp. the British/Chinese setting--unusual for the CBA. I looked up Mrs. Orcutt, hoping to find more of her books, and was so saddened to learn she has died at a younger age. Truly, she used her talents for the Lord.
Nov 20, 2011 rated it liked it
I found All the Tea in China to be well written but a little boring. I also found the main character, Isabella, somewhat aggravating. For a woman of 26 she made a lot of naive decisions.
Jan 07, 2018 rated it liked it
I have to say that I picked up this book simply because I had finished all the others I had requested from the library and had received no new ones in this past week's delivery of holds.

It fit my historical Christian fiction interest, and the Regency era with China Missions interest, so I picked it up. I must say the first few chapters were almost frustrating. For all her spunk, and book learning, and her no longer secret vice of fencing, she came across as naive, superstitious and impulsive. I
A Busscher
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Typical Rom-com. There were some funny moments, but overall great skim read. I find it hard to believe that Isabella could make it on to the ship without 1)anything bad happening to her since she was unchaperoned, 2) could find the ship in port, 3) make it on the ship without a ticket, 4) stay on the ship (2x) and nobody noticed?! I don't think so. I get that she is stubborn, but on a ship filled with men, and they don't notice a single lady? It was interesting to read about the three-ish intere ...more
Jennifer Pryke
Jun 08, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was an excruciatingly slow start and didn't really speed up as it went along. There is a very fine line between a detailed description of events, and pointless minutiae. I feel like this book flirted heavily with that line and crossed it more times than necessary. There were some great lines in it though and it did manage to keep my interest and somehow captured my imagination. I had no problems putting it down and not picking it back up again for days. Did I enjoy it? Yes. Would I rec ...more
Nov 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
In this book, set in 1814 the main character, who is unmarried at age 25 and thus considered on the shelf decides that she is meant to be a missionary in China. She sneaks aboard a ship to join some missionaries going back to China. However, she soon learns that things are not as they seem. One begins to wonder what is the truth about the lead male character. However, it is an enjoyabe book and the first one by the author that I have read.
Aug 29, 2017 rated it did not like it
I always try to read AMWF novels when I can because I find them more relatable since I am a white woman engaged to an Asian man. I was intrigued because the male lead is half Asian and that is definitely less common. That said, I found the main character unbelievable and boring. I wanted to like the book but I just couldn't get into it. I have to say that this is one of the few that I have just given up on.
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this thoroughly unique perspective on a part of history that is new to me. Some of the actions of the female protagonist were a bit hard to believe, but overall, the story drew me in and held my attention beautifully.
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Glad to see that the main character, Isabella, actually uses her fencing skills. I did wonder about the people she left behind without a word of good bye in England. Do they ever learn what became of Isabella?
Brooke Barenfanger
A book by Jane Orcutt was a new experience for me. I was enchanted with the title and cover. The plot is about a woman named Isabella who follows a man who she believes is a missionary, only to discover that the man, Phineas Snowe, has deceived her. This novel put me in the mind of Pride and Prejudice and Around the World in 80 Days.

Isabella and Phineas have many witty conversations throughout the beginning of the novel. I found myself greatly amused by them, for more often than not the nature
I started this book without realizing that it had been poorly reviewed by a friend. Back when I originally read the review, I commented that it was definitely a book that I was going to skip. Unfortunately, a year later, I forgot my resolution and borrowed All the Tea in China from the library.

What to say... First of all, I was sucked into the story by page 50. It's an interesting premise - an "old maid" finds that she has the opportunity to travel to China and be a missionary to the "heathens."
Dana Kamstra
From page one, I was absolutely drawn in by the unique voice of an equally interesting character:

"I can abide neither a liar nor a cheat, but you may be wont to think me such whil I here relate my little tale. Were I not your humble narrator, even now I would scarce believe it anything but mere fiction. I take pen in resolute hand to assure you that what I am about to recount is trust, not the least of which involves heartbreak, joy, a Chinese translation of the Gospel according to St. Luke, and
Oct 07, 2014 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

All the Tea in China is a historical romance about Isabella Goodrich who believes herself called to the orient as a missionary. When Phineas Snowe, a missionary who is returning to China refuses to take her with him, she stows away on board ship in an attempt to get her way.

There were a lot of things I enjoyed about this book such as the conversations between the characters, the fact that Isabella is wicked at fencing and generally how the book progressed until I was three quarters of
Jul 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
I loved this story. I do question the ending. A wonderful story about a girl who is seeking a life's calling. She has no beau or husband, she is studied and skilled and doesn't suit her society of the day. Even though she is tricked and manipulated which causes her to seem to make a horrible mistake of leaving her home and boarding as a stow-away on a ship, God has His hand on her life all the time. A tale of love and honor, of commitment and compassion, Isabella is able to trust the Lord as her ...more
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
There were a few things that just didn't add up for me. Her belief that she was supposed to be a missionary in china didn't ring true to me. (view spoiler) ...more
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book took a minute to get used to. At first, the dashing hero wasn't dashing at all. But by the time you realize why, you've started to like him. I didn't like how the ending didn't really finish up. It seemed to wrap up everything rather quickly and we never heard about Isabella's family again, whether she contacted them, or what became of them. Other than the quick ending, it was an interesting story about a woman's adventures completely out of her elements. I also would have enjoyed more ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Nov 21, 2014 07:27AM  
¿Por qué no una traducción al Español? 1 1 Oct 22, 2014 01:49PM  
Translation into Spanish, why not? 1 1 Jul 01, 2014 06:56PM  

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Award-winning Christian author Jane Orcutt was born on January 25th, 1960, in Fort Worth, Texas.

Born with a serious heart defect, Jane faced surgeries and long recoveries from the age of five. But these solitary times only strengthened Jane’s love for reading, and her dream of one day becoming a writer.

Jane achieved that dream with style, not only as a popular Christian novelist with fourteen publ