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Die Teemeisterin

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3.49  ·  Rating details ·  2,968 Ratings  ·  419 Reviews
Auf der Flucht vor ihrem Onkel, einem fanatischen Missionar, irrt die kleine Aurelia durch die Straßen von Miyako – bis sie Schutz findet im Haus des mächtigsten Teemeisters der Stadt. Er nimmt Aurelia auf, als Dienerin für seine Tochter Yukako. Bald schon unterweist Yukako sie heimlich im Teeweg und weckt damit den Zorn ihres Vaters, denn diese Kunst ist im Japan der 1870 ...more
Hardcover, 570 pages
Published 2008 by Blessing (first published January 1st 2000)
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Elizabeth
Dec 17, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007, novels
This novel -- about Japanese tea ceremony -- was full of promise as a light, quick plane read, but man, did it not deliver. Two weeks later I was still mired in it. I think it needed a good editor to trim it down by about 100 pages. It was way too long and covered, in my opinion, way too much time. I'd definitely give it an "A" for research and historical details, but the grades go down when it comes to plot, character development and plausibility.

Tocotin
Oh, I have no luck with my reads recently. This one is a strangely unpleasant book, whose sycophantic nature is symbolized by the main character's life story.

The character, a French/American girl named Aurelie, wants the readers to believe that she's had a miserable childhood. Born in 1857, she's never known her father, and her mother was taken in by her priest brother (Aurelie's uncle), and placed in a New York school run by nuns, as a servant. The mother despises the nuns and laughs at her bro
...more
Sandra
Jul 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lushly written story. Reading reviews of people saying this book was "about Japanese tea ceremony" makes me scratch my head in wonder at what they must miss on a daily basis. The changing tea ceremony - a truly unique art form - is symbolic of the westernization of Japan as it approached the turn of the 19th century. An ancient and civilized society losing ground against the encroaching west is the larger story. The smaller stories are all beautifully drawn, the tale of the little Parisienne w ...more
Ann
Jan 12, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and find the complaints about it silly. Yes it is long and detailed. But that was the beauty of it. Until the 1850's, Japan was a closed society and few foreigners were allowed to enter. When Aurelia is found by the Shin family, they can't even identify her and don't know how to classify her. So they make her a maid and sometimes treat her as a member of the family.

Many years ago, I went to an exhibit of Yokohama wood-block prints from that era. Foreigners were dra
...more
Leya
Feb 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What I can say after such a blurb? Well, let's see...It's wonderful novel, the story is beautiful and compelling, the history is interesting and thought provoking, and I have incredible desire to learn more about a culture and nation that never really interested me much before. It's not my first time reading a novel set in Japan, I read Memoirs of a Geisha, but this book really brings the culture to light in my opinion. It makes me want to learn more and to experience the tea ceremonies.

I loved
...more
Peter
Feb 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lush and surprising look inside the world of a Japanese tea house at a time when the West was inching it's way into Japan, The Teahouse Fire is rich in historical notes but burns brightly with a story that will keep you engaged. As the main character begins to unravel the mysteries of the Japanese language around her, so too she begins to see into a world that very few outsiders ever experience.

The difficult part for some may be keeping track of all of the Japanese names and their own stories
...more
Kristy Billuni
Here's a funny story about this book: it is long, and I am a slow reader. I had checked it out of the library, and when the due date approached, renewed it online. I do this a lot, but with this book, it happened three times.

And that’s how I learned that after three checkouts, the library requires you to return a book to let other people have a chance. I thought of defying this rule and refusing to return it, but in the end, I am a good library citizen. So I returned the book unfinished.

“Let me
...more
Kristen
Jul 28, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2008
Okay, so I am having a really hard time with this book. It's very well written, and you can tell that the author really put a lot of effort into researching this book. The detail is amazing!

However, the story is not drawing me in and I am find it boring over all. Which is a shame, because I thought it had a lot of potential to be a great read.

There seems to be more fact than story, and that would ordinarily be fine, except for the fact that I picked it up to read fiction and fall in love with
...more
Manik Sukoco
Jan 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I totally agree with Maxine Hong Kingston. "Delicious" is the only way to describe this book. The writing is elegant, the main character's voice is so believable (even though she is in an unbelievable situation), and the attention to detail regarding language, clothing, and food is stunning.
Memoirs of a Geisha and Tales of Murasaki, of course, are the pearls of this genre, but The Teahouse Fire offers a wonderful look at lives centered around the tea ceremony. The life is seen from a variety of
...more
Heather
Mar 22, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
I rarely don't finish a book. I really, really tried with this one, too. I gave it about 200 pages before I finally just had to give up. It was just so boring. I think the author really, really wanted to write a story about the Japanese tea ceremony and just had to throw together some story to wrap around it. The premise sounded interesting, but this book absolutely does not deliver. I wanted to like this book, I really did, but after all that I read, I found that I really just didn't care at al ...more
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The only writer ever to have received the American Library Association Stonewall Award for Fiction twice, Ellis Avery is the author of two novels, a memoir, and a book of poetry. Her novels, The Last Nude (Riverhead 2012) and The Teahouse Fire (Riverhead 2006) have also received Lambda, Ohioana, and Golden Crown awards, and her work has been translated into six languages. She teaches fiction writi ...more
More about Ellis Avery...