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The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane
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Archives > The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, by Lisa See

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Celia (cinbread19) | 358 comments read for week 40; published in 2017. Loved the book and Lisa See.


Marina H | 1315 comments The GR summary:

"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."


Marina H | 1315 comments This is my pick for week 3: a book from the 2017 Goodreads choice awards. It was nominated in the historical fiction category which is a favorite genre of mine and I have several of the nominees on my TBR.
I've been looking forward to read it because it's about a culture I don't think I've ever read about before. And there's something about the cover that just makes me want to read it.
The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See


Angela | 95 comments I also picked this for a 2017 Goodreads choice award book, and just finished it last night.

I love Lisa See's books, and this one did not disappoint! She has a great ability to paint vivid pictures of places I've never been and am able to imagine myself there. This was a particularly beautiful story. I found the last part (when it got a little scientific) to be out of place, but that only lasted a dozen or so pages, and then ending was sweet.


Marina H | 1315 comments I'm glad to hear, Angela. I haven't read anything by Lisa See before so I don't know what to expect but I've read several times that she's good a researching for her books.
I've only just started it but so far I'm liking it.


Marina H | 1315 comments I finished it last night. Over all I liked it but there were parts that I liked more than others. All the explaining about tea and especially the more scientific part of it was a bit too much.


message 7: by Di (new) - rated it 4 stars

Di | 10 comments China Dolls was so good! You should try that one!!


Marina H | 1315 comments Diana wrote: "China Dolls was so good! You should try that one!!"

I have that one on my wishlist on overdrive. Maybe I should squeeze it in soon :-)


message 9: by Tracy, Constellation Mod (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tracy (tracyisreading) | 2472 comments Mod
This was one of my favorite books last year, I thought learning about the culture was so interesting. I love Lisa See. If you haven't read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, I highly recommend it. I think its probably her best book, although I haven't read them all yet. She never disappoints me :-)


Pamela | 626 comments I read this for week 3: a book from the 2017 Goodreads choice awards.. I wasn't so keen to read it but my book group picked it so I gave it a chance and I LOVED it! I was driving down the street, listening, crying! Plus, I love tea so loved that aspect of the book. Clearly from what everyone said, I need to read her other books. And if this book was totally made up, the Ahka don't exist and everything she said was fake, don't tell me!

My only quibble is (view spoiler)


message 11: by Jennifer (last edited Jun 09, 2018 02:54PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jennifer (jennyftb) | 17 comments I read this in 2017 after we visited Kunming, Yunnan in 2016. The book holds a special place in my heart because like Haley, my daughter is originally from Yunnan (and Lisa See has been a favorite author since I read her On Gold Mountain: The One Hundred Year Odyssey of a Chinese American Family years ago). While in Kunming, we visited the Yunnan LuYu Tea Culture Exchange Center, an outreach of the Pu'er tea research program of Yunnan Agricultural University.


Pamela | 626 comments When I told my mom about this book she said "we've been to Kumming, it's so beautiful!"

How did this book effect you given your position in the story? I assume it's different from us who have no involvement in adoption.


message 13: by Jennifer (last edited Jun 21, 2018 01:25PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jennifer (jennyftb) | 17 comments Pamela wrote: "How did this book effect you given your position in the story? I assume it's different from us who have no i..."

When reading this book, my heart ached for Li-Yan when she discovered that her daughter was no longer in the care of the orphanage where she had left her, but was being raised by a family on the other side of the world. It is hard not to wonder if my daughters' birth mothers have suffered in a similar manner, and I feel great sorrow when I imagine these women in such a heartbreaking scenario. Finding birth parents in China is exceedingly rare, but through DNA matching is becoming increasingly possible if both birth parents and children wish to search. Both my children know that should they ever desire to search, I will support them 100% however I'm able. From the first moments of their adoptions, I have reassured them that it is completely possible and fine to love two mamas, because they have two mamas, the ones that gave them life, and the one who is raising them. "A child born to another woman calls me mom. The depth of the tragedy and the magnitude of the privilege are not lost on me." ~Jody Landers


message 14: by Anne (new)

Anne | 136 comments I am reading for week 31 the Italian Matchmaker by Santa Montefiore. She is an author I really like and Italy is place I would love to travel to The Italian Matchmaker by Santa Montefiore


Pamela | 626 comments Jennifer wrote: When reading this book, my heart ached for Li-Yan when she discovere..."

What a beautiful way to teach them! I do like how in this book she addressed the adoptive mother's feelings too


Anastasia (anastasiaharris) | 1305 comments I loved the connection from mother to daughter of the sacred tea tree. There was so much love and strength in these women.

I also appreciated the amount of history Lisa See shared about the area, tea and being a child adopted from China.


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