Every once in awhile there is some crossover in my love of tea and my love of books. This past week I finally read a book that has been in my stash for a long time. I had delayed reading it because I wanted to thoroughly enjoy it and sometimes I just have to carve out time when I have a book that I think might consume me.
The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane was just that book for me. I absolutely loved the writing, the story, and the characters. The entire book was such a wonderful experience for me and of course, it was about tea so that was the sugar in the cup, so to speak.
The story is a lovely story of family, mothers and daughters, tradition, culture and the changing world. The synopsis from Goodreads follows:
In their remote mountain village, Li-yan and her family align their lives around the seasons and the farming of tea. For the Akha people, ensconced in ritual and routine, life goes on as it has for generations—until a stranger appears at the village gate in a jeep, the first automobile any of the villagers has ever seen.
The stranger’s arrival marks the first entrance of the modern world in the lives of the Akha people. Slowly, Li-yan, one of the few educated girls on her mountain, begins to reject the customs that shaped her early life. When she has a baby out of wedlock—conceived with a man her parents consider a poor choice—she rejects the tradition that would compel her to give the child over to be killed, and instead leaves her, wrapped in a blanket with a tea cake tucked in its folds, near an orphanage in a nearby city.
As Li-yan comes into herself, leaving her insular village for an education, a business, and city life, her daughter, Haley, is raised in California by loving adoptive parents. Despite her privileged childhood, Haley wonders about her origins. Across the ocean Li-yan longs for her lost daughter. Over the course of years, each searches for meaning in the study of Pu’er, the tea that has shaped their family’s destiny for centuries.
A powerful story about circumstances, culture, and distance, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane paints an unforgettable portrait of a little known region and its people and celebrates the bond of family.
You can understand why I found this book so lovely. To celebrate finishing the book I brewed a pot of Pu-er tea which is the highly prized tea that Li-yan studied and learned to make over the years. The book details the history of this type of tea and I loved reading all of the information about it that the author included.
Sometimes my worlds collide and in this case I loved how both of my primary loves came together. The story of Pu-er tea is a really interesting one and this book really helped me to understand the importance of it.
Do you have a love of things where the two things have collided? I would love to hear about it in the comments section so please Comment for a Cause for Friends of DuPont Forest.