Title: The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane
Author: Lisa See
Publish Date: March 21, 2017
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "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
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
My Two Cents:
"The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane" is yet another good one by Lisa See. I loved this book so much! See has a great way of making people and situations that may seem unfamiliar to readers accessible to them. Li-yan's family has been in the tea business for ages and it is what they dedicate so much of their time towards. Li-yan dreams of breaking away but isn't sure how to do it until she finds herself pregnant out of wedlock. This will open many new doors and close many others for Li-yan, a character that you will fall in love with.
As with Lisa See's other books, the detail in this book is great. Aside from the characters and their drama, See introduces us to the tea making and drinking business. Li-yan's family is beholden to the businessman that comes to get tea specifically from their mountain. He can provide them with riches but must always be obeyed. I learned so much about the tea business and while I love drinking tea, I can't say that I had ever given much thought to the business before.
I loved the characters in this book, especially our main character Li-Yan. Smart and resourceful, she never gives up. I loved following her through this book through all of her triumphs and tribulations. I don't want to give anything away but this book also had one of the most moving endings that I have read in awhile.