Book Review: The Tea Girl Of Hummingbird Lane

My thoughts on the book, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, written by author, Lisa See.

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I love to read and have loved reading my whole life.  Sadly over the last few years I haven’t read as much as I used to because honestly, TV and the online world have taken up too much space in my life.  So last summer while on holidays, with no internet, and no TV, all there was to do was read, and it was glorious!  I read 6 books over the course of 10 days!  After that time away, I made it a goal of mine to get back to reading at least one book a month.  That may not sound like a lot, but with the busyness of every day life, it can feel like it is, especially when you can’t find a good book.  But when I find a book that I cannot put down I’m thrilled, and it inspires me to read more and more and more.

My Review:  A Definite Must Read

Recently I found such a book, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, by author Lisa See.  One chapter in, and I was hooked. It’s the kind of book that you read every chance you get…in the waiting room at appointments, in between kid pick up times, and at night when you hide in your bedroom just to squeeze one more chapter in before bed time.  I love books like that.  I was mesmerized by the story of Li-yan, a member of the Akha tribe, who grew up in the remote Yunnan village of China, with her family of tea pickers.

One of the most interesting aspects of this book for me, was the constant feeling that I was reading a story from a time long ago, when in fact it is a fairly modern story, based during the years of 1988 to 2016.  But because the Akha live in such a remote region of China, their way of life was very rugged and untouched by the modern world, with no electricity, running water, modern housing or any modern amenities.

The story follows Li-yan through her young life as she faces some heartbreaking challenges.  Li-yan falls in love with a young man from a neighbouring village and becomes pregnant with his child out of wedlock.  According to Akha law, a child born outside of marriage is considered to be a ‘human reject’ and must be sacrificed for the well being of the village, but Li-yan and her A-ma cannot bear the thought, so they secretly whisk the baby away to an orphanage in a nearby city.  Heartbroken and unable to return to her home, Li-yan leaves her village life and moves away to city life to complete her education.  Meanwhile her child, a daughter named Haley, is adopted by a loving family in California.  The storyline then weaves between the two separate lives of Li-yan and her daughter.

I was mesmerized by the resilience of Li-yan and I followed along on her journey turning page after page to find out how things turn out for her and her daughter as they live their lives in separate cultures.  I ached for Li-yan as she wondered about where her child was.  I rooted for her tenacious and modern spirit.  I cried with her.  I mourned with her.  This book will stay with me for quite some time.

I also really love when I can leave a book having learned something, which I did from this book.  I can hardly wait to read more of Lisa See’s work.

The only complaint I have about this book is that I wanted more…I felt that the last few chapters were a bit rushed, and they left me wanting to know more.  But I also think this feeling is a sign of a good book…wanting more is a good thing.

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

Want to see more thoughts on The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane?  Read these blogger reviews:

Where to Buy the Book:

You can purchase this book in bookstores or online on Amazon.com or Chapters Indigo (these are affiliate links).

Happy Reading!

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for sending me this book for review!  All thoughts, opinions and ideas about this book review are 100% mine.

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