The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Sara See released this march 21 is like a very good cup of tea: intense, vibrant, low, delicate, calm, refreshing and precious.
When you drink tea you take your time for absorbing the moment, isn't it true?
Cuddled by a warm sensation and a moment suspended by the time.
You don't rush, you enjoy to taste the intensity of tea, its warm, its delicacy.
Drinking tea is a ritual in slow motion for loving yourself.
A moment dedicated only to you.
Tea is a philosophy of life.
I am a tea lover and I lived reading The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane like this.
I can compare this book at the best cup of tea I have ever drunk.
The book has its own times, narration is quiet, meditative, sweet, peaceful, absorbing, wise, tender.
This wonderful book written by Sara See follows in the narration the times of tea and the times of a different philosophy and religion explaining to us the importance of tea for the East part of the world and what it means to them this commerce.
Lisa See is enchantingly poetic in describing the microcosm and little society of Akha like also all their traditions, most of them ancestral, old like the Time and the World and her writing-style is captivating from the first words.
The narration of the book is in first person and they're the words of Li-yan, the daughter of a-ma and a-ba to resonate.
Her mom very considerate in the tribe, a woman magical for many ways.
She knows the old traditions and sacred guidelines of her tribe.
Li-yan grows up more modern and rebel and in a society in evolution falling in love with a guy called San-pa that for magical reasons not at all good for her.
It was intriguing and captivating to learn which were the most profound animistic traditions of Akha.
They believed in them keeping the society very united. Each person had his/her own place in that specific land and tribe.
Many rituals, from birth to departure passing through acts of purification described with great intensity and penetration giving to the reader the exact mirror of the mentality of that wonderful people and creating so a big impact to the narration of the book, dense and felt from the beginning to the end.
Nature, magic, work, descriptions are poetic and together create a spectacular masterpiece.
The reader is transported in distant lands with great poetry and for some while our dimension will be forgotten, falling in a complete different atmosphere for mentality and spirituality.
You will stay relaxed while you will read this book because this book is a book of hope, a book of traditions, a book of strength and sacrifices of women. A book of past, present, memories, new beginnings. And a book with a different time. More absorbing.
You will notice a complete different writing-style only when the narration will involve the USA. Quick, modern.
The story of this society will change with the arrival of Mr Huang - the story starts in 1988 - the new arrival in this closed society in search for great tea.
The protagonist is intelligent and she decide to study and to become someone but then it happens the unplanned...
She becomes pregnant and helped by her mom she decides to bring the baby in an orphanage to Menghai, China.
In opposite case according to a very old tradition the baby couldn't survive.
Her big love, San-pa is back but he has a frail character and happiness maybe is still distant for this girl, considering that she discover her husband brought her in a place insecure, with drug traffickers and a commerce of opium and heroin.
She run away. She run away from San-pa, her first love, she run away for being free. Back home she will discover that she can become who she wanted to become before the arrival of her baby, and before her wedding with San-pa.
At the same time the little baby adopted a Californian family living in Los Angeles. Although Dan and Constance are growing up Haley very well, Haley will search for her mom...
The end of this book is touching.
You will discover reading this book how precious is tea and how important it is to give great quality tea to tea drinkers. It is an ethical story.
You will learn everything about tea and its commerce, like also about humanity and changes caused by the arrival of the so-called progress in the remote village where the protagonist of the book live, with, of course, modernity able to replace religion, old habits and rituals.
Another big thematic is the search for the past, because past unforgettable. A baby is too precious for not thinking of it.
Highly recommended! for sure.
I thank NetGalley and Scribner for this book.
Anna Maria Polidori