Book Cafe

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  Our next book is The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See. It is a moving novel about tradition, tea farming, and the bonds between mothers and daughters.

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.
 
Books we have read:

 The Lost Choice by Andy Andrews

The First Phone Call From Heaven by Mitch Albom

The All Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion by Fannie  Flagg

A Storm Came Up by Doug Segriest

Innocense Lost by Beth Gregory

The Cathedral by the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones

Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen by Susan Greg Gilmore

The Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

The Left Overs by Tom Perrotta

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Little Bee by Chris Cleave

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Jabbok by the Right Rev. Kee Sloan

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr 

 Middlesex by Jeffrey  Eugenides

The Tilted World  by  Beth Ann Fennelly and Tom Franklin 

In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume 

The Secret History  by Donna Tartt

The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende

Sunday Dinner by Ann Boult Walling

Swaying in the Treetops by Scott and Katherine Rosenow.

 Be Frank With Me by 

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

15 Dogs by Andre Alexis

The Whole Town is Talking  by Fannie Flagg

The Advocate  by Randy Singer

Where the Light Gets in: Losing My Mother Only to Find Her Again by Kimberly Williams-Paisley

A Little Magic by Billy Coffee

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Sing, Unburied, Sing  by Jesmyn Ward

 The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea

Winter Garden by Kristen Hannah

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson

 Out of Darkness Shining Light by Patina Gappah

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan

The Beach House by Alice Munro