The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

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Simon and Schuster, Mar 21, 2017 - Fiction - 384 pages
9 Reviews
A thrilling new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa See explores the lives of a Chinese mother and her daughter who has been adopted by an American couple.

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 city.

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 generations.

A powerful story about a family, separated by circumstances, culture, and distance, Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane paints an unforgettable portrait of a little known region and its people and celebrates the bond that connects mothers and daughters.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Unreachableshelf - LibraryThing

Vivid descriptions and complex plotting. My only slight complaint is that some of the Haley sections seem slightly didactic, as if they're lectures on the difficulties faced by Chinese adoptees in America. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lauriebrown54 - LibraryThing

Li-yan and Haley live very different lives. Although both are of the Akha people, they are a generation apart: Li-yan is Haley’s mother, although they have been separated since Haley was a few days ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
19
Section 3
35
Section 4
57
Section 5
75
Section 6
89
Section 7
109
Section 8
131
Section 12
195
Section 13
215
Section 14
239
Section 15
255
Section 16
287
Section 17
317
Section 18
335
Section 19
345

Section 9
145
Section 10
165
Section 11
181
Section 20
365
Section 21
371
Copyright

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About the author (2017)

Lisa See is the New York Times bestselling author of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love, Shanghai Girls, China Dolls, and Dreams of Joy, which debuted at #1. She is also the author of On Gold Mountain, which tells the story of her Chinese American family’s settlement in Los Angeles. See was honored as National Woman of the Year by the Organization of Chinese American Women in 2001 and was the recipient of the Chinese American Museum’s History Makers Award in fall 2003.

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