The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See
A powerful story woven around the Akha people, a Chinese ethnic minority, their culture and customs, the developing market of rare teas, and the adoption of children from China by Americans.
The story of Li-yan's life as a girl, her ambitions always surrounded by the religious and cultural mores of her Yunnan village is amazing. When she falls pregnant she gives birth in secret and leaves her child at an orphanage, wrapped in a blanket with only a tea cake from the secret female family tea grove. From there the story of her daughter Haley continues. However we constantly come back to Li-Yan's journey...and tea.
Haley is adopted by a Californian couple and her story here is filled with coincidences that verge on the mystical, especially as she pursues her chosen career.
I was engrossed in all that happened to Li-Yan and those of her village. Tea is a central motif, othe cross roads that brings things to a head, opens up new challenges, endangers family secrets, and brings birth mother and daughter together.
An amazing and engrossing story that gives light to a little known people, and life to a story that will endure.
One of my best reads for 2017 thus far.
A NetGalley ARC