The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

51eflmxvcJLI’m a big fan of Lisa See. If you have not read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan or Peony in Love, you should. See’s The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane had a slow start, but once it got going, it was a compelling read that moved quickly. The book tells the story of Li-yan, of the Akha hill tribe, who grows and harvests tea. Li-yan, unlike most girls in her primitive community, goes to school and ends up learning all about tea at university and creating a successful business in tea exporting. Before university, she has a failed marriage and a daughter that she gives up for adoption. The daughter, renamed Haley, is raised by an American couple. As a teenager, Haley searches for her birth parents. At the same time, Li-yan searches for her. While I liked this book a lot, the ending came too quickly after a great deal of lead-up. It could have been elongated and it would have been more satisfying. Overall, however, this was a very good read, and, an interesting glimpse into the tea industry as well.

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