Book Corner 2020.27


The Tea girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

It was grating, then kind of funny, the way things were always spelled out. For example, it’s really handy when a part of a culture’s traditions includes reciting exactly what that culture’s traditions are, as they perform the traditions, don’t you think? I also appreciated letters and therapy transcripts stating exactly what characters were feeling.

So, it’s OK that it’s not meant to be great literature – I accept that. What really kept the book from elevating, for me, was the number of wacky tangents. All of the following are spoilers.

She’s into education, she’s going to pursue higher schooling, that will be her way out – no, wait, she got distracted becoming a tea expert; the education thing is not happening anymore.

She’s in love, her lover goes away to earn money then returns for her – they can start their life together, though it will be hard – no, wait, that’s not happening, he’s a drug addict.

She’ll leave him and deal with the consequences of being a woman who left her husband – oh way, he just got killed by a tiger!

She goes out into the world and becomes a successful, independent businesswoman – oh wait, now she’s the pampered wife a gazillionaire.

And to tie it all up, the adopted child – birth mother reunion thread. Their paths finally manage to meet up in China. And everything is beautiful and magical and right, because that’s exactly how adopted child – birth mother search & reunion stories always turn out in life, aren’t they? ( )

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