The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane


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.

I found this book when looking for books on Pu’er Tea. And I am so glad I did! Everything I wanted to know about the tea, the locale, all the hows and whys and when s of Pu’er Tea I learned.

And the most wonderful part was that it came in an elegant story that at once broke my heart and made me laugh all the way to the end.

Li-yan knows she is different from the people in her village. She longs to go to school and leave this place and it’s superstitions. Li-yan is a very smart girl. Not just education smart, but she just knows things.

As we follow her through her first love, her acceptance into a city school, and her sorrow over the baby girl she will never forget. She misses her village but at the same time is happy with her life running a tea shop and making her own way. And this time when love comes to call, she is ready.

I had no idea what would happen next, but I can say this is one of the most beautifully written novels I have ever read.

Thank you Ms. See and I hope to see much more of you!

xx Books,Books and More Books     Patricia


  1. This sounds like a wonderful read, and the cover is beautiful. I had my first Pu’er Tea last year when a friend returned from touring China. I loved learning about the region, the people, and the teas. Thanks so much for introducing me to this book. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

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