Well hello there. How are you? I am so excited today. I want to talk to you guys about this absolutely fab book that I just read. The name of the book is “The tea girl of hummingbird lane”, and it was recommended to me by my friend and partner in crime when it comes to books (thank you April). This book has been on my to-read list for like two months but I’ve been busy with other books so I couldn’t get to it sooner.
Now, it is common knowledge (or it should be) that tea (all types of tea be it green, yellow or whatnot) originated from China. The “tea girl” in the book is Li-yan, she is the protagonist, and her story is a very emotional one. She grew up in the very remote village of Akha. Her family was very poor and they sold tea to survive. She was a brilliant girl and was the first in her village to go further in her studies. Although she did not reach university level, she stopped somewhere in high school because she was expected to get married. Her choice for marriage was rejected because they were deemed incompatible by her parents since she was born on pig day and him on tiger day and tigers eat pigs ergo the Union wouldn’t last long. She gave up her baby girl at the tender age of sixteen because the child was a “reject” since the father was absent. She was meant to kill the girl child but when the child was born, she was unable to do it and so was her mother who helped her. This incident left a mark on her throughout her life because she always felt the loss of her child.
Things improved for her family when Pu’er, a vintage tea (basically aged tea) became sought after. Her family started to artificially age and ferment tea. Their life improved drastically. She moved away when she got married to the father of her child but the marriage didn’t work out. She then went to trade school (the first in her village) where she learned to type and other secretarial duties. She became involved in the tea business which did well for her, got married again and gave birth to another son.
Trust me, the summary I just gave about this book does the book no justice at all. It is a really emotional book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. One thing I learned about their culture which is different from mine is that sex before marriage is allowed and even encouraged because they want both parties to be satisfied with the “merchandise” before entering into marriage. However, the girl mustn’t get pregnant else she will be forced to marry the boy. There are still some similarities with the Akha culture and Nigerian culture, one of which is the killing of twins. Another is a misogynistic attitude. Women were not significant in any way. The smallest boy is more important than the oldest woman. Also, early marriage was practiced in both cultures. Thankfully, all these practices have been abolished in both cultures. This book is educational. It taught me a lot about Chinese culture. Lisa see is the author and she really did a phenomenal job.
Since we are on the topic guys check out my latest book review at https://forums.onlinebookclub.org/viewtopic.php?f=114&t=115943 or go to onlinebookclub.org and search for the fox by M.N.J. Butler. Till next time Guys. I have a full library to get to.