Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Book Review: The Color Of Tea

Author: Hannah Tunnicliffe
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Scribner

Macau: the bulbous nose of China, a peninsula and two islands strung together like a three-bead necklace. It was time to find a life for myself. To make something out of nothing. The end of hope and the beginning of it too. After moving with her husband to the tiny, bustling island of Macau, Grace Miller finds herself a stranger in a foreign land—a lone redhead towering above the crowd on the busy Chinese streets. As she is forced to confront the devastating news of her infertility, Grace’s marriage is fraying and her dreams of family have been shattered. She resolves to do something bold, something her impetuous mother would do, and she turns to what she loves: baking and the pleasure of afternoon tea.

Grace opens a café where she serves tea, coffee, and macarons—the delectable, delicate French cookies colored like precious stones—to the women of Macau. There, among fellow expatriates and locals alike, Grace carves out a new definition of home and family. But when her marriage reaches a crisis, secrets Grace thought she had buried long ago rise to the surface. Grace realizes it’s now or never to lay old ghosts to rest and to begin to trust herself. With each mug of coffee brewed, each cup of tea steeped and macaron baked, Grace comes to learn that strength can be gleaned from the unlikeliest of places.

A delicious, melt-in-your-mouth novel featuring the sweet pleasures of French pastries and the exotic scents and sights of China, The Color of Tea is a scrumptious story of love, friendship and renewal.

I am a sucker for books with food on the cover. This book honestly reeled me in with a solid and endearing story line about a woman who is looking for her place in the world and is trying to cope with life’s unsettling disappointments. I was thrilled to find out that within the story our main character, Grace Miller, opens a café called Lillian’s and there she hopes to make a name for herself within Macau. I love characters who pursue their utmost desires and dreams!!

This story pulled on my heartstrings big time. It made me laugh and cry all at the same time. This story is completely Grace’s, but she has the help of some amazing secondary characters. A writer who can make the reader appreciate even the smallest characters is getting their job done. There are in fact too many secondary characters for me to name, but they are the icing on top of the cake in this story. Even though I love and came to admire Grace, her story would still not be the same without characters like Rilla and Gigi, and it is safe to say that the book is enjoyable from reading about them alone.
Grace Miller is suffering from a lot of things at the beginning of the novel. Her marriage is struggling, she has been moved to China to follow her husband’s career, she wants to become a mother but her chances are not looking good, and on top of it all I believe that she was suffering from depression. For awhile I was beginning to wonder if she was ever going to be able to pull out of the funk that she was stuck in. Then came in her desire to make, serve, and sell the finest Parisian inspired macarons that Macau has ever seen. When Grace comes upon a closed down café for sale I knew that all her answer lay within those doors. I was praying so hard that she would open up the café and sell her beloved macrons.
Once Lillan’s was open it was like reading a whole different book and Grace’s loving and spontaneous came out as she met many new faces and shared her passion with the locals. Grace was new to the culture in Macau and therefore had to learn her way around and how things were done just like someone who moves to a new school. It was interesting to watch her transformation from a wilting flower to a blossoming rosebud. At first I questioned if I was going to like her character but by the end of the book I was warming up to her more and more. I love seeing characters come through obstacles in their own lives and see how they adjust to all of the changes.
What a wonderful book full of sugar, tears, smiles, and plenty of macarons. Grace writes letters to her mother throughout the entire book, that are very heartfelt and really allows you to get inside of Grace’s mind. I love added touches like that from authors. Grace is given a new hope when the doors of Lillian’s open and the transformation of her married as well as social life is something that I would not want to miss.
***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Scribner for an honest review***

1 comment:

  1. I won a copy of this in a giveaway recently and can't wait to read it. Thanks for the great review!