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The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane Audiobook

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

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Publisher's Summary

The thrilling new novel from number-one New York Times best-selling author Lisa See explores the lives of a Chinese mother and her daughter who has been abandoned and 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 audience. 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, The 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.

©2017 Lisa See (P)2017 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Through Ruthie Ann Miles's earnest narration, listeners are quickly drawn into a culturally complex and historically rich story...See's writing is evocative, with vivid imagery and a strong sense of place, and the cast serves to enhance her storytelling through spirited characterizations and a keen understanding of each person's relation to the overall work. Ideal for fans of historical fiction, coming-of-age tales, and tea." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (4236 )
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4.7 (3933 )
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  •  
    Lillian Rodriguez 04-02-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "loved it!"

    excellent story and narration of 2 young woman's lives, the best narration I've heard yet, makes story easy to follow, wonderful characters

    16 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann M Welker 04-04-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A beautiful story"

    Lisa See is such an amazing writer. She has a gift for taking her reader into the lives, minds and hearts of her characters. I thoroughly enjoyed this story, even doing some research into the Ahka people, pu-erh tea and tea cakes. I loved the main character and how her culture influenced her life even when she lived in the modern world. The ending was beautiful. I would highly recommend this book.

    21 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michal Scotsdale, AZ, United States 04-08-17
    Michal Scotsdale, AZ, United States 04-08-17 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    176
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    "Loved it!"
    Would you listen to The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane again? Why?

    I would! There is so much content in the book that I'm quite sure I missed some finer points.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the history of tea. My only wish was that Lisa should have made actual "tea" recommendations to accompany each section in the book. It would have been so amazing to be drinking a tea while reading different sections of the book.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Too many to mention.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The real history of tea!


    Any additional comments?

    This book lived up to my expectations. It is beautifully written, and I really cared for the characters. I was sad when I was done.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gayle 04-13-17
    Gayle 04-13-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Informative, Interesting, Intriguing"

    I learned a lot about the history of tea and the customs of this remote village. I was surprised that some of the customs were being practiced as recently as they were. I loved the story and the main character, Li-Yan. She was intelligent, dutifully paid for the mistakes she made. She persevered, remained true to her heritage. Loved the ending. Satisfying and not drawn out.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Smiroldo Corrales, NM 05-06-17
    Mary Smiroldo Corrales, NM 05-06-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Good overall, however!"

    I enjoyed this story, having lived in Shanghai for more than a year. The tea ceremonies were authentic, and I learned things about the tea industry that I was unaware of. My only problem, and it was a big one for me, was the voice of the young girl. We are introduced to Haley really at birth. Her speaking parts begin as a young child. Even at eight years old, she was sounding more like a five year old! Also, anyone who has spent time with young children realizes that their thought processes are rarely, if ever, as sophisticated as Haley's. I am specifically referring to the therapy session when it appears she more the "therapist" than the therapist!! What really became annoying to me was that she maintained this five year old voice throughout the remainder of the book, going into her mid twenties! My husband came in while I was listening to one of her dialogues and asked if she was a two year old!! By the end of the book, I was more than ready for it to be over. This was very unfortunate since I am a big Lisa See fan, and have always enjoyed her other narrators. Usually there is a perfect Chinese speaker who carries off the story beautifully. Not this time.

    18 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SUSAN 04-12-17
    SUSAN 04-12-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish. The story was great and the readers were excellent

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Natalie 04-07-17
    Natalie 04-07-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Best story this year"

    Enchanting and mesmerizing the story of a tribe connected to their land and harvesting tea and a baby given up for adoption. A baby growing up in America always searching for her biological mother grows to become interested in tea and the enfolding conclusion is both gratifying and complete.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    g Los Angeles, CA, United States 04-22-17
    g Los Angeles, CA, United States 04-22-17 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Beginning, Tepid Ending"

    Lisa See stories, while entertaining, always educates and inspires me to learn more the culture and subject that she writes about. I have enjoyed at least five of her books, but this one fell a little short in one aspect and that is the abrupt and somewhat contrived ending. For such a well woven and intriguing beginning and development, the interaction of the characters and the plot in the last third of the novel were executed dispassionately, like a outline of story she would have liked to present, but she ran out of time or interest. The narrator for the primary character, Li-yan was excellent but I found the narration for her daughter, Haley was a bit to overly juvenile once Haley became an adult. Although I made these criticism, I still found this story well worth the credit because of this unique subject and insights to a segment of Chinese cultural society that most of us are unfamiliar with. Lisa See never fails to entertain, inspire and reveal a little more of the world to us with her novels. I anxious await her next book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ROBIN 04-10-17
    ROBIN 04-10-17 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "***EXCELLENT*** Six stars if I could !!"

    This book is far from what normally listen to, and in the beginning (based on some disturbing facts) I wasn't sure I could listen. But I was instantly hooked on the story, and especially the characters. The narration was perfect, and I can't remember ever feeling such a sense of loss when a book ended, just because I didn't (don't) want the story to end. I HIGHLY recommend this one.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. S. Bandich So. Calif. 03-28-17
    J. S. Bandich So. Calif. 03-28-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Rich Cultural and Family Heritage with Tea"

    I have read all of Lisa See's books and each one is better than the last. This book integrates so much of historical and contemporary China, focusing on the not-Han population and Tea, as well as issues, such as thousands of girls adopted by families in other countries. Characters are memorable and readers were excellent!

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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