First Chapters First Paragraph Tuesday Intros is hosted by (Diane) Bibliophile by the Sea. Every Tuesday Diane shares the first paragraph, maybe two, of a book that she is reading or planning to read soon. Feel free to participate.
This week I will be introducing the first chapters and paragraphs of my current read
The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane
A Dog on the Roof
“No coincidence, no story.” My a –ma recites and that seems to settle everything as it usually does, after First brother finishes telling us about the dream he had last night. I don’t know how many times my mother has used this praising aphorism during the ten years I’ve been on this earth. I also feel as though I’ve heard versions of First Brother’s dream many times. A poor farmers carries freshly picked turnips to the market town to barter for salt. He takes a misstep and tumbles down a cliff. This could have ended in a “terrible death” far from home – the worst lands in the camp of a wealthy salt seller. The salt seller brews tea, the two men start talking, and…. The coincidence could have been anything: the salt seller will now marry the father’s daughter or the farmer’s fall protected him from being washed away in a flood, this time, the farmer was able to trade with the salt seller without having to walk all the way to market town.
About the book – Good reads
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.