The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

By Lisa See

  • Release Date: 2017-03-21
  • Genre: Fiction & Literature
Score: 4.5
From 176 Ratings
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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.


  • The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

    By Barbara Lee MS
    This story of an adopted girl, her adopted mother’s love for her, her birth mother’s longing for her and the emotional confusion of the child is a universal theme made All the more interesting by adding the international history, politics and culture of the people whose story is being told. Linda See is a gifted writer whose novels always are woven by a golden thread through out / from the first paragraph to the last page the reader is carried along by this golden thread woven by Lina See’s creative imagination. .
  • Sees best yet

    By Pculea
    Loved this book, and felt it is Lisa Sees best book yet. Which says a lot as I have loved all of her books. As others have said, I learned a lot about tea, but loved the insight into children adopted by families of different cultures.
  • Loved it

    By Desireefaithr
    From start to finish, I couldn't put the book down
  • Great insights, couldn't put it down

    By +ShumOne+
    This book is really a insightful look into a lot of things people might not normally empathize with. The plot is beautiful and well written. I loved it.
  • The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

    By Zumbafool
    I generally enjoy historical fiction and although this book is set in China (for the most part) during the past 30 years, because of the isolation and archaic customs of the ethnic minorities/hill tribes, this story had that same timeless feel to it. The reason this type of literature is of appeal is because I always learn something. Here I learned much about tea, it's harvesting and preparation, its scientific make-up and curative properties but I also learned about the particular challenges for international/inter-racial adoptees and their families. I also learned a lot about the ethnic peoples in China, their lifestyle and how much life has changed for them in the recent past. Lastly, I loved the emphasis on the different relationships between the characters: the mothers and daughters, the young lovers, even the nuances of the relationships between friends. It all felt realistic, the dialog, the fully developed characters (particularly as Haley aged), and the complexities of our relationships to those we are closest to. I would not describe this as a "light read" but I do highly recommend it.
  • Wonderful book!!

    By woodycreekgirl
    her best book yet. i loved it...
  • The girl and tea bag humming bird

    By Book rated
    It is horrible I do not recommend. :(