Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Review: The Color of Tea by Hannah Tunnicliffe

The Color of Tea by Hannah Tunnicliffe
Scribner
June 2012
Format: Paperback, 336 pages

First line: We arrived in Macau at the end of the Year of the Golden Pig.

From the back cover: 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 cafĂ© 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.

My thoughts:  This is Hannah Tunnicliffe's debut novel and I found it to be a very interesting, compelling tale. Grace's story moved me and I could immediately relate to her - perhaps that's why I had such a hard time putting this down - I had to see how things would turn out for her.

Grace has moved to the island of Macau for her husband's job but all is not well on the home front. Having tried unsuccessfully to start a family, Grace is given some devastating news and unable to deal, takes to sleeping all day and never leaving the apartment. Finally getting out, she decides to do something for herself - to start a cafe where she will combine her two loves - baking and tea. She decides to bake macarons and starts creating all different savoy combinations. Grace ends up needing some help for her shop and between that and her customers, she forges some new friendships - there's Rilla, Gigi, Marjory and Lok Yan - all wonderful characters in their own right.

I really liked how Hannah Tunnicliffe named each chapter after a macaron that Grace served at her cafe. I only wish that some of the delicious recipes were included. While baking a macaron does sound intimidating, I would love to give it a go. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and hope that it is not the last we have seen of Hannah Tunnicliffe! Have you read this one yet?

I received a complimentary copy of The Color of Tea by Hannah Tunnicliffe from Sophie at Scribner Publicity.

5 comments:

  1. Reviews have been all over the board on this book but you've got me wanting to read it. Great review!

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  2. Your review certainly makes me want to read this one!

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  3. I also enjoyed this book a lot. Wouldn't it be fun to try to bake macarons?!

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  4. I haven't read or heard of this one yet, but I like you review, so thanks. I might check this one out now.

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