The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane - Lisa See

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

By Lisa See

  • Release Date: 2017-03-21
  • Genre: Fiction & Literature
Score: 4.5
From 1,125 Ratings


From #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa See, “one of those special writers capable of delivering both poetry and plot” (The New York Times Book Review), a moving novel about tradition, tea farming, and the bonds between mothers and daughters.

In their remote mountain village, Li-yan and her family align their lives around the seasons and the farming of tea. For the Akha people, ensconced in ritual and routine, life goes on as it has for generations—until a stranger appears at the village gate in a jeep, the first automobile any of the villagers has ever seen.

The stranger’s arrival marks the first entrance of the modern world in the lives of the Akha people. Slowly, Li-yan, one of the few educated girls on her mountain, begins to reject the customs that shaped her early life. When she has a baby out of wedlock—conceived with a man her parents consider a poor choice—she rejects the tradition that would compel her to give the child over to be killed, and instead leaves her, wrapped in a blanket with a tea cake tucked in its folds, near an orphanage in a nearby city.

As Li-yan comes into herself, leaving her insular village for an education, a business, and city life, her daughter, Haley, is raised in California by loving adoptive parents. Despite her privileged childhood, Haley wonders about her origins. Across the ocean Li-yan longs for her lost daughter. Over the course of years, each searches for meaning in the study of Pu’er, the tea that has shaped their family’s destiny for centuries.

A powerful story about 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 of family.


  • Took me a minute

    By Edesert
    I felt like it took me a bit to get into this book. It didn’t capture me right away but boy did it get better and better. The Ending was so unexpected 💕
  • Never wanted it to end!

    By doubledare86
    If I could give this book 6 stars I would- loved it so much!!
  • Didn’t want it to end!

    By Scoopfinder
    Truly a captivating story of people searching for each other. Very interesting story, I’ve taken tea for granted although there has to be something In eight that we know about tea because we drink it when sick or need help medicinally.
  • Truly captivating story!

    By Adadale
    The intertwining story lines keep you engaged and brings you completely into the lives of the characters. Beautifully written.
  • What an amazing read!,

    By laelasmom
    I loved this book so much! This is my first book by this author and love her style of writing, I couldn’t put this book down and look forward to reading more of her books!
  • Amazing

    By starling302
    This book was slow to catch my attention at first, keep reading and you will not be disappointed. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy reading this book but I also gained insight I didn’t know I needed. Such a thoughtful and well written story, I couldn’t put the book down!
  • Enthralling

    By StarAW
    I loved this book. It was a little slow in the beginning, but I kept reading and I’m so glad I did! I love how everything fit together. I loved this book and can’t wait to try some Pu’er.
  • First book I could not put down in over a year!

    By why-you-no-work
    So historically/culturally engaging! I felt like I was experiencing every aspect of the story firsthand, thank you for your attention to detail and great story telling!
  • Amazing research

    By C. Laurin
    I really enjoyed this thoroughly researched story. The writing was very well-structured and the storyline flawless. So it was a great read for me. That being said, it felt a bit formulaic and expository. Nothing wrong with that, it just didn’t feel like a literary journey, more like a love story on several levels (parent-child, romantic partner), stitching together facts and situations surrounding Chinese adoptees, and those of the tea world. I appreciated the neatly tied threads of all the individual story lines, but found all that the coincidences a bit fairytale-ish. Still liked it very much.
  • Eye opening

    By Awesome kpop
    Lisa See never disappoints with her story telling.