Project Esther Book Club
We are excited to invite you to participate in our first ever Project Esther Book Cub featuring The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, by Lisa See. Please join us for a rich discussion on this interesting novel that explores themes of adoption. The discussion will be facilitated by Lori Sagarin, a seasoned book club leader and Director of Congregational Learning at Temple Beth Israel. There is no charge to participate in this event.
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.
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 leaves the baby near an orphanage in a nearby 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.
Temple Beth Israel
3601 W. Dempster St.
Skokie, IL 60076