Monday, May 21, 2018

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

Fiction by Lisa See

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

I have read everything I can find by Lisa See, and loved it, so I was excited to get this new book. It's as good as I expected, a story about a girl born in modern (late-twentieth-century) China but in a hill village so remote that she might have been born hundreds of years ago.

There are many different Chinese minorities, apparently, and they all have their own customs and ways. I did not realize how diverse a country China really is, although it should have been obvious, just based on how huge it is. Even the appearance that we think of as "Chinese" is only representative of one kind of ethnicity, called "Han majority" in this book. One of the ideas explored in this story is the difficulty of maintaining these small authentic cultures in the modern world.

Another thing the book talks about that I hadn't really thought about has to do with all this Chinese girls adopted by Americans in the past thirty years or so. How do these girls feel about all of this? Not to mention all of the young men growing up as only sons in China with no suitable wives around.  The One Child policy doesn't seem to have turned out as well as it could have. It is a lot to think about.

All of that aside, this is a great story about mothers and daughters that is worth reading.

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