Blog Tour: The Color of Tea by Hannah Tunnicliffe

   “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 a 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 cafe, 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 ghost 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.”
The sadness that comes with the loss of a dream- be whatever that dream may have been, can feel almost impossible to overcome for many individuals. When one has nothing else to cling to but the failure of what they most desired or what might have been- they often find themselves in a never-ending almost cyclical battle with depression and the ever present reality of constant reminders of that lost dream or failure. As a woman the idea of being infertile, never having the opportunity to become a biological mother or have a family of own’s own can be the most devastating reality of all. Not only can it be one of deep personal shame ( un-warranted but felt nonetheless) and a sense of unworthiness but also one of a shared nature in that as a female she feels she has not only kept herself from the most natural of experiences but also let her partner down in that aspect as well.
As Grace faces this reality for herself, she seeks distractions from her sorrow within the new city of Macau which she and her Australian husband now call home. But somehow even the excitement of exploring a new and  exotic locale is not even enticement  enough to get Grace out of the bed in the morning…she still needs more. More to invest not only her time but her love in. She needs that one thing into which she can pour her heart and soul into since the reality of motherhood appears to never be an actual possibility. And so she digs deep into her past and a treat that reminds her of a mother whose true story is often hard to determine. It is the delight of the macaron in which Grace immerses herself. A delicate french desert that brings back happy memories of childhood.
Richly detailed and dripping with sensual descriptions of everything from food, to passion and even people. The Color of Tea is a feast of the senses and yet also very deeply personal. It can be wrenching at times and emotionally evocative but still also a light and summery read that never goes too dark. It’s very character driven in nature and yet blurs the lines of also being a travel novel of an not often mentioned place. I found it enchanting and easy to read and surround oneself with. Although I must say the beginning of ever chapter describing a mouth-watering macaron made me hungry at times…wanting to literally taste the delights described within the works. Trader Joe’s frozen macarons may not be exactly what was described but I did pick up a box to enjoy as I read of Grace and her endeavors.
For me personally The Color of Tea came to me not only at a relevant time in my life but also touched me deeply as I shared many of Grace’s feelings of loss. As I am trying desperately  to deal with a devastating blow of my own and a search for an outlet through which to find purpose and the happiness and hope I once had in abundance. After the diagnosis of my son’s autism, I found myself lost. It was as if every dream I had ever had of being a mother had been suddenly stripped from me. Would I ever be able to truly know my child? Would I ever be able to enjoy those small moments most parents take for granted? Would my son every be able to share with me even the most simple things such as his needs, wants or even favorite color? In all this I have searched for an outlet beyond being an advocate for my child. Something to bring me personal joy, to keep my mind from the ever constant what ifs that haunt when things go silent. This novel touched me deeply in that way since I could relate to Grace’s despair and her need for something within her life to fill the void. I myself have filled my void with books and the never-ending search for what else I can do to help my son. In this way the book rings very very true to real life for me. It was a pleasurably read that I believe will attract many readers…those hungry for a good story and those just hungry for one deliciously delicate macaron.
You can follow the Blog Tour for The Color of Tea at TLC Book Tours and check out what others thought of the book. Have you read it ? If so please share your feelings in the comments. Let’s talk books! Haven’t read it yet? Want an opportunity to win your own copy…just enter to below.

TLC Book Tours  Book Giveaway

To enter just comment below and share something with which you have struggled to come to terms with and how you might have channeled your energy and time into an alternative thing or act that gave you peace in some way from the loss you felt. Not want to go that deep…just share your favorite dessert…perhaps even your favorite macaron flavor? Giveaway will end midnight EST August 7, 2012 and is available to a US addresses only. The lucky winner will be chosen by random number generator and contacted by e-mail. Good Luck to all and Happy Reading!

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Filed under Adult Books, Blog Tour, Contests, New Books

15 responses to “Blog Tour: The Color of Tea by Hannah Tunnicliffe

  1. Your review is wonderful and I can see how you could relate to the book so much. I loved the book until the ending. I think maybe there wasn’t any foreshadowing for me so it felt too abrupt and out of character.

    • stilettostorytime

      Thanks Kathy…yeah I think anyone that knows me personally even a tiny bit could see how this one really hit home. I can totally see your points though.

  2. Jenny

    This book sounds like a great read!!!! After reading your blog I know exactly how this relates to you. I am very blessed and my problems and struggles seem so simple and mundane to most but if I had to name a struggle it would be the fact that as an independent women I feel the need to want to work and provide for my family. However, on the opposite side of that I love being home for my children and knowing that the best teacher they could have is there mom.

    • stilettostorytime

      I think that’s a struggle all Mom’s have…I miss my career but at the same time I know for right now my place is right by Little Man’s side every step of the way in our journey.

  3. Pingback: Hannah Tunnicliffe, author of The Color of Tea, on tour July/August 2012 | TLC Book Tours

  4. I can understand how you would really connect to this book based on what is going on in your own life. I’m glad this book found you when it did.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

    • stilettostorytime

      Some books just seems to find their ways into our lives when needed…I have found this to be true many times in my life including this one.

  5. Thanks for sharing how this affected you so personally. It brought tears to my eyes. How old is your little man?

    • stilettostorytime

      Stacy- He is doing so very well…it’s hard work every day mostly for him but also for the whole family…beating autism is a family affair. But every day he achieves something new whether it be big or small. He is now excelling in therapy and going to pre-school two days a week at one of the best Autism early intervention programs in the nation. It’s taken hard work to get him these resources and sacrifices to make it happen but it is worth it all to see him succeed. He makes me and his father so proud every day to be his Mommy and Daddy. He is three and a half by the way to answer your original question. Thanks for asking about him!

  6. mamabunny13

    My favorite dessert is hot fudge lave cake.
    mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

  7. mamabunny13

    i follow your blog.
    mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

  8. mamabunny13

    I follow on twitter @mamabunny13
    mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

  9. Evangeline

    The book sounds very interesting…your personal comments on how you relate to it make it a must read!

  10. My favorite dessert is Strawberry Cheesecake.

  11. stilettostorytime

    Congratulations to Jenny! She’s won her very own copy of “The Color of Tea”. Happy Reading to her and thanks to everyone who visited Stiletto Storytime and entered for a chance to win. Check back soon for more chances at reading gold!

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