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 café 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.
A sweet, airy novel for women and about women: a barren wife, stuck in Macau, China, salvages her sanity by opening a French cafe. Grace and her husband Pete are devastated when they learn they can't have a child. Pete, who opens casinos in exotic places, escapes sorrow in his exhausting job; Grace wallows in grief at home until she remembers seeing a property for sale "with ovens." She decides to turn the once smoky Portuguese restaurant into Lillian's, a cafe serving tea, coffee, macarons... and healing, and not just for Grace. She acquires a regular clientele, first old Yok Lan, and then the beautiful expat Marjory. She hires a secretive, hardworking Filipino girl named Rilla to help her navigate the language barrier, and a brusque Chinese girl named Gigi, good with dishonest suppliers, who Grace discovers is pregnant. Making macarons, the women bond, so that when tragedy strikes they're able to withstand what threatens them. The denouement is predictable, almost maudlin, but satisfying. This debut author dishes up a fair amount of culinary metaphor, but Macau, rich in potential, is absent; the women in this cafe could be anywhere.
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The Color of Tea
Hannah, what a fabulous well-written book! The stories are beautifully woven together, the people are richly multidimensional and your setting is lively.
The Color of Tea was one I didn't want to put down and looked forward to picking up. It is a great book for friends to share and for those of us who have moved and had to find our way in new communities.