'The Color of Tea'
Author: Hannah Tunnicliffe
Published: Scribner; June 2012
Synopsis: 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.
My Take: I am not sure why almost every book I brought to read on my honeymoon involved a marriage on the rocks but it did. I started to think maybe I was trying to shore myself up for what not to do wrong. Instead, I just read this book really fast and dreamed of eating as many macaroons as I could get my hands on. Note: when I got home I went to Costco because we had no food in the house and they were selling a HUGE thing of macaroons there. I had an internal war with myself not to buy those and eat the entire tub of macaroons (yes, tub) in the car. I am sure the French did not intend to ever sell macaroons by the tub. But I digress, you came here for a book review!
The Color of Tea is a beautifully written story about a marriage on the rocks, the island of Macau, and a woman who is finding her way back to being whole again. The story centers around Grace. She has been trying to get pregnant for years. After many miscarriages, doctor visits, and moves to different countries for her husband's job, her and her husband no longer feel like a team, let alone like the married couple they were on their wedding day that seemed so full of joy. Now they just exist in the same realm, barely speaking.
Grace's solace comes in the form of frenzied baking. Her mother was French and they bonded over baking. Without even really eating it, Grace bakes and bakes and one day she realizes that Macau doesn't have a good French bakery so perhaps that might help her occupy her mind so she opens up a shop that sells tea and macaroons. Seriously the description of these pairings will make your mouth water!
At any rate, the bakery heals Grace and at first her husband resists but it soon heals their marriage as well. I love to cook and bake so the descriptions of the food especially appealed to me. But the way they worked on their marriage as well the friendships Grace formed in this book I found very inspiring. I highly recommend this book to anyone who feels that the themes I mentioned above might be relatable to something they could be going through as well.
Cover Lust: Just looking at this cover makes my mouth water all over again!