With a through line about pu’er, a tea plucked from ancient tea trees, Li-yan is the first Akha girl from her Chinese hill tribe to be educated. Instead of furthering her studies, she drops everything for her childhood sweetheart whom her parents disapprove of. Together they seek the child Li-yan was forced to leave in an orphanage before they leave for Thialand. During her absence, her poor village prospers from the sudden popularity of pu’er while Li-yan becomes destitute from her opium addicted husband. She hasn’t forgotten the daughter she was forced to give up, but her life begins to change.
This is the second Lisa See book I’ve reviewed, but I’ve read all her books and there isn’t one I wouldn’t give a five out of five.