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The colour of tea by Hannah Tunnicliffe

The colour of tea (edition 2011)

by Hannah Tunnicliffe

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876138,736 (3.65)7
Title:The colour of tea
Authors:Hannah Tunnicliffe
Info:Sydney : Pan Macmillan, 2011, 2012.
Collections:Read in 2013, Your library
Tags:fiction, women, cross cultural, food, love, chick lit, Asia, friendship, Australian Author, mothers

Work details

The Color of Tea: A Novel by Hannah Tunnicliffe

2008 (1) 2012 (1) Asia (1) Australian author (2) baking (5) borrowed (1) chick lit (4) childlessness (1) China (5) cooking (1) fiction (14) food (4) friendship (4) infertility (6) infidelity (2) love (3) macarons (6) Macau (10) marriage (4) mothers (1) October (1) own (2) pastries (1) read (3) relationships (4) tea (4) to-read (9) TPL (1) women (2) women writers (1)



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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed this book. It was just so enjoyable and made me want to drink tea and eat macarons. I have tried to find macarons in a bakery since I finished the book but I think I will have to try to make them myself.
I loved the story of how Grace saved herself and her marriage by starting her tea and macaron shop. The friendships gained and the the strength she developed was inspiring. ( )
  TeaGirl43 | Jul 11, 2013 |
The book had its ups and downs for me, but overall I found it to be an enjoyable read. The book started off slow for me, although I did like the look at Macau, and the author's examination of the culture. I would have loved to see this in more detail, but the important part of the story was how Grace tries to find herself in the community - which was incredibly well down. I think the author, for the most part wrote that aspect of Grace incredibly well. For the most part I found it to be natural and realistic as she slowly builds her cafe and works with the members from the community, despite language and culture barriers and forms friendships with them. My favourite parts of the book was usually when she was in the cafe trying to connect to those around her. I felt there were a few times that it was a little far-fetched on how it all played out but, for the most part, I think it was well done. I also really enjoyed the recurring themes if identity and friendship throughout the book.

The characterization was my biggest issue with the book. I found them hard to connect to, especially Grace. I found her development (and many of the other characters) to be a little forced at times. The story was very strong, but I think the characters in it needed more shaping, to bring the stories strength out more. I also didn't like Grace's personal turmoil with her mother - it does help shape Grace and who her character was, but I began to get bored with it and felt it was repetitive.

I did enjoy the ending, some may find it a little too picture perfect, but for the most part, I think it added to the themes of friendships and identity throughout the book and the strength of those friendships no matter where a person lives. It wasn't the perfect book for me, but it was a nice, light and enjoyable read.

Also on my book review blog Jules' Book Reviews - The Color of Tea ( )
  bookwormjules | Feb 17, 2013 |
Macau is a former Portuguese colony and is now a special administrative region of China and a hub of gambling and more. The Color of Tea by Hannah Tunnicliffe is a woman’s journey into a strange land and the time of her life as she trails behind her husband, and their dreams of a new life change drastically.

Grace Miller is a woman who has lost her dream and builds another with tea and French pastries. With the help of Leon, a French chef, Grace learns to make macarons and she opens a cafe, breathing new life into her days. Although she doesn’t know Portuguese, Cantonese, or Mandarin, she finds the strength to become a businesswoman with little help from her husband, Pete. She finds a new strength in her situation as she creates new kinds of macarons, serves coffee and tea, and provides a community with a little hope and connection.

Read the full review: http://savvyverseandwit.com/2012/08/the-color-of-tea-by-hannah-tunnicliffe.html ( )
  sagustocox | Aug 6, 2012 |
Sweet fluffy tale where everything starts out all angsty, but concludes with everyone getting what they want in the end. I felt as though Grace acted out of character at some points, reacting to certain situations a little bit out of context. This seems to be another entry in recent "OMG I can't have kids my life is over" novels aimed at 30-somethings. Sure made me want to try some macaroons. :) ( )
  lovejoy_rat | Jul 25, 2012 |
Set in Macau, a former Portuguese colony in China where casinos are legal and a large ex-pat community lives, The Color of Tea by Hannah Tunnicliffe is a story of a woman learning to accept the hand she's dealt and to find happiness within herself. Grace Miller is what’s called a trailing spouse. She’s followed her husband Pete, who is building a new casino, to Macau. Uncertain what to do with her life in China but unwilling to wait tables as she’s done on their previous moves, she gets a phone call from her doctor in London confirming that she’s in premature menopause and will be unable to have children, news that sends her into a tailspin and alienates her from Pete, unable to discuss the death of her dream of a family with him. Their marriage frays and unravels as she drifts unseeing and undirected through her days.

A chance happening upon a store space for rent, a space with ovens, ignites a spark in Grace that has been missing for so long and she decides to open a French café specializing in coffee, tea, and macarons. With the help of Leon, the chef husband of another ex-pat and the man Grace has been fantasizing about, Grace learns to make the delicate and delicious macarons she intends to serve at her café. Still estranged from Pete, living separate lives while inhabiting the same apartment, Grace plunges into Lillian’s, determined to make a success of the café she’s named for her mother and which she’s paid for with the money carefully saved to pursue fertility treatments that will never happen now. Through the café, she will meet other strong women, Rilla, Marjory, Gigi, and Yok Lan, women from various cultures and of different generations who work with and for her, become friends, and grow into family. And through these different women, all facing their own challenges, Grace’s heart will unfreeze and she will learn to care again, finding meaning and happiness in her relationships and finally her marriage.

Narrated in the first person by Grace, the reader is allowed to see what drives her, why she makes the mistakes she does, and just how hurt and devastated she is by having to change her plans for a family. Her visceral grief for the loss of her dream of children is palpable, her displaced attraction to Leon and the life he represents, a life she is striving towards, is understandable if ill-advised, her inability to connect with Pete over their shared despair is heartbreakingly evident, and her struggle to first connect with and then open her heart and trust her friends and employees is authentic, coming as it does in fits and starts. Including letters Grace has written to her mother and never sent opens her character up even more to the reader as do the flashbacks to her childhood and her dawning understanding of the mercurial and unique woman who was her Mama. Aside from the chapter headings of exotic and delicious sounding macaron flavors Grace serves in her café, this is not foodie fiction as much as it is fiction about relationship and family. The ending of the book was a bit disappointing as it was clearly evident from about the midpoint of the story but it will suit readers who look for a happy ending. Over all a comforting and quick read, this novel is perfect for readers who want gentle women’s fiction with a touch of the exotic, especially if they can accompany the reading with a cup of tea and a macaron themselves. ( )
  whitreidtan | Jul 10, 2012 |
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"An exciting debut novel set in the exotic, bustling streets of Macau, China about a woman whose life is restored when she opens a small cafe forms unlikely friendships, and gains the eventually the courage to trust what's in her heart"--Provided by publisher.… (more)

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