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The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane: A Novel

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Lisa See

Narrated By: Ruthie Ann Miles, Kimiko Glenn

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Date: March 2017

Duration: 14 hours 8 minutes


2018 Audie Award Finalist

The thrilling new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa See explores the lives of a Chinese mother and her daughter who has been abandoned and adopted by an American couple.

Li-yan and her family align their lives around the seasons and the farming of tea. There is ritual and routine, and it has been ever thus for generations. Then one day a jeep appears at the village gate—the first automobile any of them have seen—and a stranger arrives.

In this remote Yunnan village, the stranger finds the rare tea he has been seeking and a reticent Akha people. In her biggest seller, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, See introduced the Yao people to her audience. Here she shares the customs of another Chinese ethnic minority, the Akha, whose world will soon change. Li-yan, one of the few educated girls on her mountain, translates for the stranger and is among the first to reject the rules that have shaped her existence. When she has a baby outside of wedlock, rather than stand by tradition, she wraps her daughter in a blanket, with a tea cake hidden in her swaddling, and abandons her in the nearest city.

After mother and daughter have gone their separate ways, Li-yan slowly emerges from the security and insularity of her village to encounter modern life while Haley grows up a privileged and well-loved California girl. Despite Haley’s happy home life, she wonders about her origins; and Li-yan longs for her lost daughter. They both search for and find answers in the tea that has shaped their family’s destiny for generations.

A powerful story about a family, separated by circumstances, culture, and distance, Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane paints an unforgettable portrait of a little known region and its people and celebrates the bond that connects mothers and daughters.


  • T Newman

    Learning about the ethnic Chinese, pur'eh, and aspects of Chinese history all woven into a good story made this novel memorable. I would definitely recommend this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Sharon H

    I enjoyed listening to this book but sadly disappointed with the ending (there wasn't enough to it). After hearing every woven detail of this story I felt short changed with such a short ending and would have enjoyed a bit of depth to the conclusion.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Layne H

    Another masterpiece by Lisa See. I will be absorbed in this story long after I have met its end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Kristen N

    Such a great story interwoven into a fascinating culture. I learned so much and will never think of foreign born adoptees the same again. The narration was fantastic.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Heidy R

    Another great book from my favorite author. I really enjoyed it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Paulette C

    After this book you will plant your own tea tree. Great description of customs and life styles.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Anonymous

    The details of the places were so vivid in my mind even though I've never been there. Wonderful history and cultural lesson.

  • Lorraine C

    Excellent read, wonderfully narrated, intimate, subtle and so good I'm listening to it again...I never do that!

  • Stephanie M

    Wonderful book! Full of culture, heartache, rediscovered love, and growth

Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane: A Novel

by Lisa See

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Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane: A Novel, Lisa See