Books and Magazines

Teatime for the Firefly by Shona Patel

This book has been on my reading list for a while. It was downloaded to my Kindle in the hopes of reading it on the plane to World Tea Expo but somehow that never happened. I am definitely glad that I finally had the chance to dive into it though.

In her debut novel, Shona Patel tells the story of Layla Roy, a young girl living in Assam during India’s struggle for independence. While it isn’t directly related to tea, a good portion of the plot takes place on a fictional tea plantation. The details are very historically accurate, particularly the relationships between plantation staff and the workforce.

The characters are exactly as I prefer them, flawed yet lovable at the same time. Although it could be technically categorized as a romance novel, it does not read like one. There is a love story but it’s a much more old fashioned affair than what you might expect. Part of that is due to the Hindu and Muslim cultures that play central roles in the storyline. I don’t consider that to be a bad thing at all. It was nice to read a book that doesn’t have a racy love scene added just to move more copies. You might remember that was my one complaint about The Teahouse Fire.

Overall I thought that it was an engaging and interesting read that would be enjoyed by anyone who loves tea. I finished it in seven days during my morning and evening commute to work. I must confess that I stayed up late to finish it because I just had to know how it ended.

You can find out more about this book here.

Nicole has been writing about her love of the leaf since 2008. Her work has been featured on World Tea News, The Daily Tea, Tea Journey, and other publications. She is the winner of the 2018 World Tea Award for Best Tea Blog.