The Tea Chest 2
- Contemporary fiction
- Publication Date:
- ALLEN & UNWIN
- Country of origin:
- Dimensions (mm):
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A promising debut novel that make a pleasant read
The Tea Chest is the first novel by Australian author, Josephine Moon. Kate Fullerton is a happily married mum of two boys, and a tea artisan at an exclusive Brisbane tea boutique. When her patron, Simone Taylor, half-owner of The Tea Chest franchise, dies, Kate is surprised to learn that she has inherited Simone’s half share. The pressure is immediately on from the other half-owner, Judy Masters, to sell up, but Kate is determined to fulfil Simone’s dream of a Tea Chest shop in London.
Kate is the first to admit she will need practical organisational help in London, so Leila Morton’s immediate availability and excellent reference are like a godsend. Leila is enthusiastic about the project, and rationalises her economy with the true facts of her previous employment as saving Kate added stress.
Elizabeth Clancy’s world has fallen apart: dreams of becoming a mother are unlikely to come true with a bigamist husband who’s had a vasectomy. She beats a retreat to her parents in London. Her younger sister, Victoria is determined to raise her out of the doldrums, and a chance meeting in a pub sees the sisters working with Kate and Leila to meet a looming deadline for the grand opening.
Moon uses four narrators to tell her story: Kate, Leila and Elizabeth relate various aspects of the present day and recent past, while Judy’s short and infrequent parts provide background about the relationship between Simone and Judy. Short text messages from Kate’s husband Mark add humour, as does some of the dialogue. There’s a bit of intrigue, a bit of romance and quite a lot of tea.
This is a fairly light read. Even though the characters face problems and ultimately learn to believe in themselves, some problems seem to be just a bit too easily solved; other aspects that ought to have been addressed seem glossed over; and would you really hand over a quarter of a million dollars so easily? Inclusion of the London riots and their personal effects is certainly topical. A promising debut novel that make a pleasant read.
Friendship, love and tea!
It is almost like a dream come true when Kate Fullerton becomes a part-owner of The Tea Chest, a boutique tea shop. Free to let her creativity run wild, The Tea Chest gives Kate the opportunity to create, blend and share her love of tea with the public. But dreams can go awry. When Kate has to fly to London to start up the newest branch of the store she loves, she has to face financial difficulties, being so far away from her husband and two young children, and the trouble of finding labourers in a foreign country.
With the assistance of Leila, a woman who lost her job in a moment of insanity, Elizabeth, an Englishwoman who just fled from Brisbane following a startling revelation from her husband, and Victoria, Elizabeth's carefree younger sister, Kate creates a beautiful store and achieves the near impossible - selling tea to the English! Things finally seem to be working out for the women but there may be others who are just waiting for things to fall apart.
If I could go to a fictional store, The Tea Chest is one I'd want to visit. The way Josephine Moon writes about it, made me feel the cosy atmosphere, the aroma of brewing tea and the camaraderie of the four very different women who run it. Kate, Elizabeth, Leila and Victoria are all strong woman but each in their own way. Kate is caring and creative. Her relationship with her husband was lovely to read. The way Leila lived waiting on the sidelines and Elizabeth's marriage break down contrasted nicely with Kate's marriage.
This is a book about relationships. Those between husbands and wives. sisters. parents and friends. The story navigates between each of the women as well as flashbacks to the two original owners of The Tea Chest, Simone and Judy. Often with stories like this it is hard to get the right balance between all the different stories but I thought Ms. Moon handled it perfectly. Each of the woman is searching for something. Self belief, proof they have what it takes in business, love - or maybe something completely different. The friendships they form whilst working at The Tea Chest gives them faith in life, love and most important - their own selves.
I am a tea drinker and enjoyed the different parts of tea which were mentioned in the novel. From the grower to the brewed pot - all aspects are explored at some stage throughout the book. I didn't feel the tea aspect was over used but rather I liked that it was important to the story that the store sold tea.
This is a beautifully written debut novel dealing with relationships, life, love and tea. Filled with realistic and relate able characters, The Tea Chest is a fun and enjoyable read spanning continents and multiple pots of tea.