Secondary Story

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

by Lisa See
Reviewed by Peggy K. Potter
Director: Hutchinson Memorial Library

This book can only be compared to a modern version of the type of books Pearl S. Buck wrote in the 1930s. We may be mildly interested in the way a government runs its’ country but most of us are more interested in how the people in that country live. This book goes further and lets us know how they feel. Not surprisingly they feel a lot like us.

The story is about mothers and daughters, a Chinese ethnic minority called the Akha and tea. It touches on China’s one child policy and adopting out the extras, usually girls – particularly to America. From 1979 to 2015 Chinese couples could have only one child. If it is a girl, infanticide. Now, almost 40 years later China has 30 million more men than women. The things the mothers of all the extra boys do to find their sons a wife Lisa See shows beautifully.

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