Has this saucy high-society Englishwoman met her match?
Though well-bred, fashionable, and educated, Isabella Goodrich feels useless as a spinster in a world of matchmaking and social gatherings. She’d rather be practicing her skills at the sword and discussing philosophy than making painful small talk at ridiculous parties.
Then Isabella meets the mysterious Phineas Snowe, and she becomes convinced she is meant to follow him to the mission fields of the Orient. A woman with an independent nature, she sneaks away and boards a ship to China. What she discovers about her companion and the world beyond Britain’s shores draws her into a greater quest–and deeper love–than she could have imagined.
All the Tea in China is a fast-paced, witty, and lighthearted tale of adventure, romance, and the pursuit of impossible dreams.
**This is a book from my own collection. I am not being compensated for this review.**
From page one, I was absolutely drawn in by the unique voice of an equally interesting character:
“I can abide neither a liar nor a cheat, but you may be wont to think me such whil I here relate my little tale. Were I not your humble narrator, even now I would scarce believe it anything but mere fiction. I take pen in resolute hand to assure you that what I am about to recount is trust, not the least of which involves heartbreak, joy, a Chinese translation of the Gospel according to St. Luke, and, oh yes, a rather large sword.”
The rest of the story held me captive. It was a tale that was both adventurous and romantic with characters that felt nearly straight from a fairy tale. However, the story itself does not take on a fairytale vibe, but rather that of a woman searching for her destiny and following what she thinks is God’s will for her life.
Overall, I adored this story and loved the history that it touched on in its pages: The tea trade, opium in China, piracy, sea travel and so much more. The contrast between Phineas Snowe and Isabella Goodrich helps them both come alive and a whole other cast of characters adds a bit of life to the story.
But, when the story was done, I had a few questions that I felt were left unanswered. I also feel that as I got closer to the end, events began to feel rushed. These two reasons knocked the book down a star for me, but otherwise, I found it to be a wonderful book that I would highly reccommend.
“Do not embark on a journey of unhappiness, for I do not believe that we are called to tasks that make us miserable, but rather those that bring joy not only to others but to ourselves, as well.”
-Uncle Toby, All the Tea in China
About the Author:
Award-winning Christian author Jane Orcutt was born on January 25th, 1960, in Fort Worth, Texas.
Born with a serious heart defect, Jane faced surgeries and long recoveries from the age of five. But these solitary times only strengthened Jane’s love for reading, and her dream of one day becoming a writer.
Jane achieved that dream with style, not only as a popular Christian novelist with fourteen published books to her credit, but also through her mentorship of many young writers.
Throughout Jane’s life, she enjoyed writing about her home state of Texas. She was particularly talented at breathing life into historical time periods and she brought a fresh view of the bluebonnet state to her readers worldwide.
As a University of Texas graduate, she possessed a broad range of writing and editing skills, which she used in her own writing, as a production worker for an Austin television station, and as an editor for a Forth Worth publishing company.
In 1982, Jane married Bill Orcutt. They had two sons, Colin and Sam, whom Jane homeschooled until they reached high school. Jane often stated that this accomplishment was her pride and joy. She was passionate about helping her sons explore their interests and intellect while allowing them to grow into individual men of their own account.
Jane was a loyal and loving wife, mother, daughter, and sister, a witty and sought-after friend, a powerful writer, and a tender pet owner. Most of all Jane was a follower and lover of Jesus Christ.
On Sunday, March 18, 2007, after a long battle with acute myeloid leukemia, Jane stepped into the arms of her Savior.
She now rests safely in His arms, while her powerful legacy lives on through her family and through her books.