It’s no secret that I love reading books by Australian authors, especially if they are set in Australia as well. So when I signed up to the Australian Women’s Writers Challenge I knew I was onto a good thing. I found The Tea Chest at my local library on their ‘Hot Reads’ stand. The cover enticed me and after reading the blurb on the back I knew I had found my next book to review.
Kate Fullerton, talented tea designer and now co-owner of The Tea Chest, could never have imagined that she’d be flying from Brisbane to London, risking her young family’s future, to save the business she loves from the woman who wants to shut it down.
Meanwhile, Leila Morton has just lost her job; and if Elizabeth Clancy had known today was the day she would appear on the nightly news, she might at least have put on some clothes. Both need to start again.
When the three women’s paths unexpectedly cross, they throw themselves into realising Kate’s magical vision for London’s branch of The Tea Chest. But every time success is within their grasp, increasing tensions damage their trust in each other.
With the very real possibility that The Tea Chest will fail, Kate, Leila and Elizabeth must decide what’s important to each of them. Are they willing to walk away or can they learn to believe in themselves?
An enchanting, witty novel about the unexpected situations life throws at us, and how love and friendship help us through. Written with heart and infused with the seductive scents of bergamot, Indian spices, lemon, rose and caramel, it’s a world you won’t want to leave.
In this debut novel by Josephine Moon, a Brisbane born writer who calls the Sunshine Coast of Queensland her home, Kate finds herself the new half owner of The Tea Chest, a quaint specialty tea shop nestled in the up-market Brisbane suburb of Ascot. I always love it when I pick up a book and instantly know what the area it is set in looks like. It makes the whole book come alive for me.
Kate has inherited her share of The Tea Chest from her late boss, Simone. A woman who had a great business sense and an equally great problem with alcohol. Kate finds that she must make the decision to either sell her share of the business, which is what the other owner wants or travel to London to open a branch of The Tea Chest there which is what Simone would have wanted.
Kate makes the brave decision to go to London, leaving behind her husband and two small boys. Along the way she meets Leila – a capable and sensible business woman who after a ‘brain snap’ at work finds herself unemployed and Elizabeth – a born and bred Londoner who flees home to her family after discovering her husband has another family tucked away in Japan.
Throw all these women together and Kate’s inspired vision for how this new Tea Chest should look and you have the makings of a great read. Kate is frequently filled with doubt about her abilities, Leila falls in love with a conman and Elizabeth discovers her parents marriage has fallen apart as well. Throw in some riots in the centre of London and the whole possibility of The Tea Chest ever opening comes into question.
You will love the gutsy determination of the women in this book. It just goes to show if you want something bad enough you just have to get out there and give it a go. Jospehine Moon’s style of writing is such that you can almost smell the scent of the different teas she describes wafting out of the pages.
I’m sure you will love The Tea Chest as much as I did.
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