Tea by the Sea
A NOVEL BY
A seventeen-year-old taken from her mother at birth, an Episcopal priest with a daughter
whose face he cannot bear to see, a mother weary of searching for her lost child: Tea by the
Sea is their story—that of a family uniting and unraveling. To find the daughter taken
from her, Plum Valentine must find the child’s father who walked out of a hospital with
the day-old baby girl without explanation. Seventeen years later, weary of her unfruitful
search, Plum sees an article in a community newspaper with a photo of the man for
whom she has spent half her life searching. He has become an Episcopal priest. Her plan:
confront him and walk away with the daughter he took from her. From Brooklyn to the
island of Jamaica, Tea by the Sea traces Plum’s circuitous route to finding her daughter and
how Plum’s and the priest’s love came apart.
“The forbidden love story of Plum and Lenworth comes alive in this heart-rending novel, Tea by the Sea. Hemans has a stunning ability to give words to that elusive feeling of emptiness, and the longing for redemption is palpable. In Hemans’s deft hands, regrets are explored with precision and compassion so that the reader finds herself unable to turn against even characters who have committed the most wretched betrayals. Tea by the Sea is
like the story told in a grandmother’s kitchen with the odors of fried dumplings and
saltfish wafting into mouths that are set agape at the heady twists and turns delivered in an
urgent and beautiful prose.”
—Lauren Francis-Sharma, author of ’Til the Well Runs Dry
“Tea by the Sea is an insightful and illuminating prism of a novel, deftly examining familial
identity and personal transformation. Hemans turns the kaleidoscope, catching light at
different angles, to show us how one person’s act of honor and responsibility can also be
an act of unspeakable betrayal.”
—Carolyn Parkhurst, author of The Dogs of Babel and Harmony
Tea By The Sea is a lovely novel with beautiful writing. I love the emotional insights. This is a story of love and insight. I am having a hard time putting into words how good this book was. Really lovely, one that is sitting with me long after I read the last page.
The writing is just insightful. I love the characters and how realistic they are. It just made this book hit home so well. Making it feel like I was there, watching the events unfold.
I don’t think I’ve read a book that has touched me so deeply. This review is probably not super coherent because I’m just awestruck.
I love Tea by the Sea and if you’re remotely interested, you need to give it a try! You won’t be disappointed!!
*I received a free copy of this book from Over The River PR in exchange for an honest review on the blog tour. All opinions are my own and unbiased.*
Free copy of TEA BY THE SEA with a special tea blend Donna created just for the blog tour!
Open to USA and Caribbean only.
Jamaican-born Donna Hemans is the author of the novel River Woman, winner of the 2003-4 Towson University Prize for Literature. Tea by the Sea, for which she won the Lignum Vitae Una Marson Award for Adult Literature, is her second novel. Her short fiction has appeared in the Caribbean Writer, Crab Orchard Review, Witness, and the anthology Stories from Blue Latitudes: Caribbean Women Writers at Home and Abroad, among others. She received her undergraduate degree from Fordham.
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