Book Club Pick: The Colour of Tea

“Tea and books: mmmmmm, two of life’s exquisite pleasures that together bring near-bliss.” – Christine Hanrahan

I honestly can’t remember the last time I enjoyed reading a book as much as Hannah Tunnicliffe’s The Colour of Tea. It is as lovely, sweet, and comforting as an afternoon spent in a small cafe, drinking tea or coffee and eating perfect macarons; the restorative power of such experiences lie at the heart of Tunnicliffe’s novel, and for this reason I am thrilled to announce it as Simon & Schuster Canada’s first recommendation for our followers’ Book Clubs.

The Colour of Tea describes the journey of Grace, a young woman who moves with her Australian husband Pete to Macau, China, in order to begin a new life. Grace has recently been devastated by the news that she will never bear children, and she feels helpless to stop her marriage from slowly unravelling. Yet in this new, exotic location, at the heralding of a new year, she resolves to do something bold. Something her impetuous Mama might do. In this pocket of China, filled with casinos and yum cha restaurants, she opens her own small French cafe. This sanctuary of macarons and tea become a place where the women of Macau come together, bridge cultural divides, and share in each other’s triumphs and pain. Infused with the heady aromas of Macau and pepper with what I can only describe as delectable characters, The Colour of Tea is a literally mouth-watering journey of senses as Grace rediscovers what it is to love, to live with hope, and embrace real happiness.
One of the most unique and delicious aspects of this novel is that each chapter is titled after a different macaron, chosen to match that specific part of Grace’s story. Some of my favourites include L’Arrivee — Arrival (sweet and smoky caramel with salted buttery cream filling), Cirque — Circus (lime with chocolate ganache, dusted with blood-orange sugar), Brise d’Ete — Summer Breeze (yuzu with dark cherry filling), and Prenez Ce Baiser — Take This Kiss (honeycomb with milk chocolate ganache). It literally makes your mouth water (or at least it did mine), to the point that I felt inspired to make my own French macarons — Hannah Tunnicliffe even provided us with her favourite recipe! Perhaps you and your fellow book club members could bring your favourite chapter’s macaron to your meeting? What a yummy way to get discussion rolling!

Again: yum.

This book is meant to be shared with others, and as such Simon & Schuster has prepared a handy Reading Group Guide for book club members who might like a few extra questions to talk about, or some neat ideas to “enhance” your regular meeting. I know that I can’t wait to ask my friends about their experiences with men like Leon, or how badly I’d love to go travelling again, or how Grace and Pete’s relationship seems so startlingly familiar, or how much I want to start cooking again (…we’ll see how that one goes). There’s something for everyone in this gem of a read, and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.

Below is a great video of Hannah Tunnicliffe talking about her amazing novel!

Browse inside The Colour of Tea.
Visit Hannah’s website.
Win up to 10 copies of The Colour of Tea for your book club.

Celebrate the release of Flash and Bones and enter to win a library of Kathy Reichs books

Forensic anthropologist, Dr. Temperance (Tempe) Brennan, is back in another turbocharged story of crime, secrets and murder in bestselling author Kathy Reichs’  latest novel.

Flash and Bones is set at the Charlotte Motor Speedway during Race Week where a body is found in a barrel of asphalt. It is up to Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner, Dr. Tempe Brennan, to identify the body. Like Reichs’ traditional blend of forensics and mystery, identifying the body isn’t going to be easy.

A day after the discovery, Wayne, a NASCAR crew member shares his story with Tempe that could give insight to the body’s identity. Twelve years ago, his sister Cindi, an aspiring racecar driver, and her boyfriend Cale disappeared. She belonged to the Patriot Posse, a group of right wing extremists. Wayne believes the victim is Cindi. Brennan looks into the cold case and finds out that the Feds had the case twelve years ago and dropped it abruptly. Has Brennan stumbled upon a cover-up?

To make matters worse, a strange, deadly substance in the barrel alongside the body is found and an employee from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention goes missing during Race Week. Could this man have used chemicals for murder?

Brennan must juggle multiple theories and discover the truth behind this murder. What secrets lurk behind the festive veneer of Race Week? Find out in Flash and Bones, Reichs’ fourteenth thrilling novel.

To celebrate the new release, we are giving away a library of Kathy Reichs books including her first novel Déjà Dead, a signed copy of Spider Bones and of course, her latest book, Flash and Bones to one lucky winner.

You can meet Kathy Reichs at Toronto’s Indigo Eaton Centre on August 22, 2011 at noon.

Kathy Reichs’ novels inspired the hit crime television series Bones. She also serves as a producer on the show to keep the science elements accurate and up to date.

Check out her other books
Follow Kathy Reichs on Twitter @KathyReichs
Visit her website