The Tea Gardens

Original Title:
The Tea Gardens
Fiona McIntosh
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            “The Tea Gardens” is the romantic novel that will take you on trip from England to the India and Himalayan mountains while taking your breath away. Author of this book, Fiona McIntosh, is author of children and adult books, who lives in Australia. Some of her books are: "The Lavender Keeper", "The French Promise", "Nightingale", "The Perfumer’s Secret", "The Tailor’s Girl", "Tho Chocolate Tin". “The Tea Gardens” follows the Doctor Isla Fenwick and her determination to work as a doctor in India before returning in England to marry. However, the trip to India will be great challenge to Isla and will change her in way she would never expect.

            The story of this book is set in the year of 1933 and author in a great way captures social situation in that period. The main character in the book is Isla, young independent woman skilled in medicine, who makes decisions by herself, travels alone to the other part of the world, and challenges religious and social beliefs and customs in order to help her patients. With her strength, determination and bravery, Isla would be great role model not only in that time period, but also today. While describing Isla’s work in India, book captures political and social situation in India touching the history of Britain rule in that part of the world. 

            My favorite part in this book was Isla’s trip to Himalayan mountains, Darjeeling and tea plantation over there. Beauty of that region is so vividly described, that I felt like I am there and I wished to visit that part of the world one day. Also, author gives amazing description of all important processes in tea production from picking the right leaves to the drinking. I learned differences between Assam and Darjeeling teas, and I think I would never drink the tea in the same way. I now have more appreciation for that magical drink. 

            I recommend this book to everyone who is looking for great book that has the power to take you into other world and teach you more about life, especially about love, commitment, and respect. As always I had great time reading Fiona McIntosh’s book and no doubt why she is one of the favorite Australian writers.I took some notes while reading this book, but my favorite is:

            “If there’s a path you want to walk, walk it. If there’s person you want to know, take steps to meet them. If there’s work to be done, do it immediately; don’t leave it for another day. If there’s bad blood between you and another, make it right. If there’s unfinished business anywhere in your life, finish it”.