Saturday, October 31, 2015

Tea Readings: Chai Tea Sunday

A novel I finished just recently is called Chai Tea Sunday by Heather A. Clark. Obviously, I picked up this book for its title. I actually enjoyed it very much even though I found it rushed and predictable at times and especially so near the end. I also thought the title selected was not the best. It’s rather weak.

Chai Tea Sunday

The book centres around a woman named Nicky who along with her husband, Eric, finally become expectant parents after many years of failed attempts of starting a family, only to suffer the devastating loss of that child shortly after birth. Nicky goes through a moment of depression while Eric pours himself into his work in order to put this experience behind him. The pair become less and less communicative and finally decide to separate to start new lives.

Nicky, still feeling the loss of the daughter that could have been, decides to escape by taking a volunteering position as a teacher at an orphanage in a small community in Kenya. She becomes close to her host family in particular the matriarch, Mama Bu. As the relationship flourishes, Nicky slowly opens up and shares her story with Mama Bu over cups of chai. At the same time, Nicky discovers issues surrounding the orphanage and is determined to resolve them, and rightly so. Again, long, deep, discussions occur over cups of chai.

It’s a good, light read. However, as I said, the title is rather weak. Sure, the characters are consuming chai during deep talks, but it’s not all the time and not necessarily on Sunday’s either. I think a stronger title that gives some description of the plot would have worked much better. Plus, it’s a redundant title. You may recall my chai versus tea write-up some time ago.

Tea is very much a social drink to be enjoyed with others. You see this in formal settings like Afternoon Tea or a Japanese Tea Ceremony. Friends and couples enjoy it over chit chat in caf├ęs. Words are exchanged whilst lingering over cups of tea. I loved this one quote in the book: there is nothing that a big, steaming cup of chai can’t make better. So true.

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