Book Review: “The Traveling Tea Shop”

I should be in Massachusetts right now for a good friend’s wedding, but instead I am in California, getting ready to tell you about the book I just finished. So, here it goes…

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Occasionally, I’ll browse through aisles of the bookstores and look for that book that grabs my attention, just by the cover alone. “The Traveling Tea Shop” by Belinda Jones was one of those. I glanced at the back of the book and decided it looked like a good story, and bought it.

Here’s the story – Former travel agent, Laurie Davis, essentially becomes a coordinator for Pamela Lambert-Leigh of the TV show, Teatime with Pamela as an assistant and tour guide. Throughout the novel, they stop in places such as New York, Boston, Cape Cod and so on, looking for the perfect recipes for Pamela’s new cookbook. It soon becomes an informative tour, like you’re watching an episode of Samantha Brown on Travel Channel and had me wanting to write down all of the exciting stops or get to the kitchen to try a few of the treats mentioned at the bakeries or restaurants visited. It also felt a lot like a history lesson as they visited different cities, and I’m a big history buff, so I found it fascinating, although at times, it felt like all of those researched details pulled any kind of main storyline down a bit, which felt like it took awhile to get through.

Having said that, this is just one of those creative pieces of art that’s inspiring as you read it. What stood out to me about this book is that it wasn’t based around a love story, which is most often what I read, and I loved it. This was about a form of passion and behind that, we see the different dynamics between Pamela, her mother and daughter (who also join along for the trip) and Laurie’s own family, with her sister and mother. Of course, there is a bit of a love story, but I like that it was just subtly added in there, and not the main concern.

To describe this book in just a few words, I would use: wanderlust, delightful and charming. In all honesty, it kind of reminded me of the essence of “Gilmore Girls” in its pop culture references and the quirky dialogue. It’s warm and inviting like a cup of coffee, or in this case…Tea. I’ve always had a great desire for travel and seeing worlds outside of my own, and this just confirmed that desire all over again. I love learning about other interests, and this certainly has me ready to book a flight to somewhere, USA. If you can’t get away, this is the perfect book to read.

It was a bit slow, but picked up near the end, and I couldn’t put it down. Plus, the British lingo is just a hoot. I also enjoyed the fact that chapters were shorter, so you could read a few here and there (especially before bed) – I hate getting deep into a chapter only to find that there are still about 30 more pages before I finish. I can’t wait to look up other books from this author!

I just bought a TON of books yesterday (and have been lately in general), so be on the lookout for future reviews. I’ll be reading a lot more in the coming months.

That’s all for now,

Shelby 🙂

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