Kate Fullerton, talented tea designer and now co-owner of The Tea Chest, could never have imagined that she'd be flying from Brisbane to London, risking her young family's future, to save the business she loves from the woman who wants to shut it down.
Meanwhile, Leila Morton has just lost her job; and if Elizabeth Clancy had known today was the day she would appear on the nightly news, she might at least have put on some clothes. Both need to start again.
When Kate's, Leila's and Elizabeth's paths unexpectedly cross, they throw themselves into realising Kate's magical vision of London's branch of the newest and most delectable tea shop, The Tea Chest. But every time success is within their grasp, increasing tensions damage their trust in each other.
With the very real possibility that The Tea Chest will fail, Kate, Leila and Elizabeth must decide what's important to each of them. Are they willing to walk away or can they learn to believe in themselves?
Several weeks ago I received one of the best review packages I’ve been lucky enough to have been sent since I started book blogging. The absolutely lovely people at Allen & Unwin sent out review copies of Josephine Moon’s debut novel, ‘The Tea Chest’, complete with a gorgeous tea towel with the cover on it and a tea bag. I also straight away loved the cover of the book with its pretty pastel colours, and since I’m a big tea drinker, I immediately got excited about the idea of a book about a tea shop. I really couldn’t wait to pick this book up and start reading!
Kate Fullerton has been working at the Tea Chest for several years, designing and selling new and exciting tea blends; a job she absolutely loves. When her mentor Simone unexpectedly dies, she leaves her part of the Tea Chest to Kate, making her the new co-owner. Simone always kept herself busy with the business side of things, but now it’s Kate’s turn to give it a try, especially as they are opening their first ever UK store in London. Mark, Kate’s husband, is supportive and will take care of their two young sons while Kate flies to the other side of the world. In London, she meets Leila Morton, who has just lost her job and is looking for a new challenge, and Elizabeth Clancy, who has been betrayed by her husband, and her younger sister Victoria. Together the four women want to do everything they can to make the Tea Chest store in London a success, but it quickly becomes apparent it is no easy road to success...
I immediately fell in love with the storyline of this novel. The Tea Chest is a chain store with several locations in Australia, and in the book a new store will be opened in London. I’m a big tea drinker, and I just really loved Kate’s, the main protagonist, passion for tea, making new blends, and the amazing ways in which the different Tea Chest stores were described. If the Tea Chest really existed, I’d definitely be a regular customer! There’s definitely more to this book than just the descriptions of a lovely tea shop, though. The story is told from the perspectives of several women, each of them dealing with their own individual issues and their goal to turn the Tea Chest into a success. Each of the female characters had their own story to tell and really added another aspect to the plotline, which I really enjoyed.
The book focuses mainly on relationships: the relationship between husband and wife, the relationship between sisters, the relationship between friends/colleagues. The different storylines really complemented one another and I didn’t get bored with any of it for even a second. Josephine Moon has managed to give the novel her own personal touch and I personally really enjoyed her writing style. This is a great debut novel and I’m curious to discover what else the author has in store for us in the future. ‘The Tea Chest’ is a wonderful, well-written, light read about love, friendship, and lots of tea; a read that comes highly recommended!