Sunday, 27 July 2014

The Tea Chest - Josephine Moon

About the book...

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 the three women's paths unexpectedly cross, they throw themselves into realising Kate's magical vision for London's branch of 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?

An enchanting, witty novel about the unexpected situations life throws at us, and how love and friendship help us through. Written with heart and infused with the seductive scents of bergamot, Indian spices, lemon, rose and caramel, it's a world you won't want to leave.

About the author...

Hello! I like to think of my books as being like a good chocolate brownie--rich, comforting, uplifting, but with a few chunky nuts to chew on. I live on the Sunshine Coast in Australia and now have the great pleasure of writing books for a living. My first book, 'The Tea Chest' is now on the shelves, published by Allen & Unwin in Australia and New Zealand. It will be out in the UK in July. I write about what I love and that often has a lot to do with food :) I also think there needs to be more joy in the world so I hope to do that too. Enjoy!

My thoughts...

I was offered a copy of this book by Sam Redman at Allen & Unwin the publishers for The Tea Chest in exchange for an honest review which I'm more than happy to give.  Firstly, I have to mention the marketing for this book - it is the best I've seen in years.  I received my copy of The Tea Chest along with a beautiful t-towel, t-bag to make my own brew and a hand written post card hoping I'd enjoy the book.

Simone part owner of the Tea Chest, met Kate at the market where she had a successful stall, blending and mixing teas - she made her an offer she couldn't refuse and a beautiful friendship was formed.  For six years they worked alongside each other building upon and growing the already successful Tea Chest.  The only fly in the ointment was Judy, Simones silent investor, who didn't seem to share in the joy of the business.  It was a shock to both to discover upon Simone's sudden death that she had left her half not to her backer Judy but to her friend Kate.

It's fair to say both were shocked.  Judy was pushing Kate to sell up, Kate wanted to fulfil hers and Simones dreams of opening the proposed London store.  Something she forges ahead with despite the fact it could destroy her family in the process.

Kate is joined in her battle by three women she meets along the way.  Leila, in answer to a job ad, Elizabeth and Victoria after a 'drowning their sorrows session' in the pub.  Each of the women are very different, bringing different qualities to the team.  Each having their own problems and stories to tell.  

I loved the way they latched on to each other, drawing strength from the project - working tirelessly towards the store opening.  With every set back and problem encountered a layer was lifted, revealing four, raw, emotional characters that needed a purpose and each other to re-build themselves - using The Tea Chest as an anchor as their characters evolved.

I laughed and groaned, had many 'OMG no' moments and generally smiled throughout the whole of this book.  I can't describe just quite how much I loved it.  Josephine captured a bit of my heart in the telling of this story. The descriptions given to everything are so vivid.  The store, the flowers, the outfits they chose and in particular the contents of the shop - my mouth literally watered the whole way through the book, I could smell and taste the flavours so strongly.

Whilst I sat in the sunshine, sipping my tea, Josephine through The Tea Chest mixed and blended a delightful tale allowing a front row seat to watch the four women grow, to discover things about themselves and each other - to observe the selfless acts of kindness each displayed to each other, putting others before themselves.  The supporting cast, husbands, boyfriends, friends, family and neighbouring shop keepers actively enhanced the story as they dipped in and out.  But, for me, I particularly loved the parts where we got to know and understand Simone and Judy, as the current story moved forward, Simone and Judy's went backwards  - leaving a clearer understanding of their relationship and why Judy was the character she was.

I can't tell you how much I loved this book and highly recommend it - when the chips are down, support is found in unlikely places, showing we all need to accept help and friendship not just give it to grow and understand what we as individuals are capable of if we put our minds to it.  

I easily give this book 5/5 stars


  1. Thanks for sharing this Dawn, I got this on my kindle recently and look forward to reading it more now :-) it's a lovely review. I agree with Josephine too, I also wish there was more joy in the world xx

  2. Oh you'll def love it - just like tea brewing if got better and better :) xx