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A Cuban Girl's Guide to Tea and Tomorrowon November 10th 2020
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For Lila Reyes, a summer in England was never part of the plan. The plan was 1) take over her abuela’s role as head baker at their panadería, 2) move in with her best friend after graduation, and 3) live happily ever after with her boyfriend. But then the Trifecta happened, and everything—including Lila herself—fell apart.
Worried about Lila’s mental health, her parents make a new plan for her: Spend three months with family friends in Winchester, England, to relax and reset. But with the lack of sun, a grumpy inn cook, and a small town lacking Miami flavor (both in food and otherwise), what would be a dream trip for some feels more like a nightmare to Lila…until she meets Orion Maxwell.
A teashop clerk with troubles of his own, Orion is determined to help Lila out of her funk, and appoints himself as her personal tour guide. From Winchester’s drama-filled music scene to the sweeping English countryside, it isn’t long before Lila is not only charmed by Orion, but England itself. Soon a new future is beginning to form in Lila’s mind—one that would mean leaving everything she ever planned behind.
What a delightful jaunt into the English countryside! I wasn’t sure how the Miami flavor would mesh with the English roots but it worked! Lila is sent to live with her English relative for 8 weeks in an attempt to recover her mental health after loss and break ups. She is a chef who finds her best work baking, but Polly, the English queen of her kitchen isn’t too thrilled to give up any control. In a mash up of scones and Cuban ingredients, with recipes and treats it’s one mouth watering adventure. I loved the Spanish phrases mingled in to the conversation.
Orion is a local tea vendor who likes to sample whatever is cooking. He’s wise beyond his years and tender hearted. He is a man of cozy sweaters and inherited vintage motorcycles. His group of friends is wonderful. So much good. I truly enjoyed the dynamics and the small town feel. Thank you Atheneum Books for Young Readers for the dreamy escape.
Content and trigger warnings: dementia, mental health breakdown, grief, moderate swearing, underage drinking, bisexual attraction.
“He dashed his hand toward the muted stars. “I’ve stopped wishing on those long ago. I mean, I still have hopes and dreams. And it certainly doesn’t mean I sit around waiting for things to happen. But I’ve mad this deal with the universe. I’ve learned not to ask for more of it than what I’m given, both good and bad. ..I’ve grown to find peace and acceptance in not fighting what I can’t control. I don’t come to God or the universe as a beggar anymore”
*”Namey shines…. A heartwarming romance paired with a well-written setting add up to a satisfying read on multiple levels.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review
*”A delectable read about loss, renewal and pastelitos.” — Shelf Awareness, starred review
“This book has it all: the recipe for new, lasting, happy friendships, a dash of romance, and some gentle (albeit hard) lessons about honoring yourself and letting go.” — Booklist
“Part romance, part foodie heaven, the warm atmosphere will make readers want to cook and dance and love.” — Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Laura Taylor Namey is the New York Times bestselling author of Reese’s Book Club pick A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow, and The Library of Lost Things. A proud Cuban-American, she can be found hunting for vintage treasures and wishing she was in London or Paris. She lives in San Diego with her husband and two children.
This former teacher writes young adult novels featuring quirky teens learning to navigate life and love. She holds a BA in Elementary Education from the University of San Diego and is the winner of the Peggy Miller Award for excellence in young adult fiction. Her third novel is forthcoming from Atheneum Simon and Schuster fall 2021.