Wednesday, 11 June 2008
"All the Tea in China" by Jane Orcutt
What is it about?
Isabella Goodrich is the orphaned niece of an Oxford Dean. She is well-bred, well educated and independent. Phineas Snowe is a missionary in China...or so he says. Isabella feels convinced, by a string of occurrences that she should follow Mr Snowe to China to help in his mission work there. She stows away on the East India Company ship that Mr Snowe is traveling on and discovers not only the truth about the mysterious Phineas Snowe, but much about herself also.
What I thought:
I loved this book for many reasons! Firstly the language captured me. Bordering between Jane Austen and modern day 'proper' English, I pleasured in a novel that was not sloppy in its grammar. It was not difficult at all to imagine the English accent that the characters would have had. The character of Isabella was beautifully depicted. She is a plucky, determined spirit and this fuels her faith-driven goals. I found it easy to identify with her on many levels. Jane was able to morph Phineas Snowe from an unattractive, argumentative man on first impression, into a compassionate and dedicated person who loves deeply and fully.
'All the Tea in China' is a beautiful story that reminded me that first impressions are not all they are cracked up to be, and that compassion for others should compel us into action for their benefit.