Summer officially beings June 20th, but until then, join us in reading our top tea-themed picks for National Iced Tea Month. Grab your favorite tea, and remember to bring a fan, because it’s getting “hotter’n the devil’s armpits out there!”
The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix
Our first pick takes place in the home of iced tea itself, South Carolina. When Patricia Campbell joins a book club to escape the stress of caring for her mother-in-law and the mundanity of her everyday life, she discovers a dark secret that has been lurking in her small town. As black children go missing throughout the neighborhood, Patricia and her book club must work to undo centuries worth of systemic racism, misogyny, and hatred to save the town…all while playing the part of proper Southern women, of course.
the tea girl of hummingbird lane by Lisa see
For years, Li-yan and her family have centered their lives around the growing and distribution of their tea farm. When a stranger arrives in her small town, Li-yan distances herself from the traditional life she was raised in and gets pregnant out of wedlock despite her parents’ approval. Years later, adopted Haley is all grown-up and uses the study of Pu’er as a means to find her roots while her mother, Li-yan, is doing the same an ocean away.
A Cuban girl’s guide to tea and tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey
Sometimes when your life begins to fall apart, all you need is a change of scenery to get back on your feet. Lilia Reyes finds her post-graduation plans are completely ruined, so she decides to spend her summer in England before she moves on to…well…whatever comes next. But what England lacks in flavor, it makes up for in cute English teashop clerks and sweeping countrysides. Before long, Lilia realizes that this trip may be the beginning of the “what happens next” phase of her life.
Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop by roselle lim
Vanessa Yu has the uncanny ability to predict people’s lives using tea leaves. Despite switching to coffee to avoid spoiling people’s fates, the fortunes find a way to haunt Vanessa’s life. After seeing death for the first time, she decides it’s time to rid herself of her abilities, and what better place to do that than during a vacation to Paris. In this single trip-of-a-lifetime, Vanessa learns more about herself than tea leaves could have ever taught her.
midnight in the garden of good and evil by John Berendt
Based on true events, this novel narrates the murder of Danny Hansford, a local Savannah prostitute, by his employer, Jim Williams, and the trials that followed. While Williams claims the murder was an act of self-defense, public speculation and opinion think otherwise. Such a mysterious crime makes one begin to think that the South is not all sweet tea and hospitality. And while Williams was eventually acquitted, readers can piece together their own opinions on what truly happened that fateful night.
featured image by MEGAN HANDLEY AT BOOKSTR