The teahouse fire

by Avery, Ellis.

Format: Print Book 2006
Availability: Available at 5 Libraries 5 of 5 copies
Available (5)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library First Floor - Fiction Stacks FICTION Avery, E
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  First Floor - Fiction Stacks
Call Number  FICTION Avery, E
Community Library of Allegheny Valley - Harrison Fiction FIC AVERY
Location  Community Library of Allegheny Valley - Harrison
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  FIC AVERY
Mt. Lebanon Public Library Fiction AVERY Ellis
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  AVERY Ellis
Shaler North Hills Library Fiction AVERY
Location  Shaler North Hills Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  AVERY
Wilkinsburg Public Library Fiction FIC AVE
Location  Wilkinsburg Public Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  FIC AVE
“Like attending seasons of elegant tea parties—each one resplendent with character and drama. Delicious."—Maxine Hong Kingston

The story of two women whose lives intersect in late-nineteenth-century Japan, The Teahouse Fire is also a portrait of one of the most fascinating places and times in all of history—Japan as it opens its doors to the West. It was a period when wearing a different color kimono could make a political statement, when women stopped blackening their teeth to profess an allegiance to Western ideas, and when Japan's most mysterious rite—the tea ceremony—became not just a sacramental meal, but a ritual battlefield.

We see it all through the eyes of Aurelia, an American orphan adopted by the Shin family, proprietors of a tea ceremony school, after their daughter, Yukako, finds her hiding on their grounds. Aurelia becomes Yukako's closest companion, and they, the Shin family, and all of Japan face a time of great challenges and uncertainty. Told in an enchanting and unforgettable voice, The Teahouse Fire is a lively, provocative, and lushly detailed historical novel of epic scope and compulsive readability.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Avery, a longtime student of the Japanese tea ceremony, has set her first novel in late-nineteenth-century Japan, when that tradition-steeped nation gradually exposed itself to the modern West. She weaves a memorable saga of two women: Yukako, the daughter of a respected tea advisor to feudal lords, and Aurelia, a French orphan who traveled to Kyoto at age nine with her uncle, and was adopted by the tea master's family after he died. Avery adroitly conveys the intricacies of the tea ceremony, the language of diplomacy, and the subtle ways in which it was transformed as Japan moved from a Shogun society to one ruled by the emperor. At the same time, she illuminates other social changes, such as the arrival of the steam engine, women no longer blackening their teeth, and the lifting of the ban on Christianity. Aurelia remains Yukako's stalwart friend through doomed romances and a disappointing marriage, telling her, when Yukako resumes her father's tea ceremonies after his death, You took an art that could have died, and you made it live. --Deborah Donovan Copyright 2006 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Those expecting another great audio, like Elaine Erika Davis's rendition of Memoirs of a Geisha, are sure to be disappointed, but the plodding pace of this new work of history cloaked under a fictional kimono is not the fault of Barbara Caruso but of its author. The minute details of the tea ceremony as it was transformed by historical events are not interspersed with enough plot for Caruso to keep the story moving. Unfortunately, Aurelia's obsession with Yukako, who saved her from the sad fate of European orphans in a strange land, is the subplot of Yukako's drive to save the tea ceremony from obscurity. Caruso gives Aurelia's voice all the wide-eyed wonder of Gulliver among the Lilliputians, but since Aurelia recounts her life in her old age, this tone is a bit forced. Yukako and other women are nicely individualized, but men tend to grunt out their words. Listeners fascinated by Japanese history will be rewarded by a compelling look at an elegant tradition that is sadly too slow and ritualized for Americans who measure life in nanoseconds. Simultaneous release with the Riverhead hardcover (Reviews, Oct. 30). (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Americans -- Japan -- Kyoto -- Fiction.
Japanese tea ceremony -- Fiction.
Kyoto (Japan) -- Social life and customs -- 19th century -- Fiction.
Publisher New York :Riverhead Books,2006
Other Titles Teahouse fire: a novel.
Language English
Description 391 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN 1594489300
Other Classic View