A Cuban Girl's Guide to Tea and Tomorrowby Laura Taylor Namey
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, Young Adult
Published on November 10, 2020
For Lila Reyes, a summer in England was never part of the plan. The plan was 1) take over her abuelaâ€™s role as head baker at their panaderÃa, 2) move in with her best friend after graduation, and 3) live happily ever after with her boyfriend. But then the Trifecta happened, and everythingâ€”including Lila herselfâ€”fell apart.
Worried about Lilaâ€™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 Lilaâ€¦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 Winchesterâ€™s drama-filled music scene to the sweeping English countryside, it isnâ€™t long before Lila is not only charmed by Orion, but England itself. Soon a new future is beginning to form in Lilaâ€™s mindâ€”one that would mean leaving everything she ever planned behind.
Lila is only 18 but she has had her whole life planned out. Suddenly, all of her plans come crashing down and she does not deal with this well. Her family decides that she needs a change of scenery. They send her to relatives in England completely against her will. She is supposed to rest and recuperate. After the summer, she can come back home and resume her plans to take over operations in her family’s bakery.
Obviously, the way you think your life is going to go at 18 is not what is really going to happen. The story of how Lila learns to let go of her need to control everything and everyone around her is the heart of this book. She learns that it is ok to change her mind and her surroundings. She can let other people make their own decisions too. That’s hard for her. She has that adolescent mindset where she thinks she knows best for everyone and that she doesn’t need to learn from anyone else. That can be exhausting to read, especially for older people like me, but it was part of the character’s growth here so I didn’t mind it.
The food in this book sounds amazing. I wish that there had been recipes for some of the baked goods that are described. I would have definitely made a few.