counter create hit All the Tea in China - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

All the Tea in China

Availability: Ready to download

The good young Englishwoman knows that her destiny depends upon a good marriage match. But Isabella Goodrich is not your typical good young Englishwoman. After an encounter with those less fortunate than she, witty and fun-loving Isabella makes a shocking decision. Against everyone's advice and wishes, she is going to become a missionary in the Far East. Fighting against c The good young Englishwoman knows that her destiny depends upon a good marriage match. But Isabella Goodrich is not your typical good young Englishwoman. After an encounter with those less fortunate than she, witty and fun-loving Isabella makes a shocking decision. Against everyone's advice and wishes, she is going to become a missionary in the Far East. Fighting against cultural expectations, common sense, and a mentor who is not as he seems, Isabella leaves her predictable Oxford life behind and sets sail to a new world fraught with danger. Can she trust the mysterious missionary Phineas Snowe? Or will her adventure end before it even begins? This first novel in the Rollicking Regency series will delight readers who like high adventure, twisting plots, and a fun bit of romance.


Compare
Ads Banner

The good young Englishwoman knows that her destiny depends upon a good marriage match. But Isabella Goodrich is not your typical good young Englishwoman. After an encounter with those less fortunate than she, witty and fun-loving Isabella makes a shocking decision. Against everyone's advice and wishes, she is going to become a missionary in the Far East. Fighting against c The good young Englishwoman knows that her destiny depends upon a good marriage match. But Isabella Goodrich is not your typical good young Englishwoman. After an encounter with those less fortunate than she, witty and fun-loving Isabella makes a shocking decision. Against everyone's advice and wishes, she is going to become a missionary in the Far East. Fighting against cultural expectations, common sense, and a mentor who is not as he seems, Isabella leaves her predictable Oxford life behind and sets sail to a new world fraught with danger. Can she trust the mysterious missionary Phineas Snowe? Or will her adventure end before it even begins? This first novel in the Rollicking Regency series will delight readers who like high adventure, twisting plots, and a fun bit of romance.

30 review for All the Tea in China

  1. 4 out of 5

    Werner

    When I saw this book at a yard sale last summer, the captivating picture of a sword-wielding lady on the cover, coupled with the knowledge that the book is a romance by an evangelical Christian author, convinced me that this read would be right up my wife's alley. I wasn't wrong; she was initially skeptical of the historical setting (being more into modern settings), but once she got into it, she "couldn't put it down." She in turn recommended it to me; and obviously my reaction was positive as When I saw this book at a yard sale last summer, the captivating picture of a sword-wielding lady on the cover, coupled with the knowledge that the book is a romance by an evangelical Christian author, convinced me that this read would be right up my wife's alley. I wasn't wrong; she was initially skeptical of the historical setting (being more into modern settings), but once she got into it, she "couldn't put it down." She in turn recommended it to me; and obviously my reaction was positive as well! The chronological setting here is 1814; the geographical setting moves from Oxford, England to the high seas, and finally to China. So we begin in the milieu of a Jane Austen novel, move in effect to the world of Hornblower (the sailing ship carrying our characters to China isn't a naval vessel, but the Napoleonic Wars are going on and it's fair game for French privateers), and winds up in a cultural setting from which the later one in Pearl Buck's The Good Earth hasn't greatly changed. Broadly speaking, this is a "Regency romance;" but Isabella isn't typical of heroines in that type of literature. Raised by her uncle, a rather unworldly Oxford dean, she's a "bluestocking," just as learned as most Oxford students of that day, and inclined toward blunt directness in speech, in a society that valued neither trait in women. More scandalously, she was humored in a desire to be taught fencing from a very young age, and is quite good at it. So Orcutt departs here somewhat from formula --though she follows it in another respect; it's probably no spoiler to say that when a man and woman in a romance novel begin their acquaintance with a mutual antipathy, you can usually guess that they're made for each other. :-) This book isn't without its flaws, which cost it a fifth star. Some of Orcutt's plot devices are strained: why Phineas employs some of the subterfuge he does, and what role he expected Julia Whipple to play in his plan --perhaps none; but in that case, confiding it to her would be spectacularly stupid!-- isn't explained effectively (or at all). The logic of Isabella's opposition to his plan, once she knows about it, escapes me; it seems to be so groundlessly stupid as to be out of character. And the verbal sparring between the two when they met had a forced quality, IMO, disproportionate to the situation. While comparisons to Austen and Forester are natural because of the settings, the author's prose skills and ability to evoke a milieu in depth isn't equal to theirs. She uses first-person narration to provide a pretext for a style that's somewhat similar to early 19th-century diction, but not so elegant as Austen's --for instance, she uses contractions, though rarely, which Austen doesn't at all, and constructions like "Did I not?" or "Can you not?" where Austen would have said "Did not I?" or "Can not you?" Also, while she explains nautical terms better than Forester does, she tries to give her writing a period flavor by using undefined archaic terms like "modiste" or "verrucas" --which Austen did not, with the unlikely result that the modern writer is much more apt to send you hunting for a dictionary than the 19th-century one. (I still don't know what "verrucas" are, and from the context I'm not sure I want to! :-)) In fact, one result of reading the book was to remind me (again) how much I want to read the rest of Austen's novels and the rest of the Young Hornblower omnibus, sooner rather than later! However, there are considerable offsetting strengths here. The major characters are round, and developed well enough to capture the reader's interest and goodwill. Isabella herself is a likable protagonist. She's not perfect and not a super-woman --her impulsiveness can be very ill-advised (the stunt that landed her on the Dignity was so irresponsible and hare-brained that I wanted to shake both her and Orcutt, until I recalled that the heroine of my own novel did something just as irresponsible and hare-brained, which provided some perspective :-)); she's not immune to female vanity, and she can get seasick, cry out with fear at times, and whimper when she's drenched with icy rain. But she's got a good heart, she cares about people and shows it, and when the chips are down, she has the guts to fight to protect herself and others. (There's not much in the way of action scenes here, but there are some.) And she takes her Christian faith seriously, but not ostentatiously. Orcutt also deals (where Austen does not) with the darker realities of Regency society: poverty alongside of wealth; prostitution; laudanum addiction --and the monstrous trade in opium, smuggled illegally into China in return for the tea the English market coveted so much. She also makes you feel the stifling atmosphere of the English social world of that day, where Isabella is a 25-year-old spinster just because she has qualities any sane man should have appreciated (and where society women think cattiness is an art form, and turn it against any woman whose willingness to be who she is reminds them of their own artificiality), and the nauseating horror of exactly what Chinese foot-binding did to a woman's foot. There's a strong note of equalitarian feminism here that's refreshing in Christian fiction. I also liked the inter-racial romance (Isabella's love interest proves to be half Chinese, though he conceals the fact), and the cross-cultural theme. So, all in all, a good, rewarding read!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Cox

    by Andrea Renee Cox What a story! All the Tea in China was a romp across the globe that took twists and turns I could never have seen coming. It will be difficult not to spoil anything for you, but I shall try. This was probably the best-done first-person POV book that I’ve ever read, though I did get annoyed at the occasional “dear” and “dear friend” comments directed at the reader. It was quite an enjoyable perspective, and I am eager to read another book by this author, who was new to me this by Andrea Renee Cox What a story! All the Tea in China was a romp across the globe that took twists and turns I could never have seen coming. It will be difficult not to spoil anything for you, but I shall try. This was probably the best-done first-person POV book that I’ve ever read, though I did get annoyed at the occasional “dear” and “dear friend” comments directed at the reader. It was quite an enjoyable perspective, and I am eager to read another book by this author, who was new to me this time. The characters were delightful, the plot adventurous, and the cultures beautifully shared. I found two or three English words that were overly large and difficult to understand; they seemed plucked from a thesaurus to impress the reader, but the opposite affect was achieved for me. I loved the inclusion of some Chinese words and their meanings. Sometimes the definitions were given in such an obvious way that it felt school-like rather than in a good and natural flow within the story. One question I had after finishing the book was what happened to Uncle Toby and Flora? It seems they were forgotten in the final pages. I was a little disappointed that there were only a couple of really good sword fights, particularly since the lady on the cover wielded a sword. I thought this would be a larger part of the plot. That being said, I enjoyed this story and its adventure enough to consider this book a keeper. I look forward to reading it again soon! Content notes: *drug usage (handled well) *woman of loose morals (handled well) *loose talk of the devil I was not compensated for my honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kelli

    I read this book, funnily enough, in China. It definitely provided some entertainment and the story, at first, is fairly engaging. however, and its a big however, midway thru the story it gets to the point where all of a sudden the lead male is described as having weird slit eyes. Suddenly Oh No! We then discover, after reading about him for half the book, that he is half Chinese! As if no other English characters in the book, would have detected that, by looking at him at first sight. I laughed I read this book, funnily enough, in China. It definitely provided some entertainment and the story, at first, is fairly engaging. however, and its a big however, midway thru the story it gets to the point where all of a sudden the lead male is described as having weird slit eyes. Suddenly Oh No! We then discover, after reading about him for half the book, that he is half Chinese! As if no other English characters in the book, would have detected that, by looking at him at first sight. I laughed out loud at these turn of events in the book, and from that time on the book slipped down hill. For that, I have to give it only one star. Bad character development.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    Refreshingly unique! I really enjoyed how different this book was from others that I have read. The setting, plot twists, and especially the characters were a refreshing change. Phineas Snowe was definitely one of a kind and quite an intriguing character.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Malia Saldaña

    This book was really good. I enjoyed reading a little bit about the Chinese culture.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Victoria Bylin

    This book has been on my list for a long time. I'm so glad I finally read it. My senior essay at UC Berkeley was about women in China in the 1920s. This story is set much earlier, but it has the atmosphere I was looking for. The story starts in Regency England, then moves to a sea voyage and finally China itself. There's much to love here--witty writing, plot twists and turns, and a heroine with a very unique skill set. I enjoyed the story and am glad I read it. Recommended for readers intereste This book has been on my list for a long time. I'm so glad I finally read it. My senior essay at UC Berkeley was about women in China in the 1920s. This story is set much earlier, but it has the atmosphere I was looking for. The story starts in Regency England, then moves to a sea voyage and finally China itself. There's much to love here--witty writing, plot twists and turns, and a heroine with a very unique skill set. I enjoyed the story and am glad I read it. Recommended for readers interested in unique settings, China, bold heroines, clash-of-culture stories, sea adventures, and complicated family ties.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ron

    Orcutt shows some talent but she lays on the Jane Austin a little too heavily. Improbably shipboard actions, especially how our protagonist got shipboard. Would have to try a contemporary work before I could judge either way. On the other hand, the tale itself is well thought out and engaging.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rachael

    This is the second time I've read the book, and it still greatly entertained me. It's definitely not one's average Regency romance, since it takes place primarily at sea on the voyage to China, and many of the popular social situations of the Regency era do not apply on an ocean voyage. Isabella is hardly the average Regency heroine, being not only scholarly but also athletically inclined, and actually desirous of marriage (whereas so many bluestocking spinsters tend to be in denial). For that m This is the second time I've read the book, and it still greatly entertained me. It's definitely not one's average Regency romance, since it takes place primarily at sea on the voyage to China, and many of the popular social situations of the Regency era do not apply on an ocean voyage. Isabella is hardly the average Regency heroine, being not only scholarly but also athletically inclined, and actually desirous of marriage (whereas so many bluestocking spinsters tend to be in denial). For that matter, our hero is far from the suitable, traditional Englishman one comes to expect in the genre. It's a lively, light-hearted book that nevertheless touches on some serious subjects, such as prejudice and loving those who persecute you, but in a gentle, compassionate way, not sermonizing. And I like the romance, how it kind of creeps up on Isabella and suddenly we see her perspective shift. I wish the author had lived to write more Rollicking Romances.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Georgianne

    This is a most unusual story, and could never be perceived as 'predictable' (something I hear readers complain about so often-and find the term rather annoying). At times I felt like I was living in Isabella's dream, because some of the paths she took seemed rather outrageous to me. However, I loved the dialog between characters and thought it to be a very cleverly written story with some laugh out loud moments. I was a little bit disappointed in the ending.... just fell a little flat to me.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joy H.

    Added 12/13/2009 1/16/2015 - I read a sample of this book at: https://play.google.com/books/reader?... I read this book in January 2015. Enjoyed it a lot. Added 12/13/2009 1/16/2015 - I read a sample of this book at: https://play.google.com/books/reader?... I read this book in January 2015. Enjoyed it a lot.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Christin

    This book was enjoyable! Fun and lighthearted, it sucked me in pretty quickly. The romance was fun and the characters' growth was fun to watch...but... The reason for the 3 stars is that 1. Some of the characters' actions didn't seem super logical or fitting with their character (i.e. Phineas' whole story) and 2. The presentation of their Christian faith was SO weird. Phineas did not seem like a Christian at all until magically it is revealed he is. Why would a Christian pretend to be a missionar This book was enjoyable! Fun and lighthearted, it sucked me in pretty quickly. The romance was fun and the characters' growth was fun to watch...but... The reason for the 3 stars is that 1. Some of the characters' actions didn't seem super logical or fitting with their character (i.e. Phineas' whole story) and 2. The presentation of their Christian faith was SO weird. Phineas did not seem like a Christian at all until magically it is revealed he is. Why would a Christian pretend to be a missionary when they aren't? Why would he arrange for a prostitute to be taken to a foreign country...to continue to be a prostitute (especially when he cannot stand the thought of importing opium...) Also, any book that ends with "we decided to preach the gospel, but only use words when necessary" does NOT understand the gospel. Faith comes from hearing!! And I highly doubt a completely Christ-less culture would understand the substitutionary atonement of Christ's life, death, and resurrection gospel just by randomly washing someone's feet. I know you have to take culture into account when serving as a missionary and she was trying to show growth in her character but only using actions to preach the gospel is just silly. 3. There were several loose ends--like, what did her family ever think of it? Did they just think she died?! Did they get her letter?? How could someone be half-Chinese and you not notice it for like 5 months? In the end, a fun read. I'll look for more Jane Orcutt novels, but won't expect a theologically accurate lesson.

  12. 4 out of 5

    (Jen) The Artist Librarian

    3 1/2 stars. Saw this in my favorite used-book store and thought I'd give it a shot. So much potential in this novel! The main characters are likeable over time, though their Christian/spiritual maturity of was a bit lacking (and is a weak point of the novel). However, it is the unique plot that kept my interest. Also, having a [spoiler regarding Phineas] (view spoiler)[ "hapa" (half-Asian, half Caucasian) hero in a Christian historical novel? As an Asian American, I admit, it gave me a thrill to 3 1/2 stars. Saw this in my favorite used-book store and thought I'd give it a shot. So much potential in this novel! The main characters are likeable over time, though their Christian/spiritual maturity of was a bit lacking (and is a weak point of the novel). However, it is the unique plot that kept my interest. Also, having a [spoiler regarding Phineas] (view spoiler)[ "hapa" (half-Asian, half Caucasian) hero in a Christian historical novel? As an Asian American, I admit, it gave me a thrill to see that, as there aren't many Asian characters featured in Christian fiction in general, much less in a historical (to date, I can't think of another Asian main character in a Christian historical). It may seem superficial, but I was excited to see that for some reason ... (hide spoiler)] was very exciting to me. The ending seemed like it could have used a couple more chapters for a more satisfactory conclusion, but all in all, a very unique storyline will keep this tale in my collection of Christian Regency novels.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    I truly enjoyed reading this book upon having it recommended to me by a writer-friend of mine. Being that I write historical romance from first person point of view, I am always on the lookout for such books to read. I loved that it was written strictly from the point of view of the heroine, Isabella, and that the reader gets to know Phineas Snow right along with her. For the first 75% of this book I was COMPLETELY in love with it. I loved the characters, the writing, the plot... but then the las I truly enjoyed reading this book upon having it recommended to me by a writer-friend of mine. Being that I write historical romance from first person point of view, I am always on the lookout for such books to read. I loved that it was written strictly from the point of view of the heroine, Isabella, and that the reader gets to know Phineas Snow right along with her. For the first 75% of this book I was COMPLETELY in love with it. I loved the characters, the writing, the plot... but then the last 25% was so much more telling, and mainly about the hero's mother and the heroine. It was still a good story to the end, but it just seemed like a much different book during that last quarter. What I liked most was that it was written in the kind of first person POV that I love best--at least for most of it. I do wish there were more of this kind of book in the Christian publishing market. All the Tea in China was published back in 2007, and soon after that the author unfortunately passed away. I bought this book (here) because I adored that first 75% so much.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Heather Gilbert

    I truly enjoyed this fast-paced read, esp. the British/Chinese setting--unusual for the CBA. I looked up Mrs. Orcutt, hoping to find more of her books, and was so saddened to learn she has died at a younger age. Truly, she used her talents for the Lord.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Janelle

    I found All the Tea in China to be well written but a little boring. I also found the main character, Isabella, somewhat aggravating. For a woman of 26 she made a lot of naive decisions.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn Sneed

    I had heard mixed reviews about this book and was not sure if I wanted to read it. I finally started it and was pleasantly surprised at what a fun and interesting book it was! The entire story is told from the main character's view, Isabella. From her funny thoughts about certain situations to her way of telling the story, it drew me in. The characters are fun and interesting and what made it so good, was that each character what not what they first seemed. I liked that. The author seems to have I had heard mixed reviews about this book and was not sure if I wanted to read it. I finally started it and was pleasantly surprised at what a fun and interesting book it was! The entire story is told from the main character's view, Isabella. From her funny thoughts about certain situations to her way of telling the story, it drew me in. The characters are fun and interesting and what made it so good, was that each character what not what they first seemed. I liked that. The author seems to have done her research about China and is very detailed and I feel like I have learned something new. Even though this was the first book I have read by Jane Orcutt, she is an author I will definitely be looking for more from in the future! Storyline: Isabella is a young woman on the brink of becoming an "old maid". With no husband prospects in sight, she decides to take fate into her own hands after meeting a missionary named Phineas Snowe at a party. She decides that God has given her several prompt signs and that it is His will for her to go to China with Phineas to be a missionary. After asking permission to go with him and receiving a prompt "no" Isabella decides she will go anyway and stows away aboard his ship. What follows is a wonderful adventure even though Phineas and his situation are not what it first seems!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Beverly

    I have to say that I picked up this book simply because I had finished all the others I had requested from the library and had received no new ones in this past week's delivery of holds. It fit my historical Christian fiction interest, and the Regency era with China Missions interest, so I picked it up. I must say the first few chapters were almost frustrating. For all her spunk, and book learning, and her no longer secret vice of fencing, she came across as naive, superstitious and impulsive. I I have to say that I picked up this book simply because I had finished all the others I had requested from the library and had received no new ones in this past week's delivery of holds. It fit my historical Christian fiction interest, and the Regency era with China Missions interest, so I picked it up. I must say the first few chapters were almost frustrating. For all her spunk, and book learning, and her no longer secret vice of fencing, she came across as naive, superstitious and impulsive. I was glad I finished the book, for the adventures that her spontaneous and impulsive nature landed her in, combined with her deeply rooted faith and moral convictions ended up helping her to grow and develop as a young woman. She ended up being up for the challenges and proving herself to be brave and committed to seeing her perceived calling through. I enjoyed the introduction to China and the negative influences that the East India Trade company had on the people in their greed for tea, wealth and power. Good story over all.

  18. 5 out of 5

    A Busscher

    Typical Rom-com. There were some funny moments, but overall great skim read. I find it hard to believe that Isabella could make it on to the ship without 1)anything bad happening to her since she was unchaperoned, 2) could find the ship in port, 3) make it on the ship without a ticket, 4) stay on the ship (2x) and nobody noticed?! I don't think so. I get that she is stubborn, but on a ship filled with men, and they don't notice a single lady? It was interesting to read about the three-ish intere Typical Rom-com. There were some funny moments, but overall great skim read. I find it hard to believe that Isabella could make it on to the ship without 1)anything bad happening to her since she was unchaperoned, 2) could find the ship in port, 3) make it on the ship without a ticket, 4) stay on the ship (2x) and nobody noticed?! I don't think so. I get that she is stubborn, but on a ship filled with men, and they don't notice a single lady? It was interesting to read about the three-ish interesting facts about the East India trade company and how much tea was exported. Along with the tid-bit about the opium trade.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Pryke

    This book was an excruciatingly slow start and didn't really speed up as it went along. There is a very fine line between a detailed description of events, and pointless minutiae. I feel like this book flirted heavily with that line and crossed it more times than necessary. There were some great lines in it though and it did manage to keep my interest and somehow captured my imagination. I had no problems putting it down and not picking it back up again for days. Did I enjoy it? Yes. Would I rec This book was an excruciatingly slow start and didn't really speed up as it went along. There is a very fine line between a detailed description of events, and pointless minutiae. I feel like this book flirted heavily with that line and crossed it more times than necessary. There were some great lines in it though and it did manage to keep my interest and somehow captured my imagination. I had no problems putting it down and not picking it back up again for days. Did I enjoy it? Yes. Would I recommend it? Nope. 2 1/2 stars.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    In this book, set in 1814 the main character, who is unmarried at age 25 and thus considered on the shelf decides that she is meant to be a missionary in China. She sneaks aboard a ship to join some missionaries going back to China. However, she soon learns that things are not as they seem. One begins to wonder what is the truth about the lead male character. However, it is an enjoyabe book and the first one by the author that I have read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Eva

    I always try to read AMWF novels when I can because I find them more relatable since I am a white woman engaged to an Asian man. I was intrigued because the male lead is half Asian and that is definitely less common. That said, I found the main character unbelievable and boring. I wanted to like the book but I just couldn't get into it. I have to say that this is one of the few that I have just given up on.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Maggie Shanley

    Don't let the description fool you, this book is more than "rollicking" fluff. Isabella is sure that marriage is not for her and so she decides to devote her life to being a missionary in China. Phineas Snow presents himself as a missionary from China, but he is not quite what he says he is. There were a few dangling storylines that make me wish for a sequel, but in general this was a thoughtful look at being a missionary, marriage and relations between China and Great Britain or America.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    Glad to see that the main character, Isabella, actually uses her fencing skills. I did wonder about the people she left behind without a word of good bye in England. Do they ever learn what became of Isabella?

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ellie

    Very interesting book. Not too romancy and lovey dovey. This story takes such unexpected turns you could never predict by just reading the back of the book. I greatly enjoyed this book! It was a refreshing change to the normal Romance stories😀

  25. 4 out of 5

    Brooke Barenfanger

    A book by Jane Orcutt was a new experience for me. I was enchanted with the title and cover. The plot is about a woman named Isabella who follows a man who she believes is a missionary, only to discover that the man, Phineas Snowe, has deceived her. This novel put me in the mind of Pride and Prejudice and Around the World in 80 Days. Isabella and Phineas have many witty conversations throughout the beginning of the novel. I found myself greatly amused by them, for more often than not the nature A book by Jane Orcutt was a new experience for me. I was enchanted with the title and cover. The plot is about a woman named Isabella who follows a man who she believes is a missionary, only to discover that the man, Phineas Snowe, has deceived her. This novel put me in the mind of Pride and Prejudice and Around the World in 80 Days. Isabella and Phineas have many witty conversations throughout the beginning of the novel. I found myself greatly amused by them, for more often than not the nature of these conversations was sardonic. Phineas Snowe seemed truly to be somewhat of a cad, though he said that he was a missionary. He was especially a cad where Isabella was concerned. He was also somewhat arrogant and given to lies. But he was a honorable man at heart. Isabella was sweet and too much consumed with clothing--which she did chide herself on several times. She was determined to be a missionary, which did end her up in China in a rather interesting situation. All the Tea in China did have its flaws. When Isabella ran away she was never homesick, which I found quite unrealistic. Also, there was never a clear presentation of the gospel, though Isabella did say many times that she wanted to preach the good news, whatever the good news was. Also, Jane Orcutt took a rather daring route in writing this book in first person. The problem with this is that the only person the reader can ever really know is the person speaking. I wanted to get to know Phineas better. He wasn't as deep a character he could have been, for this reason and also the reason that he never much spoke about his faith or relationship with God. However, I will say that I enjoyed being inside Isabella's head and hearing her thoughts. It kept the book interesting and exciting. It never seemed to drag. Around the end of the book, Isabella lives with her mother-in-law for a while. The author could have done a better job with Isabella being more of a witness for Christ here, because I never really did see the mother-in-law change in any respect, though she did soften toward Isabella. Other than these things, the book was witty and well-researched. I learned much about sword fighting, Chinese history and culture, as well as ships and sails. I give All the Tea in China a 3 out of 5 stars.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cassandra

    I started this book without realizing that it had been poorly reviewed by a friend. Back when I originally read the review, I commented that it was definitely a book that I was going to skip. Unfortunately, a year later, I forgot my resolution and borrowed All the Tea in China from the library. What to say... First of all, I was sucked into the story by page 50. It's an interesting premise - an "old maid" finds that she has the opportunity to travel to China and be a missionary to the "heathens." I started this book without realizing that it had been poorly reviewed by a friend. Back when I originally read the review, I commented that it was definitely a book that I was going to skip. Unfortunately, a year later, I forgot my resolution and borrowed All the Tea in China from the library. What to say... First of all, I was sucked into the story by page 50. It's an interesting premise - an "old maid" finds that she has the opportunity to travel to China and be a missionary to the "heathens." China, tea, and travel? Definitely my idea of a good book. Well, I agree with other reviewers who say that the main character is naive and rather blind. Her actions did not make sense to me; she jumped at the chance to sneak on board a ship and travel to another country without the guidance of her family. But then she misses the obvious and wonders later why she was tricked. The main male lead has some serious character flaws and I cannot figure out why the female lead trusts him. With their history, I wouldn't trust anything he says, no matter how good looking he seems. Also, I was disappointed with the missionary aspect of the story. The main character says that she wants to preach the gospel to the Chinese. She starts learning Chinese and, when circumstances change, promptly forgets her conviction that God has led her to be a missionary. When God leads, you follow. Period. The first half of the book was fantastic. The second half was a huge letdown. Ultimately, I wish I had remembered the initial negative review and skipped this one.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dana Kamstra

    From page one, I was absolutely drawn in by the unique voice of an equally interesting character: "I can abide neither a liar nor a cheat, but you may be wont to think me such whil I here relate my little tale. Were I not your humble narrator, even now I would scarce believe it anything but mere fiction. I take pen in resolute hand to assure you that what I am about to recount is trust, not the least of which involves heartbreak, joy, a Chinese translation of the Gospel according to St. Luke, and From page one, I was absolutely drawn in by the unique voice of an equally interesting character: "I can abide neither a liar nor a cheat, but you may be wont to think me such whil I here relate my little tale. Were I not your humble narrator, even now I would scarce believe it anything but mere fiction. I take pen in resolute hand to assure you that what I am about to recount is trust, not the least of which involves heartbreak, joy, a Chinese translation of the Gospel according to St. Luke, and, oh yes, a rather large sword." The rest of the story held me captive. It was a tale that was both adventurous and romantic with characters that felt nearly straight from a fairy tale. However, the story itself does not take on a fairytale vibe, but rather that of a woman searching for her destiny and following what she thinks is God's will for her life. Overall, I adored this story and loved the history that it touched on in its pages: The tea trade, opium in China, piracy, sea travel and so much more. The contrast between Phineas Snowe and Isabella Goodrich helps them both come alive and a whole other cast of characters adds a bit of life to the story. But, when the story was done, I had a few questions that I felt were left unanswered. I also feel that as I got closer to the end, events began to feel rushed. These two reasons knocked the book down a star for me, but otherwise, I found it to be a wonderful book that I would highly reccommend.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    3.5 Stars All the Tea in China is a historical romance about Isabella Goodrich who believes herself called to the orient as a missionary. When Phineas Snowe, a missionary who is returning to China refuses to take her with him, she stows away on board ship in an attempt to get her way. There were a lot of things I enjoyed about this book such as the conversations between the characters, the fact that Isabella is wicked at fencing and generally how the book progressed until I was three quarters of 3.5 Stars All the Tea in China is a historical romance about Isabella Goodrich who believes herself called to the orient as a missionary. When Phineas Snowe, a missionary who is returning to China refuses to take her with him, she stows away on board ship in an attempt to get her way. There were a lot of things I enjoyed about this book such as the conversations between the characters, the fact that Isabella is wicked at fencing and generally how the book progressed until I was three quarters of the way through. The tone of the story completely shifted and the ending left a lot of things unfinished. I felt it was a great book from the start and then... blah! Despite the ending of this book, I would like to read more of Jane Orcutt. The story itself was different from a regency romance and until the end I truly enjoyed the book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    I loved this story. I do question the ending. A wonderful story about a girl who is seeking a life's calling. She has no beau or husband, she is studied and skilled and doesn't suit her society of the day. Even though she is tricked and manipulated which causes her to seem to make a horrible mistake of leaving her home and boarding as a stow-away on a ship, God has His hand on her life all the time. A tale of love and honor, of commitment and compassion, Isabella is able to trust the Lord as her I loved this story. I do question the ending. A wonderful story about a girl who is seeking a life's calling. She has no beau or husband, she is studied and skilled and doesn't suit her society of the day. Even though she is tricked and manipulated which causes her to seem to make a horrible mistake of leaving her home and boarding as a stow-away on a ship, God has His hand on her life all the time. A tale of love and honor, of commitment and compassion, Isabella is able to trust the Lord as her husband goes on a journey with anger and revenge in his heart. Phineas returns with a renewal of his faith and love and reveals how God has shown the the truth and changed his mind about his original plan. He wants to please his wife and live wherever she wants, but is surprised when she tells him where she would like to live and what she see ahead. An interesting read!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Highland-dreamer

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I had this book on my shelf for over a year- it was an impulse buy at the bookstore- and I don't regret my choice! I'm only sorry it took me so long to read it. I loved it- Christian Regency novels are not very abundant, and this one surely didn't stick to any stereotypes. It was unique and enjoyable, and if you like adventure stories, then I definitely recommend this one. I was saddened to read that the author has passed away, but I will be looking up some of her other work. The only thing prev I had this book on my shelf for over a year- it was an impulse buy at the bookstore- and I don't regret my choice! I'm only sorry it took me so long to read it. I loved it- Christian Regency novels are not very abundant, and this one surely didn't stick to any stereotypes. It was unique and enjoyable, and if you like adventure stories, then I definitely recommend this one. I was saddened to read that the author has passed away, but I will be looking up some of her other work. The only thing preventing this novel from getting 5 stars, was the end. There was no epilogue, but it seemed there were several loose-ends. It would've been nice to find out what happened with her uncle, and her life in England- if she ever returned.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.