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The Teahouse Fire
     

The Teahouse Fire

4.3 16
by Ellis Avery
 

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“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

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Teahouse Fire 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Now an elderly woman, Aurelia Bernard looks back on her life starting with the pivotal event in 1865 New York when her mother is dying and her missionary Uncle Charles takes his nine years old niece with him to Japan to do the Lord¿s work. Less than a year later in Kyoto, he is dead and Aurelia is taken in as a servant to the Shin family by their teenage daughter Yukako. The patriarch head of the Shin brood, dubbed ¿Mountain¿ by Aurelia who the locals call Urako, is a grandmaster teacher of the tea ceremony temae. However, the western invasion with its technology has made tradition look ancient so unless experts like the Mountain make a paradigm switch to adapt to the invasion, they will become like the dinosaur. As it is, the Meiji government has withdrawn its subsidies to the arts like the temae ceremonial rite. Mountain worries that his legacy will not survive his offspring Yukako and there is little he can do even as he is humiliated watching his mother and his spouse sell valuables at horrendous deflationary prices to pawn dealers. Worse Yukako rejects tradition as she easily adapts to the economic opportunities the west has brought to Japan. --- THE TEAHOUSE FIRE is an insightful historical tale that provides the audience with a vivid look at mid nineteenth century Japan during a period of incredible change. The key players surprisingly are the father and daughter as Mountain sees his reason for living dying while Yukako hugs the new economy. Surprisingly Aurelia is more symbolic as a stranded westerner. The amount of information slows the plot somewhat, but armchair traveling fans will appreciate this trip to Japan where tradition is losing the battle to outside influences. --- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really loved this japanese adventure! it takes place in a very interesting time period and is full of japanese culture! i loved the characters and escaping to japan to go to a tea ceremony. I wasn't quite prepared for the lesbian scenes, but here's your warning! :)
SuzieQNJ More than 1 year ago
I truly enjoyed Barbara Caruo's wonderful reading of this book. Her accents and voice differentiations ranged from lilting to grunting and added a depth to each character as the story progressed. Some areas were a bit difficult to follow as the detail was substantial. But, the author quickly grabs the reader back again as each little sub-plot unfolds. Sadly, the beautiful traditions and "rules" for tea ceremonies lose their significance in Japanese culture as influence of the west infiltrates at the turn of the century.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ellis Avery clearly knows Japan and tea ceremony well,from an insider point of view, yet she communicates the meaning and symbolism of the temae in easily understood terms.

There were places where the plot jumped unexpectedly and the story was very pleasing. Good character development and great descriptions. From the first page, the author caught me with her description of voices - one as a cello the other as an oboe. She had me in her pocket from that point on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Not being familiar with 19th century Japan, this audio book served as a passport into that fascinating world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was one of many that I thought could have been better. It was a slow read but to me it was easy to follow. I don't recommend this book to anyone who likes a lot of action because it lacks that aspect, but it is a good book to read when you're bored.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am very disappointed with this book. It is a very slow read, and it is very hard to follow. I do not like to give up, so I am forcing myself to finish the book, but it is difficult. Sadly, I would not recommend this book.