Book Review: The Tea House on Mulberry Street

The Tea House on Mulberry StreetThe Tea House on Mulberry Street by Sharon Owens
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book, which I listened to via audio recording. Muldoons Tea room feels like a place that you can sit quietly on an afternoon to read a good book when this trail of character’s walk through and catch your attention. The tea house, run by Penny and Daniel, grounds them to the town but also holds them in a past that Penny is no longer enchanted with. Brenda, a struggling artist, visits the tea shop regularly to write desperate love letters to Nicholaus Cage. Sadie hides from her husband and eats cheesecake despite her desire to lose weight, and Claire comes in search of a boy she lost 20 years boy. Their stories epitomizes what many couples/individuals struggle with: is it worth it to jump into something new when what you have is fine, not spectacular but bearable.

While the book did feel jumpy as it went from story to story I enjoyed discovering what happened to each character and was engaged to the end. The quirkiness of the characters offsets nicely with the darker themes that run through the book such as infidelity, disappointment, and loss. I appreciate the balance the author struck when it came to the decisions made by the characters. It’s very easy to take characters in the middle of a crises and have them make the “wrong” decision every time (i.e. indulge in an affair, lie, etc), and while some of these situations definitely arise they feel balanced.

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