October 05, 2011

The Teahouse on Mulberry Street by Sharon Owens

My first thought on reading this was, "what a delightful little story." While it starts out a bit doom and gloom with several failing relationships, it somehow brings humor into the gloom and ends with the happiest of endings.

The main couple, Penny and Daniel Stanley, are the owners of the Tea house. Daniel is a workaholic and more concerned with his penny-pinching than anything else. Penny is disappointed in the relationship and goes on to have an affair due to Daniel's cold ignorance of her feelings.

Another couple, Sadie and Arnold are also having trouble with their relationships. Sadie on a continuous stream of diets finds out about his affair and after doing so, plots the most delicious of revenge that you can't help smiling in glee with how it turns out.

Rose, Aurora, and Henry make up another lovers circle. Aurora is more concerned with her book club, and the addition to her house (done by Arnold) rather than her relationship with Henry. He prefers to pitter in his garden all day long that is eventually destroyed by the addition. While at the tea house he meets Rose, a recent divorcee who owns a flower shop and loves gardening as much as him. As Aurora draws further into her club and a new man, Henry and Rose plant something beautiful.

In addition to these stories there are also two side stories. One is of Clare, who used to live in Belfast where the teahouse is located and is in search of a long lost love. The other is Brenda, a failing artist who is in love with Nicholas Cage.

Towards the end of the novel, a fire somehow fixes many things for the characters and everyone receives a happy ending. A bit mushy for some, but sometimes a little lightheartedness is needed in a read.

The Teahouse on Mulberry Street
Copyright 2005
320 pages

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