Book Review: The Teahouse Fire by Ellis Avery

It has been a while since I was so into a book that I stayed up way passed when I should have gone to bed to finish it; well that is exactly what I did with the Teahouse fire. This story is compelling and beautiful I never would have thought it was a debut novel if I had not been told. Ellis Avery weaves a beautiful tapestry of a story that follows the life of one girl from girlhood through to adulthood.

Young Aurelia starts her young life in New York City a modest and happy life with her Mother and her Uncle Charles. But when she is Nine years old her Mother takes sick and her Uncle Charles takes her to Japan things go from bad to worse once in Japan until the night of a fire which sends Aurelia fleeing for her life and away from her Uncle Charles who is not as chaste as he claims to be.

The night she flees, she is found by Yukako and begins to her live as a Japanese servant in her household. The story has so many levels of love and dedication it is impossible to put into words just how beautiful all of them are. You can also learn about the beautiful art of the Japanese Tea Ceremony, and follow the fight of a great family in tea to keep their art as just that an art. An important and beautiful social part of Japanese culture.

The Teahouse fire takes many twists and turns some of them you see coming, and some of them you truly do not. You will grow to love the characters and find yourself attached to them. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is a little bit interested in Japanese history.

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