Ava Dove—the sixth of seven daughters of the famed Dove family, and owner of Ava’s Landscaping and Specialty Gourmet Tea—is frantic.
Just as she is getting ready to open her fabulous new tearoom, her herbal teas have gone wonky. Suddenly, the tea that is supposed to help people sleep is startling them awake with vivid dreams; the tea that infuses romance back into tired marriages is causing people to blurt out their darkest secrets; and the tea that helps people find happiness is making them spend hours staring into mirrors.
Meanwhile, living four doors down the road from Ava, sixteen-year-old Kristen Foster’s life has just crashed down around her. After her mother’s death, Kristen’s grandmother Ellen has arrived in town to sweep Kristen off to a white mansion on a hill in distant Raleigh. But Kristen has had enough ‘life changes’ and is desperate to stay with her friends in her beloved hometown of Dove Pond. But to do so means Kristen must undertake a quest she’s been avoiding her entire life—finding her never-been-there-for-her father.
With the help of an ancient herbal remedy book found in her attic by her sister, Ava realizes that Kristen holds the key to fixing her unstable tea leaves. So Ava throws herself into Kristen’s search, even convincing Kristen’s grandmother Ellen to help, too. Together, the three embark on a reluctant but magical journey of healing, friendship, and family that will delight fans of Alice Hoffman, Kate Morton, and Sarah Addison Allen.
Source: NatGalley, Gallery Books, and Purchase Rating: 5 stars
The Bottom Line: Welcome back to Dove Pond! It’s been a long wait between book and two in this series and I was so pleased to find the wait was absolutely worth it.
Ava Dove has spent her life in service to others. When her mother passed, she stepped in and took care of her siblings, she works tirelessly to landscape and maintain her community spaces, and she makes specialty teas for the aches, pains, and anxieties that plague her friends and neighbors. All of Dove Pond know they can rely on Ava to help cure what ails them. Until, one day they cannot.
In the face of monumental, life altering changes, Ava finds her past coming back to haunt her and the consequences of her long-ago actions are bleeding over into every aspect of her life from the personal to the professional. To bring everything in her world back on track, Ava must confess to what she considers to be a great sin and risk losing everything. Just like the first book, I fell into this book and didn’t come out until the end. As I went back to look at my old review for book one, I realized I can say all the same things about this book: it has a wonderfully charming setting, it has just a touch of the mystical, it has a community that it giving and supportive, a wide cast of characters who are rich and full in their personalities, and topics that are often difficult to face and discuss but are widely experienced. While I certainly don’t want to wait another year for the third book in the series, I am willing to do so in order to get another high quality read.