I love trying new books. Yet despite my willingness to try new things I don’t often pick up a book I have never heard of and take it home to read. I recently got the pleasure of stumbling onto a book and being pleasantly surprised. The book is The Tea House on Mulberry Street by Sharon Owens. Prior to reading this book, I had never heard of this book or this author. I was browsing the library’s catalog looking for audiobooks and came across this book.
Set in Belfast, Ireland, the book revolves around Muldoon’s tea house on Mulberry Street. We meet the husband and wife who own the restaurant, and we meet various customers who frequent the restaurant. The narrative switches between characters so we get to know each character well. This delightful book proves a book doesn’t need to be an action-packed thriller to be an enjoyable read. The interweaving storylines in The Tea House on Mulberry Street aren’t the stuff of wild stories; rather they voice the simple challenges of daily life. Whether tracking down a long-lost love, striving for artistic fame, or giving a husband the comeuppance he is due, the inhabitants of the tea house will draw you in with their stories. Owens’ characters are appealingly flawed and realistic people who make you want to cheer for them when they finally go after the happiness and life they realize they deserve. I wish the tea house were right here in Orange County; I would visit it right away.My favorite thing about experiencing this book as an audiobook was the various Irish accents. The narrator, Caroline Winterson, does a fabulous job of creating unique voices for each character. I would highly recommend listening to this book, but reading it on paper will be fine too. Pleased about my new discovery in Sharon Owens, I looked her up online and was so happy to find out she has written more books! In addition to The Tea House on Mulberry Street, she has also written The Ballroom on Magnolia Street and The Tavern on Maple Street. The best part about belatedly learning about an author is you don't have to wait for more books to be published; they are already on the shelf waiting for you!