In this novel, Lisa See explores the lives of Chinese ethnic minority, the Akha people, in a remote Yunnan village. Li-yan, one of the few educated girls on her mountain, is among the first to reject the rules that have shaped her existence. When she has a baby outside of wedlock, rather than stand by tradition, she wraps her daughter in a blanket with a tea cake hidden in her swaddling, and abandons her in the nearest city. Haley, as she is now called by her adoptive parents in America, grows up a privileged and well-loved California girl. Despite Haley’s happy home life, she wonders about her origins; and Li-yan longs for her lost daughter. They both search for and find answers in the tea that has shaped their family’s destiny for generations. This heartfelt story tells of the unbreakable bond between mother and daughter and how they will both stop at nothing to reunite with one another.