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This blog is my diary of works in progress. The only way a writer can improve upon her skill is to practice, practice and practice some more. Here, in this place of quiet peace, I pen to paper my thoughts and creativity. Welcome to my world.
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Friday, March 6, 2015
Book Review: The Way of Tea and Justice by Becca Stevens
Author: Becca Stevens
Publisher: Jericho Books, November 4, 2014
Genre: Religion, Political Science, Social Science
What started as an impossible dream-to build a café that employs women recovering from prostitution and addiction-is helping to fuel an astonishing movement to bring freedom and fair wages to women producers worldwide where tea and trafficking are linked by oppression and the opiate wars.
Becca Stevens started the Thistle Stop Café to empower women survivors. But when she discovered a connection between café workers and tea laborers overseas, she embarked on a global mission called "Shared Trade" to increase the value of women survivors and producers across the globe.
As she recounts the victories and unexpected challenges of building the café, Becca also sweeps the reader into the world of tea, where timeless rituals transport to an era of beauty and the challenging truths about tea's darker, more violent history. She offers moving reflections of the meaning of tea in our lives, plus recipes for tea blends that readers can make themselves.
In this journey of triumph for impoverished tea laborers, hope for café workers, and insight into the history of tea, Becca Stevens sets out to defy the odds and prove that love is the most powerful force for transformation on earth.
The Way of Tea and Justice recounts the amazing journey of Becca Stevens and her group at thistle farms as they established a tea cafe to help women off the streets heal and rebuild their lives. Becca Stevens is a pastor and much of the book reflects the ups and downs of her journey and how her passion for justice and love for her faith kept her focused even through some very difficult times in her life. Her concept of tea as a way to heal sent her on a journey to learn more about the history and culture of tea.
Her journey also took her across the globe as she visited tea farms around the world. She noticed the injustices against the tea laborers and began an effort called shared trade allowing for better wages and treatment of the labors while creating a business for women, other-wised not given a second chance by society, a safe way to heal and rebuild their lives. I enjoyed reading the many various aspects of tea history and tea culture Becca Stevens shared. I also enjoyed the heartwarming letters included in the book by various women who live and work at Thistle Farms. Many of their stories brought me to tears. I was moved by the love, hope and gratitude they shared in their letters.
The book is very contemplative and Becca Stevens does a lot of reflecting on faith, love, family and as well she reflects on matters of social justice. Sometimes the writing felt a little long-winded and repetitive, but I guess that is the nature of this type of writing. Despite that, I enjoyed the journey of the building of the Thistle Stop Cafe.