Baking Away Heartbreak

A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow

by Laura Taylor Namey.

A recent review of this selection from Reese’s YA Book Club caught my attention and I decided to give it a shot. And I’m happy I did. The story captured my heart and kept me turning page after page.

Lila Reyes, a Cuban-American girl from Miami, Florida had her future planned out. At the end of her senior year of high school, when life was on the verge of perfection, her plans are thrown into disarray because of The Trifecta: her abuela passes away, her long-time boyfriend breaks up with her, and her best friend moves to Africa. Lila’s outlook becomes bleak—even baking at her family’s bread shop, Panadería La Paloma, doesn’t lift her spirits—so Lila’s parents send her to stay with Tia Cate in Winchester, England to help her come to terms with grief and heartbreak.

At first, Lila is resistant to the idea of spending her summer away from her Miami home and family. But she discovers that England has its own type of charm as she settles into her British surroundings. New opportunities and new friendships present themselves. One person in particular who helps soothe her grieving heart is Orion Maxwell, a charming young tea merchant who appoints himself as Lila’s personal tour guide.

While she navigates her way through the ups and downs of her summer in England, Lila learns to express her Cuban-American heritage in new and meaningful ways and embraces the healing power of baking and the importance of family, friendship, and self-discovery. Ultimately, as the summer draws to an end, she must decide what she truly wants for her life and whether she is willing to take risks to achieve her dreams.

Lila’s heartwarming, uplifting story about finding oneself, taking chances, and recognizing the value of love and friendship is a perfect read.

(Published in 2020 by Atheneum, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.)

One of my favorite reads: “A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow,” a romance by Laura Taylor Namey.