Book Review: The Tea Chest by Josephine Moon

Kate Fullerton, talented tea designer and now co-owner of The Tea Chest, could never have imagined that she'd be flying from Brisbane to London, risking her young family's future, to save the business she loves from the woman who wants to shut it down. Meanwhile, Leila Morton has just lost her job; and if Elizabeth Clancy had known today was the day she would appear on the nightly news, she might at least have put on some clothes. Both need to start again. When the three women's paths unexpectedly cross, they throw themselves into realising Kate's magical vision for London's branch of The Tea Chest. But every time success is within their grasp, increasing tensions damage their trust in each other. With the very real possibility that The Tea Chest will fail, Kate, Leila and Elizabeth must decide what's important to each of them. Are they willing to walk away or can they learn to believe in themselves?

I nominated to read this book as part of my commitment to the Aussie Author Challenge 2015. It was my selection for the Contemporary Women's Fiction category.

Reading this novel took me out of my usual genre of historical fiction. I loved the whimsical nature of the cover and my impression that this would be a light and uncomplicated read was confirmed, despite the book blurb promising much more.

The idea behind the novel, a boutique tea business, was unusual, and I learned some great facts about tea and the art of tea blending. Descriptions of the London tea shop conjured up stunning images of a  place I would like to visit. However, the characters and their personal stories failed to engage me. I felt the characters lacked depth and could have been developed further to make them truly memorable. Kate, Leila and Elizabeth were too similar.

On a more positive note, the story generated enough interest for me to keep reading to the end and, in a warm, light hearted way, it did deliver the message that love and friendship do help us through difficult times. 

The Tea Chest, Josephine Moon’s debut novel, first hit the shelves in 2014, and her next, The Chocolate Promise (Australia/New Zealand) or The Chocolate Apothecary (U.K./Ireland), is out now.


  1. Sounds like something I would enjoy, the cover caught my eye first.