”Little Teashop On Main,” by Jodi Thomas, Ransom Canyon, Book 7, HHQ Publisher, 2019, 329 pages
Texas author Jodi Thomas takes us back to Laurel Springs. Three little 5-year-old girls are having a tea party on a rainy day. It’s to be the first of many tea parties that form the framework of these three lives, always there for each other. They pledged their friendship at age 5 and actually continued it for 30 years.
Through the years they grow up, but life is full of surprises and doesn’t always fulfill their expectations. The writing style and flow of the story offers to readers the privilege to become privy to the world of each girl and the friends and families of Laurel Springs.
Zoe is the leader, ambitious to become an actress, but worries if it’s possible. Emily lives in her imagination and wants to pursue a writing career, and Shannon has lost her mother and her father is mostly absent, but she heads off to military college like her military father.
Jodi Thomas’ storytelling talents offer a fast-paced, with well placed, twists to keep us coming back to her Texas stories. With tension, humor and adventure, the three friends transition into college, but all are not successful. She weaves in multiple characters in Laurel Springs who influence the girls’ lives in various ways.
No one plays the part of minor characters, not even the wandering night boy. Zoe’s mother, Alex, and Shannon’s father are essential to the romantic story. Everyday people navigate the everyday moments of a small Texas town.
The idea of friendships lasting a lifetime is a bit dated considering how transitory lives are now. But “Teashop” validates the possibility and encourages the reader to work toward that. Think of the pleasure of remembering the childhood of friends from early years. Valuable friendships do last.
As the girls continue their tradition of forever tea parties you will recall best friends from your high school and college years and wonder where they are now.
Jodi, a fifth-generation Texan, sets most of her stories in her home state. She’s a writer in residence at West Texas A&M University in Amarillo, well known as an excellent writing teacher.
Such a quaint story as the setting for “Main Street Teashop.”