Tea Mistake

About the Book:

More than the story of a life, of a marriage, Brittany Clark’s stunning novelette The Mistake Tea Can Sometimes Make is the story of a culture, a culture which too often swallows the individual up in expectation and domestic subterfuge, until we, like Julia, no longer can see our own faces no matter how hard we​ look in the mirrors handed to us. In both narrative and structure, Clark turns an unflinching eye on the lies we tell ourselves about what being happy means, about who we are, who our families and communities are, prisoners of convention and tradition and most heartbreakingly—our own longing to belong. This read is breathtakingly honest, and mournful, and beautiful in its sadness, and a much needed reminder from this gifted new talent that the present is where, ultimately, we find our peace, and ourselves. Brittany Clark is a writer we need as a species, a fierce brilliant writer whose voice, I believe, is necessary to our collective hearts’ survival. –Mary Carroll-Hackett, author of The Real Politics of Lipstick, If We Could Know Our Bones, and forthcoming from FutureCycle Press, The Night I Heard Everything

Remember the first nine minutes of the Pixar animation, Up? The brilliant précis of Carl and Ellie’s life together? There is magic in the montage, and so it is again in the flash novel of Britainy Clark. Into the slipstream of a young couple’s life we go: we see them in their “year of uncertainty;” we see them tip toe through the ordinary mine fields of parenting, marriage, and existential crisis; we see them at a bar-b-que, where their precious young one dispenses unwanted advice to adults. Not cute. But what can one do with the momentum of family? This son of theirs, Benjamin, a math genius whose brain teems with more feelings than the English lexicon can accommodate. The only thing to do is to guess, and move on, and all the while, we are wondering about those tea leaves, and whether it is a mistake to think you can read the future, or to think you can’t. – -Chidsey Dickson