At Wild Coast Brew, we’re big believers in the power of stories. Ancient myths have anchored our collective and personal identities since the birth of humanity, derived from our surroundings and retold over countless generations. That’s why each one of our artisan small-batch tea blends celebrates an archetype, imagined with these primordial tales in mind.
To honor and celebrate the passion for storytelling that’s so central to our mission, we thought we’d start sharing some reading lists that go hand-in-hand with our unique blends. In the coming weeks and months, you can expect to receive a series of these missives, compiling books that we think might best represent a tea’s honorary archetype to make for perfect sip-and-read pairings.
Let’s kick off with one of our favorite blends, The Protector.
This archetype guards those in her pack who are most vulnerable. Her strength is her burden, but it’s her love that makes that responsibility one she is willing to bear. While you curl up with one of the books below and sip on The Protector tea blend, you can rest assured that her healing herbs are giving strength to your body much in the way a matriarch wolf looks after the pups in her pack. Now, onto three books that tell similar stories...
1. PARABLE OF THE SOWER by Octavia E. Butler
This prescient novel written over two decades ago by Octavia E. Butler tells of the descent of U.S. civilization in the year 2025 as water wars and authoritarian rule (sound familiar?) fracture society. The story honors The Protector archetype with its main character, Lauren Olamina.
Lauren’s youth belies her fortitude. Her leadership is born out of necessity, a burden she did not ask for but is willing to carry for her own survival as well as the ones she draws near. She forms a pack of escapees from a disintegrating world and leads them on a perilous journey, guided by her adaptability to change and willingness to make hard choices in the right moments. While those she encounters take on a fatalistic view of the world, her inner light shines bright, bringing hope to the hopeless and love to those with no one left.
2. OF WOMEN AND SALT by Gabriela Garcia
Released last spring, Of Women and Salt tells the fictional story of a powerful line of matriarchs. It’s set in Miami, where a character named Jeanette – who’s in the throes of addiction – decides to care for the daughter of a neighbor who’s been detained by ICE while simultaneously working to understand more about the painful histories she inherited from her mother, a Cuban immigrant named Carmen. Carmen, too, is grappling with her challenging relationship with her own mother, the family matriarch who Jeanette travels to Cuba to connect with, grappling with the tangled roots of the family tree.
This is a book all about the complex and challenging choices that mothers make in an attempt to nurture their family legacies. An ode to hard-won resilience in the face of oppression, it asks us to contemplate what it really means to protect and to belong to a pack.
3. SOMEBODY'S DAUGHTER by Ashley C. Ford
Ashley C. Ford’s debut memoir is a brilliant testament to the nuances of familial love. When it was released in 2021, much of the book’s marketing revolved around what seemed, perhaps, like the story’s most interesting detail: Ashley’s father was incarcerated up until just before the memoir was published, and she spent much of her childhood not knowing why. And yet, the narrative’s bigger characters are Ashley’s mother, with whom she had a fraught relationship, and her grandmother, the one who raised her with fierce – if often brutal – forms of care.
In Somebody’s Daughter, Ashley invites us into early memories when she was first coming to understand what it meant to be a poor Black woman growing up in Indiana, and when she was discovering what kinds of safety parents can and cannot provide. Ultimately, however, the true Protector in this story is Ashley herself, confronting her origins and her past with a mix of tenderness, bravery, and honesty.
Are any of these books on your list? Are there others that remind you of The Protector? We're all ears.