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A Cup of Tea

3.3  ·  Rating Details ·  1,918 Ratings  ·  310 Reviews
Amy Ephron gives us a delightful tale of romance, set against the backdrop of New York society during the uncertain days of World War I. Rosemary Fell was born to privilege - her only real hardship having been the loss of her mother some years earlier. She has friends and she has a great deal of money, and now she is about to marry Phillip Alsop, who owns a shipping concer ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 7th 1998 by Ballantine Books (first published 1997)
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Dec 28, 2016 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-log
Ephron's A Cup of Tea is a quick read but not one I'd personally recommend. I almost didn't finish it. The novella is based on the similarly titled short story by Katherine Mansfield. Set during WWI, the story begins when the privileged Rosemary Fell decides to bring home a poor young lady from the street for a cup of tea. Her motives are more based on romanticized notions than pure altruism. This chance encounter sets in motion a love triangle with devastating consequences.

My primary faults wit
Feb 07, 2010 Leah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
SPOILER ALERT!!! I picked this book up this morning while drinking my own cup of tea and didn't put it down until it was finished. Obviously a quick read, this book is a beautifully written love tragedy that takes place during WWI. A homeless woman named Eleanor is taken home for a cup of tea by a flighty woman named Rosemary. Rose is engaged to a dashing man names Phillip who falls instantly in love with Eleanor as soon as he lays eyes on her. Rose kindly sends El on her way, but Phillip manage ...more
MaryannC.Book Fiend
I found this little gem in a used book bookstore when I was looking for that" something good" to pick up and get into in the course of a weekend. Read this about 3 times now before I joined Goodreads, need to pick this one up again. There are just some books you can go back to over and over again because you love them so much and this is one of them for me.
Oct 27, 2008 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From my wonderful friends getting ready to travel the world through campsite and bicycle..see you in Laos!

WHAT?!! I finished it last night and just about threw the damn thing across the room and into the wall to hit and fall with a satisfactorily thud. my god...Ok, so, the ending was a bit ridiculous. so sudden and...what?!!! But, I guess it is up to the writer's art..I guess the story needed to end? ...but the characters were so beautifully established and described.

True, the drama was somewha
Jan 29, 2011 Jennefer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The ending of this book was so unecessary and so upsetting I wanted to throw it across the room - I will never read another book by this author. I would have given it only 1 star but I did enjoy the atmosphere and it had an interesting short story feel to it that I did like. I just don't understand why the author thought it neccesary to end the book in the way she did ruining the atmosphere and leaving me with a horrible taste in my mouth - totally trashed its potential. I am not familiar with t ...more
Jan 16, 2013 Sara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well, here is a book that would deter anyone from doing a good deed. Rose is about to get married when she comes across a woman in the street. When the woman asks for some money for a cup of tea, she decides to take her home and feed her. She gives her some dry clothes, when her fiancé walks in. Philip is instantly smitten and it basically deteriorated from this point. The entire book is filled with shit-bags. Rose was ok, up until the last few pages and then she also gets thrown on the shit-bag ...more
Mar 27, 2014 Lormac rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
MELODRAMA!!!!!! If that's your cup of tea, then "A Cup of Tea" is for you, Otherwise save the two hours it will take to read this slip of a book.
May 29, 2011 Roslyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 13, 2012 LuAnn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can’t believe how much I loved this book. Amy Ephron penned this story in the style of some of the classic writers, almost reminding me of the Bronte sisters. It’s so enthralling, I finished it in one day … I absolutely could not put it down!

The story concerns only a handful of characters living in New York City in 1917. The U.S. has entered the war and there is a different sort of atmosphere – people are trying desperately to add some excitement to their lives and pretend the war doesn’t exis
Andrea Jacobs
This is a short novella that I practically devoured in the course of two hours or so. At the halfway point, I started to dwell a bit on how similar the atmosphere of this story is to The Great Gatsby, but by the end of it, less so. I really enjoyed Amy Ephron's writing style - she has a gift for writing descriptively and painting a picture so well that it feels as if you've just watched a movie, which is why this has been put on my list of favorites. This novel had the potential to earn a five s ...more
Erica Hatch
Jul 25, 2016 Erica Hatch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is perfect for a quick morning/afternoon read while drinking your own cup of tea. The story was short and bittersweet; a typical period romance. I didn't particularly care for any of the characters, but I did enjoy seeing where the story took them.

Favorite lines:
"What's the danger? Or, if there is one, doesn't that make it all the more exciting?"

Philip: "...I don't mean it the way it sounds, but it's such a fuss for a single afternoon."
Rosemary: "Not such a fuss to start an entire li
Sarah Beth
Jun 16, 2014 Sarah Beth rated it liked it
This fast paced novella (I read it in one afternoon) tells the tragic story of a love triangle set in 1917. Based on a short story by Katherine Mansfield, which I have regrettably not read, the title refers to the simple act that sets the course of events in motion. Wealthy Rosemary Fell, seemingly on a whim, asks a poor woman down on her luck home with her to have a cup of tea. That woman, the beautiful and mysterious Eleanor Smith, is able to find a job and lodging as a result of her encounter ...more
Nov 29, 2015 Caitlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually really enjoyed this book even though it was a little predictable and I had a sense of deja vu at the end (I really felt that either I had read it before or had seen it played out in a movie, I'm not sure which). I didn't feel those aspects took away from the story. It's a very short novel that's based on a short story and circles around a love triangle. It explores societal values in the early 1900s and discusses, to a point, the effect WWI has on New York City society. The prose is s ...more
Tina Cunningham
Apr 09, 2015 Tina Cunningham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a lovely little book, more of a lengthy short story than a novel. However, the characters were well-drawn and interesting, and the plot is full of surprises. It's set in 1917 with an atmosphere of urgency, when young men and women rushed into relationships and marriages before the men deployed. The overall theme of small actions having large results is brought home naturally and inevitably.
Despite all the bad reviews on GR, I liked this book. Extremely unexpected ending that was so surprising, when I finished it on the train, I actually gasped aloud. I liked the story; one negative would be that I didn't think it was very well written. Ms. Ephron ended quite a few sentences with prepositions which is a huge pet peeve of mine. Overall, worth the 2 hours or less it will take you to read it!
Jan 04, 2014 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rosemary is feeling in a generous mood as she leaves a shop with her purchases when she bumps into a young woman who asks her for money for a meal. Deciding to do a charitable act, Rosemary invites the young woman, Eleanor home for tea. This choice sets in motion a change in Rosemary's life that she is unwilling to accept and because of her shallow nature, she may lose everything.
Aug 04, 2014 Janice rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
I liked this book. It was inspired by the short story "A Cup of Tea" by Katherine Mansfield, which in turn inspired me to search out Katherine Mansfield's original story. I've never been a huge short story fan, but Katherine Mansfield changed all that. Now I am trying to read everything I can get my hands on by her, she was wonderful. Thank you Amy Ephron!
This was my second read of Amy Ephron and it was structured very similar to White Rose: Una Rosa Blanca - short chapters, short story, with anticipation of what comes next. Only too an hour or so to read and I was surprised about the journey it took me!
Rawail Naeem
This book is about honor, duty, loyalty and affairs of the heart. It was going really nice and slow until it neared the end where it took a very absurd bollywood-ish turn.

A good break from intense reads though.
Oct 03, 2012 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a little edith wharton here in this little gem of a book that i read in one sitting. loved the structure employed by using short chapters of three or four pages to set the scene and tell in a few words what is going on. rich girl poor girl and dashing young man set the scene!
Apr 24, 2009 Allison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A quick read with a very surprising ending. Highly recommended.
Nov 13, 2008 Annie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book and even read it twice. It reads fast like a short story. I really came to like all of the chracters and was surprised at the ending. Well written.
Oct 04, 2014 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Did not see the end coming. Short and easy read. Rose just can't have anything go wrong g in her perfect life.
Aug 30, 2008 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A love triangle that involves privilege and poverty during World War I. Quickly read and nicely written.
Jan 09, 2015 Wendy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an unexpected and awesome find! I loved the imagery and the story. Great read!
Mar 18, 2009 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great little novella.
Annie Sem
Oct 31, 2015 Annie Sem rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good reminder that life, frequently, is not what you make it, but the things you do impact the lives of others as much as your own...
Nov 14, 2013 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Liked the structure, a novel in short little snapshots, but this was seriously a waste of trees and boy-howdy trite. At least it went quickly.
Yolie Gachelin
Jan 13, 2014 Yolie Gachelin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A 200 page book that took only a few hours to read. Was a page turner all the way to the end. And then the last page just left you breathless.
Lisa Urso
Jan 04, 2015 Lisa Urso rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-reads
Absolutely shocked by the ending. Quick read, short chapters, but did not see the end coming.
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“Keep a cool surface. Calm. Detached. As inside a part of you has been shattered.” 16 likes
“Madame Olga began muttering something under her breath in gypsy to the effect of "Fucking debutantes, they do not understand the sacredness of the moment." But everyone in the room just thought this was part of her gypsy spirit chant.” 5 likes
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