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A Cup of Tea
 
by
Amy Ephron
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A Cup of Tea

3.29 of 5 stars 3.29  ·  rating details  ·  1,251 ratings  ·  218 reviews
" Et si vous veniez prendre le thé à la maison ? " Une phrase anodine, de pure convenance, lorsque celle qui la prononce appartient, comme Rosemary Fell, à la haute bourgeoisie new-yorkaise. Mais, lorsque l'invitation s'adresse à une jeune fille pauvre croisée un soir de pluie dans Greenwich Village, elle peut avoir des répercussions imprévisibles. En proposant à Eleonor d...more
Trade paperback
Published 1997 by Ballantine
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Leah
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
Jen
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...more
Jennefer
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
Roslyn
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
LuAnn
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...more
Sara
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
Sarah Beth
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
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
Lormac
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.
Rosalie
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!
Julie Grabowski
This book fell extremely short of its potential. It was quick and surfacey, giving no time and depth to the world or its characters. In the Reader's Guide Ephron says, "For me, the best books are the ones in which you can lose yourself" and "The thing you hope for the most is that the characters come to life and exist in some way for readers." She didn't achieve either of these crucial things. I was very much on the outside of the story looking in, like a passive parade watcher, clearly set apar...more
Susan
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!
Katy
This reminded me of The Age of Innocence, but then again maybe I just have it on the brain, having just read The Innocents. I know that part of this story's charm is that it is a sparingly short novella, but I would have loved to see the themes explored more - how exactly does Eleanor arrive at the decision to keep and raise her child? How do Philip and Rose meet and fall in love? What other ripple effects does Rose's decision to invite Eleanor in for tea have? I wished for a little more.
Annie
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.
Sarah
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.
Diane
A love triangle that involves privilege and poverty during World War I. Quickly read and nicely written.
Allison
A quick read with a very surprising ending. Highly recommended.
Will Byrnes
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brandy
This is a great little story of star crossed love set in high society America during World War I. The book description states that this was inspired by a Katherine Mansfield short story. Not having ever read any of her work, I can’t speak to a comparison so this will be limited to my opinions of the story itself. I was really drawn to Eleanor in this story. She was such a resourceful woman and so clearly ahead of her time. I really appreciated the story line, exploring how a chance encounter can...more
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
While this is a well-written short novel, I was disappointed. Based on a short story of the same title, the setting is New York City in 1917 during World War 1. Rosemary, a young wealthy socialite, invites Eleanor, a penniless young woman home for tea. What should be an act of charity starts a series of chain events affecting the lives of several people, and ends tragically.

The writing is beautiful. The author conveys depth and feeling with a modicum of words, yet I found myself wishing for more...more
Amanda
"A Cup of Tea" did not stand up well being read back-to-back with "The Chaperone", another novel about a similar time period, largely because it is so very un-authentic. When these 1917 characters started speaking in post-2000 slang, it was hard for me to get past the break in verisimilitude. A slogging, uncreative plot and a somewhat deus ex machina climax combine with the bad diction to make this nearly unreadable. I am somewhat surprised I actually finished it.
Lidia
I went to the thrift shop and bought this book with a few others, and started reading it right away, it was kinda great, love the characters and the conflict between these four main characters, which were Phillip, Rosemary and ... I forgot the rest of their names, how rude. The ending was a bit different from what I thought it was going to be, but, over all it was a great read.
laura
This book was probably one of the best short reads of lately.
The characters; especially the main female characters are described so vividly, they are immediately recognizable. It is a love story, but a sad story just the same. The main theme is centered around a spontaneous act of kindness (or what the character would like you to believe is kindness, for she is not the most charitable type), and a chance encounter that changes the course of several peoples lives therein. It takes place during W...more
Debbie Robson
Maybe I’m wrong but there don’t seem to be that money novels set in the first half of 20th century - lot of historical novels are predominately 19th, a period I’m not interested - so when I discovered A Cup of Tea a short novel by Amy Ephron I pounced on it. I did enjoy the book and thought she evoked the period well but I found two things that undermined my reading enjoyment. The first was that sometimes the characters had foresight (particularly about the war) that they just wouldn’t possess a...more
Lulu Grace
To me, this book was a perfect read. Not only can you read it very easily in one sitting (although I found myself wanting to STRETCH IT OUT so it wouldn't end too soon...)there is just a little bit of everything in it. Mystery, intrigue, drama, suspense. You wouldn't believe how much Amy Ephron packs into this little story. I sooo enjoyed this book, that I had planned to name my child after one of the characters, I won't say the name lest it ruin it for someone. But there is a HUGE surprise in t...more
Pat
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jade Herrera
This book was a fast read but disappointing. It's cliche and very predictable. From the chapter down to the last, there's was only one thing I could say, "I knew it! I knew this would happen."
Natalie Kirsch
I was very shocked by the ending. I had figured it would end one of two ways, but not the way it actually ended. This book was easy to read and easy to follow. Nice, quick, easy read
Angelina Rotenhajzer
Although it did have some finely 'sculpted' details used for characterization (e.g. the two women were made very vivid each in their corresponding shop - Rosemary in the antiquity shop and Eleanor in the hat shop - just by the way they touched things), the novella is gravely underdone. The middle of the book made me cringe with how badly the actual love affair was handled by the writer: every punch-line was predictable, the dialogues and descriptions of feelings devoid of subtlety or originality...more
Lennie
Rosemary Fell decides to extend a helping hand to Eleanor Smith, a woman who is less fortunate than herself, by inviting her over for a cup of tea at her home. It is here that Rosemary introduces Eleanor to her fiance, Philip. Sparks fly between the two and their attraction for one another leads to an affair. As a result, consequences happen and people get hurt.
With this book, I found myself paying more attention to the historical time period rather than to the plot or characters. I enjoyed the...more
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