A Cup of Tea
Amy Ephron (Adult Fiction)
A Cup of Tea is based on the short story (of the same title) by Katherine Mansfield. It is set in New York City during World War I and primarily centers around three characters: wealthy and privileged Rosemary Fell, her fiancée and self-made shipping mogul Philip Alsop, and homeless, penniless, and “astonishingly pretty” Eleanor Smith. When Rosemary happens to see Eleanor huddled beneath a street light one rainy evening, she offers to take the destitute woman home for a cup of tea. This seemingly innocuous and kind gesture sets events in motion that will have unintended and unimaginable effects on all three of their lives.
This book has good bones, but unfortunately there is little to no flesh and blood to go along with it. The story lacks depth and feeling and so little attention is paid to the main characters’ development, that by the end of the book, I neither cared nor sympathized with any of them. By skimping on details and providing no thoughtful backstory for Rosemary, Philip, or Eleanor, Ephron falls far short of delivering her readers the love story that this book professes to be. Although this story had so much potential and possibility, this particular cup of tea did nothing more than leave me unsatisfied and wanting something else.