Friday, January 11, 2008

A Cup of Tea (Novel)

I recently read A Cup of Tea by Amy Ephron. The book was a gift from my personal book advisor and guide, Esmerelda. A Cup of Tea is a tale set in changing times as the US entered World War I.

The plot is a rework and expansion of the classic short story (same title) by Katherine Mansfield.

I enjoyed the book on many levels. There is, of course, the tea. And then there is much to ponder from the book's core. I find that I'm still thinking of how class differences played in the story -- and how they play out today. What comes to mind for me are events like the Katrina disaster and the placement of prisons and toxic waste dumps (seldom placed near wealthy neighborhoods).

I also ponder motivations. Why do we choose to help people? For all of Rosemary's faults, she saw a need. Do we even see the need today?
If you've read the book, I would love your thoughts on it!


anodyne said...

You know, I actually did a whole article for a tea newsletter once comparing this to the K. Mansfield short story. If you're interested, let me know--could send you the attached article.

Allison said...

Sounds interesting and thought-provoking. Thanks for the review!

Joyce said...

I haven't read that book but I just stuck it in my "shopping cart" on Amazon! HA! I "need" a few other things from them as well.
Good points on the "motivation" question. I know for me...I've just always want to help someone in need and I LOVE it when I see other's get involved as well. When Hurricane Katrina happened just down the road from husband was in the N.O. Airport helping people and working with a relief team that had gotten to go in there. He also helped do some "shelter" work here in town. There is STILL plenty to do in New Orleans, believe me.
The toxic dump stuff is sad. It does seem those things and the people that own them (big Corporations) prey on those that can't help themselves many times either due to poverty or not knowing what is happening to their areas. The "Big Guys" kno how to work the system. Very recently....I saw where an entire group of "blog" women got invovled to help another fellow "blogger" who had became ill and needed financial help. I was AMAZED and very GLAD to see how these women (from all over America) came to support this other woman. These people have never even met her and may never ever meet her, yet they hear of her need they got onboard and helped this lady out. It's been very awesome!!!
Joyce M.

Steph said...

Anodyne -Thank you for the comparison article! It was awesome!

Joyce - Thank you for the heart-warming story about the blogger support!

Sandra Evertson said...

Thanks for the tip!
Sandra Evertson

MEP said...

I read the novel about five or so years ago so it's not fresh enough for a review, but I remembered feeling a little sad/uneasy/disturbed at the end.

I'm trying to think of another tea-related novel to recommend, but nothing comes immediately to mind. There is a sweet little novel called Eat Cake by Jeanne Ray that I really enjoyed and have passed along to many friends. Cake goes with tea, right?