Historical Fiction,  Review

#BookReview : Cupidity by Lucinda Lamont

Cupidity by Lucinda Lamont
Publication Date: October 31st 2017
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 284
Stars: ★★☆☆☆ [2.5]

Britain, World War Two. After newly widowed Martha is invited to live with her wealthy confidante, Mae, she finds herself attracted to her husband.

Meanwhile, an escaped convict is targeting women close to Martha’s new home. After several women are murdered, they realize the danger is closer than they could have ever thought.

As Martha’s passion threatens to unravel her friendships, paths cross with devastating consequences.

*** Note: I received e-copy this book as a part of blog tour, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Emma and author. ***

Cupidity was a historical fiction that revolved around a war widow and her life after loss of her husband. It was about what war does to people, how it affects them and change their lives, about love and lust, grief and loneliness, jealousy and betrayal, change in personality.

Writing was gripping and captivating. It was one most thing I loved about this book. Author wrote the story of 4 characters woven in web of love, lust and deceit wonderfully. It was third person narrative where we here all character’s thought but mostly of Martha.

It started with Martha moving to her best friend- Mae’s house after 2 years of her husband’s death. She was struggling emotionally and economically. She hoped moving to a new place with her childhood friend would be a fresh start in life, but on arriving Mae’s house, Mae was determined to set her up with David, a mechanic working in neighborhood, and least she expected was a spark and attraction. Not toward David but Peter, who was Mae’s husband. (not good, so not good) She was not sure at first but within few days it was clear they both were equally interested into each other.  What was it between them? Why Mae was determined to set her with David and why Peter didn’t want Martha with David? What was their motive and what Martha wanted? And then there was a serial killer roaming in Mae’s village.

First few chapters were great. I loved character introduction, how Martha met her late husband, her relationship with her family and what they all were doing in life now, how she felt alone after her husband’s death and how difficult her life was. We also hear from serial killer’s mother- her back story and how her youngest son turned out a psychopathic murderer.

Historical period, culture and people around 1940s was both interesting and tragic. The story showed what war did to people and how it changed them, women started working in mill, scarcity in ration, how it never affected to rich people who always had best food on table, how they celebrated once the war was over and some beauty tips women were using in 40s.

Character were flawed. They first looked interesting but then I didn’t like any of them except David and his family. He was innocent and lovely person who got tangled in web lies and love triangle all because of Martha. He had high morals and ethics than any character in this book. He was observant and had his doubts but was oblivious of what was going on. I really felt bad for him. Yes, he was typical male we find in those time but he was loyal and brought stability in Martha’s life.

I thought I didn’t like Mae at first, but she was not that bad. She had her faults, she was pretentious and know-it-all towards Martha. But inside she was insecure person and even after all her insecurities and her mistakes, she knew what she wanted in life. She was great wife and mother. I admired her thoughts on equality and her out spoken nature that was not appreciated in that time period. She was more smart and observant than Peter and Martha gave her credit for and most of all, she honored her friendship and relationship.

Now there were many thing I didn’t like.

First of all, when I started this book I didn’t expect love triangle because there’s another synopsis for this book which didn’t mention anything about affair. After 25% it was clear from Martha’s monologue whatever she was going through had affected her more than she realized. It was so unhealthy. I understood why she felt attracted, I’m even fine with illicit relationships and adultery, it happens with many. But betraying a person who gave her roof over her head and dragging innocent and sweet David in this?! Nope, I don’t understand her mindset.

There were lots of internal conflicts and that was even okay, but it was repetitive and that made story slow. She knew Peter was not nice person, he was just using her, their relationship were not going to have future, she knew she was doing wrong, and few times she made up her mind not to betray her friend and on next occasion she did the same, wouldn’t say no to Peter and that happened till the end of the book. She was too week, too selfish, and too stupid for my liking. Who finds an arrogant jerk, who belittle everyone and act cocky all the time, attractive! So by this time you have figured I didn’t like Martha, even a small bit. She used to be a good woman but at the end she was horrible. Why? Because life was unfair? But shouldn’t the tragedy turn a person wiser and more compassionate? yes, war did this to her but shouldn’t her action has to be her accountability? I would like to discuss this.

I liked killer’s mother’s perspective but that was in initial 25% of the book. Even She and Martha met in the initial chapters, then we don’t hear her thoughts again and both ladies never met in whole book again, so I don’t understand the significance of that meeting. And after all that her son did, no mother would love and protect him. I don’t understand why she would do that!

In the whole book, whether it’s the killer’s mother or Martha their love and their need was higher than moral standards or other’s feelings and pain!

Now I can overlook flawed characters but my main issue was, there was no character development and no proper conclusion. Characters were same in the end as they were in the beginning. The psycho killer kept story engaging but that too doesn’t have ending. It just ends abruptly as if it’s one part of the book.

One more thing, Martha’s husband died in April 1943. In May 1944 she moved to her friend’s house. In the narration in between, it was said few times husband was dead for 2 years. Is that typo error?

Funny thing is, this all felt realistic. This might have happened to somebody. After a week of reading this book my brother’s marriage was cancelled. His situation was exactly like David in this book.

Overall, it was good plot and had potential. I would have liked a closure or conclusion and a character development.

Let’s discuss!

What do you think about the book?
Have you read this books or any book by the same author?
Which characters you disliked most?


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Hi, I'm Yesha, an Indian book blogger. Avid and eclectic reader who loves to read with a cup of tea. Not born reader but I don't think I’m going to stop reading books in this life. “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”


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