Saturday, August 6, 2011

Review: After the Party by Lisa Jewell

Name: After the Party
Author: Lisa Jewell
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: Adult Contemporary
Release Date:
August 16, 2011
Source: Publisher  
Pre-order the Book:

Eleven years ago, Jem Catterick and Ralph McLeary fell deeply in love. They thought it would be forever, that they’d found their happy ending. As everyone agreed, they were the perfect couple. Then two became four, and an apartment became a house. Romantic nights out became sleepless nights in. And they soon found that life wasn’t quite so simple anymore. But through it all, Jem and Ralph still loved each other. Of course they did.
Now Jem is back at work part-time as a talent agent. Ralph, a successful painter, is struggling to come up with new, hopefully groundbreaking, work for his upcoming show. But the unimaginable has happened. Two people who were so right together are starting to drift apart And in the chaos of family life, Jem feels like she’s losing herself, while Ralph, stuck on the sidelines, feels like he’s lost his muse altogether. Something has to change. As they try to find a way back to each other, back to what they once had, they both become momentarily distracted—but maybe it’s not too late to recapture happily ever after…

After the party is the first book I read written by Lisa Jewell and I admit I didn't know this author or any of her previous works, so when this book came into my possession, it was an absolute mystery to me. I didn't know what I was going to find in these pages and if I would like her writing style, or hate it. But, I'm glad I read it, because I have met a really talented writer. 

UK Cover
After The Party is the sequel to one of her earlier books, Ralph's Party. This time the book begins more than eleven years later, taking up again the life of the main characters, Jem and Ralph, who, after living together for eleven years and after having given birth to two beautiful babies, they start bumping into problems and changes that will make them think seriously about whether this is the life they want or not; and at the same time it will make us think if there really exist happy endings.

Jewel with her wonderful writing style, teaches us in a comprehensive way how  distrust, lies and insecurity can kill a relationship of several years. It also tells us how a couple's life changes when children arrive, and other issues such as abortion, infidelity, and second chances. The book that is told from two different perspectives, makes us understand the feelings and the behavior of the two main characters.

The characters are more than realistic. From the very first moment we see Jem as a mother occupied with her two babies and how her life has changed considerably. She is not the young and fun woman she was eleven years ago, she has matured. But we also see Ralph's side, who does not understand yet what having children means, and he is still unable to complete the process of becoming a parent, and operate and behave as such. So that is when we see their relationship deteriorate due to changes and lack of communication. Their relationship and their problems are more than real, and I'm sure most of the readers, even if they are married with children or not, will feel sympathy, or just remember friends or relatives who have been or gone through similar situations.

UK Paperback Cover
It's difficult to me to find in this book something that I didn't like or enjoy. From the very first page the story caught my attention, and I am more than satisfied with the development of the plot because it fulfills its promise. This book kept me on the edge of my seat several times, and I couldn't put it down until I finished it.  Even though sometimes I hated Ralph and Jem, respectively, for the things that they did, or the way they behaved, I finished understanding and liking them. 

I have read several comments about this book; some of them really good, and other not so good. I personally recommend it to those who like stories that describe what's behind "the happy ending" and those who like realistic stories. To those who prefer romantic themes, with first glances and true love may not be able to enjoy one hundred percent the teaching of this book. But as always, I recommend to give it a try. I like that kind of romantic stories, and I'm not married and I don't have kids… but I really liked this book.

Ralph's Party

After the Party as I said before is the sequel to Ralph's Party. Although this book can be read as one and it can be understood perfectly well, I recommend you reading Ralph's Party first... because after finishing this one you'll want to know how their story began eleven years ago…. And I said this from own experience… 

Happy reading! : )

Love it!

Lisa Jewell (born 19th July 1968, Middlesex, London) is a popular British author of chick lit fiction. Her books include Ralph's Party, Thirtynothing and most recently 31 Dream Street. She lives in Swiss Cottage, London with her husband Jascha and daughters Amelie Mae (born 2003) and Evie Scarlett (born 2007).

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1 comment:

  1. Adding both to my list now! I haven't read anything by Lisa Jewell, but you make this book sound so good!


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