Customer Reviews


76 Reviews
5 star:
 (37)
4 star:
 (20)
3 star:
 (9)
2 star:
 (9)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A strong and powerfully moving story
Another great book from Lisa Jewell, a very moving, well written and emotive story as some of the beloved characters from the classic bestseller Ralph's Party struggle 12 years on with the realities of family life. Ralph and Jem now have two children, a house, cat and careers but not everything is happy with these two great characters.

I "stormed" through it...
Published on 14 April 2010 by SJ SMART

versus
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A story with limited appeal.
I loved Ralphs Party (the start of the story of Ralph and Jems life together) - i enjoyed the energy, the characters were fun and tragic all at once ... so very well written, and each character had a full story. I think Lisa's best two books are without doubt 'The truth about Melody Brown' and 'Vince and Joy' - those two books i recommend highly to anyone.
This...
Published on 2 May 2010 by ms. kit nader


‹ Previous | 1 28 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A strong and powerfully moving story, 14 April 2010
By 
SJ SMART "Smartie" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: After the Party (Paperback)
Another great book from Lisa Jewell, a very moving, well written and emotive story as some of the beloved characters from the classic bestseller Ralph's Party struggle 12 years on with the realities of family life. Ralph and Jem now have two children, a house, cat and careers but not everything is happy with these two great characters.

I "stormed" through it today to find out what happens to Jem and Ralph at the end of the story. On the way we meet some of the other characters and some new ones too, along with a lot of obstacles and challenges for them. I would really recommend to anyone who loved Ralph's Party firstly and those who like a great story with great characters, a lot of pace and a lot of style!

5/5 Stars
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It doesn't get better than this!, 20 April 2010
By 
Best Crime Books "Best Crime Books" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: After the Party (Paperback)
Well it has been 11 long years since Lisa Jewell released a book entitled Ralph's Party. She wrote and I read Ralphs party (unbelievably) 11 years ago and even back then her writing was great.

In Ralph's Party we meet the residents of 31 Almanac Road, who consist of flatmates Ralph and Smith and their new neighbour who moves in, Jemimah. Upstairs live Karl and Siobhan and they have been unmarried for fifteen years albeit happily. When Cheri moves in to the flat above them she causes havoc by deciding that Karl is the man she wants and sees no reason that a girlfriend should get in the way. The book itself leads us into their lives and sees the end result with both Ralph and Jem getting together and leaving the book with that happy ever after feeling.

However, Lisa Jewell decided that 11 years later she would transport us back to Ralph and Jem's current relationship with her book entitled After The Party. So a few years down the line we find that Ralph and Jem are unmarried, but living together with their two young children. Things are not all sweetness and light and Jem is feeling unsettled with just about everything. She is currently trying to raise her demanding and Diva like daughter Scarlett, still nurture her baby boy Blake, and keep her career going with a difficult client as well as keeping her marriage to Ralph on an even keel.

Both Ralph and Jem find that life doesn't seem that simple anymore. Jem begins to feel quietly disgruntled with everything that Ralph does and Ralph is feeling more and more like he's not even part of his own family. Slowly they realise that their ideal family life that they viewed all those years ago through rose tinted glasses is nothing like their present reality. Whilst Jem and Ralph both go on their own paths of discovery they both wonder at whether their relationship can survive. Will they make it through or will they be like the thousands of others that have tried and failed to make a marriage work.

Firstly, I cannot believe that an author has finally made the fantastic move to revisit a previous `happy ending' story. I really enjoyed Ralph's Party but found that not only did I enjoy this current book, but I fell in love with the characters all over again. Lisa Jewell has exceeded every expectation I could have imagined and produced an absolutely first class book. She didn't take the easy option of the characters being 100% happy with a perfect life. This book is far from what most would expect an easy `chick lit' author to produce. Lisa Jewell tackles all of the gritty real life issues that couple who are married and with a family may encounter.

She managed to keep the spirit of these characters but yet developed them as older and wiser from what they were in Ralph's Party. There are some sensitive issues that I think are dealt with incredibly well although I'm reluctant to be specific as I don't want any spoilers in my review. The story is started with the current situation that Jem finds herself in and slowly introduces the past year and the story unfolds as the reader gets further into the book. What I also loved was the fact that the author didn't rush the ending and the reader is still wondering what will be the outcome right until the last few chapters. I cannot praise this book enough and would highly recommend it to anybody. It's isn't necessary to read the first book Ralph's Party but for those that have I think this is a wonderful way to look at the progression of Ralph and Jem's life. An absolutely fabulous read that can't be awarded anything other than 5 out of 5. Get out there and get yourself a copy!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another fantastic read from Lisa Jewell..., 17 April 2010
This review is from: After the Party (Paperback)
I remember the joy I felt, years back, on discovering Lisa Jewell's first novel, 'Ralph's Party'. At the time, there was a deluge of identik chick lit novels being published in the vein of Bridget Jones and Ralph's P was a breath of fresh air - honest, romantic and intelligent, with a mix of male and female viewpoints, keen observations and some smart psychological insights. Jewell broke the boundaries of the women's fic genre and raised the bar. She remains to this day my favourite women's fic author (I want to avoid using the word chick lit at all costs as it doesn't do justice to the quality of her writing)

The idea of a sequel fascinated me. After all, so many romantic comedies finish with a couple getting together, the rosy idealism of Happy Ever After. I was fascinated to see how Ralph & Jem would be, ten years on. I must admit, then, that I was shocked to discover Ralph and Jem in such a state of misery. Jewell's writing has got darker recently, which I think is a good evolution, but I admit that I got 2/3 of the way into this book and felt a tear welling up in my eye and thought - this is the saddest book I've read in quite a while. Perhaps this was exacerbated by the fact that R's P was such an uplifting book, that perfectly captured the dizzy joy not only of a twentysomething couple, but of being in your twenties, sparkling with promise and hopes and dreams; whilst the sequel really focuses on hopes and dreams being dashed as reality and disappointment sets in. And even while it ends on a positive note, as you sense from the start that it will, it did make me feel glum about marriage, and rather glad that I haven't settled down with kids yet!

Another quality of Jewell's maturing style is her deep psychological insight into character. She captures the minutiae of daily life with such precision and there are many wonderful moments that felt so perfectly spot=on - when Joel reveals another side to his character, or the comic details of Lucas's facebook page. I also loved Jewell's rather daring exploration of Ralph finding a spiritual dimension to his life. Normally in this type of book, anything remotely spiritual is described with irony or ridicule. It was honest, daring and rather refreshing to read about a character finding something beyond themselves, and I liked her exploration of characters puzzling over fate, coincidence and destiny, their very human desire to find meaning and shape to the chaos of life.

My only disappointment was that I had been expecting a blend of storylines - more of Karl and Cheri and Siobhan, because one of the things I loved about R's P was the rich cast of characters and zigzag of stories.

Nevertheless, this is another brilliant, pageturning read that has left me hungry for Jewell's next offering.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars after the party, 16 May 2010
By 
A. Jones "Book worm" (London UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: After the Party (Paperback)
I love lisa Jewell's books and it was great to catch up with Ralph & Jem again. Very touching and sometimes true to life the struggles of parenthood and life choices. 5 star reading once again
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I love Lisa, 30 April 2010
By 
Mrs. C. Gilhooley "Cerian" (Leitrim, EIRE) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: After the Party (Paperback)
I love Lisa, I really do. I have read all her books and always pre-ordered on amazon since I got a copy of Ralph's Party for free with Elle magazine many years ago...
I was a little sad reading this book. It does not share the same mood as Ralph's Party. I guess I was hoping for something a little more uplifting. It seems like a black cloud has appeared...
That being said, I do think Lisa's writing has evolved and developed over the years and this is just a reflection of her growth.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars yet again, fabulous read!, 28 April 2010
This review is from: After the Party (Paperback)
As always, reading a Lisa Jewell novel is a fantastic way to lose yourself in the characters lives and live their lives with them. I first discovered Lisa Jewell, reading Thirty Nothing (by far her greatest novel!!), and since went on to collect all of her books.

After The Party, is a brilliant way of, what seems like, catching up with old friends. Jem and Ralph have progressed somewhat in their lives, now living together with 2 children. A bit different, needless to say, from the first book - Ralph's Party. I thoroughly enjoyed reading A.t.P. I was surprised with parts of it - the thoughts Jem was having and Ralph leaving Jem to cope with the every day life of a single mum, not realising the effect it would have on her feelings for him - the way Lisa Jewell portrayed both the characters in this situation was magnificent; showing us (the reader) how much they had grown, since we first met them, 11 years ago.

Again, I was slightly disappointed not to encounter Siobhan, Cheri and Karl and catch up with their stories, I was more than pleasantly surprised with the ending of the book.

A fantastic book, which I would thoroughly recommend to anyone who has (or indeed, hasn't) read her previous work.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars After The Party, 16 April 2010
By 
Leah Graham (Tenerife) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: After the Party (Paperback)
It's been eleven years since Ralph McLeary and Jem Catterick first got together and everyone, including themselves, thought their relationship would last forever. Life hasn't turned out that way though and as a flat has turned into a house and their family has expanded to four, it seems that Ralph and Jem are drifting apart. As Ralph tries to get over his feelings of helplessness and Jem tries to remember who she was before the children came along, they both try to figure out how to recapture their love for each other. Is it too late for Ralph and Jem or is still possible for them to have their happy ever after everyone expected of them?

It's fair to say that After The Party is totally different to it's prequel Ralph's Party. It has a very different feel to it - as I mentioned, Lisa's writing has evolved - and whereas Ralph's Party featured six main characters (Ralph, Smith, Siobhan, Karl, Jem and Cheri), After The Party was mainly about Jem and Ralph. The book begins with a prologue, set in the present year, before being split into multiple parts set mainly in the year that causes Jem and Ralph to think about taking a break from each other until we ourselves come up to the breaking point in Jem and Ralph's relationship. It wasn't how I expected it to be but I was happily pleased with how it was all laid out.

After The Party isn't exactly the happiest read you'll ever encounter because for the majority of the book we see Jem and Ralph's relationship disintegrate and, believe me, it isn't particularly pretty. There's no definitive starting point that marks the potential beginning of the end for Jem and Ralph, it just seems to be the way life has gone for them. They have two children - the ever lovely Scarlett and Blake - and the change in dynamics that came with having children weren't what Jem or Ralph expected. Up until Jem and Ralph had kids, they were solely focused on each other (as you'd expect) and after having kids, their focuses changed and Ralph ended up feeling left out whereas Jem felt as if she was losing her real self - the carefree and younger version of herself.

After The Party is an incredibly emotional read because it's clear that Ralph and Jem belong together no matter what so to see their relationship self-destruct is horrible to read. I wanted to shake them both and tell them to stop being so silly. I rarely get so involved with characters but with Jem and Ralph I just couldn't get enough. It helps that Lisa Jewell gives us both Ralph and Jem's point of view, making for a very fair view of their relationship. Lisa Jewell really is a fantastic writer because, to be blunt, After The Party isn't your usual boy-meets-girl-they-fall-in-love affair, After The Party is about what it's like after being together for a huge amount of time and all the troubles a modern couple face these days. It was a very turbulent year in the life of Jem and Ralph and I really didn't know how it would end.

I really loved reading After The Party. At 450 pages, it's a fantastic book to sink your teeth into and it never gets dull, each page was not exactly a pleasure to read but it sure was addicting. My only complaint if the lack of Siobhan. I loved her in Ralph's Party and she was only mentioned once, fleetingly and I thought that was rather disappointing but I could understand why, Ralph and Jem were the focus here, not the other (former) residents of 31 Almanac Road. After The Party really was a great read and I hugely recommend it. It's not even really necessary to read Ralph's Party beforehand as everything is explained very well. Hugely recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jewell wears the crown, 14 July 2011
By 
SilentSinger (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: After the Party (Paperback)
I tend to avoid female fiction/chick lit overload these days and have tried to wean myself off of it, but try as I might, I keep going back to what I know. In my opinion Lisa Jewell is one of the best writers around, her characterisation is excellent and her books eminently readable.

This novel follows on from the 1990s book 'Ralph's Party' which told the story of three flatmates: Smith, Ralph and Jem - it's your usual love triangle thing and it leads to a happy ending. Anyway, this book takes off years later, Jem and Ralph have been cohabiting for many years and have two children: three-year-old Scarlett and new baby Blake and live in an unfashionable postcode (the author's opinion, not mine!) of south London. Ralph has had success as a commercial artist and Jem works freelance as a theatrical agent. The plots centre around Ralph's fear of commitment and family life; Jem's fraustrated ambitions and the sheer hard work of bringing up a small family whilst fantasising about a fellow parent she meets in the park. Although this book is written primarily for a female audience I've little doubt that men would find some of it interesting read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars After the Party, 22 Jun 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: After the Party (Paperback)
I am a huge Lisa Jewell fan and have read all of her books so you can imagine how happy I was to discover that she was writing a sequel to her best-seller, Ralph's Party.
After the Party joins Ralph and Jem eleven years after they got together. Everyone who knows them looks on their relationship as perfect and everlasting. However, Ralph and Jem now have two young children, a house in suburbia and fond memories of the care-free existence they once had. Ralph still loves Jem but he knows he is no longer her priority and Jem is beginning to wonder who she is outside of her 'mother' role. So they are both struggling to get back to each other and secure the future they believed they would always have.
Out of all of Lisa Jewell's books, I think this one is the darkest. I found this really refreshing; she strips back Jem and Ralph's relationship and shows the problems they are experiencing. The story is written from both of their perspectives as they try to make sense of what is going wrong.
There were certain points in the book where I disliked both Jem and Ralph but again I think that this emphasises how real relationships work. Couples do annoy each other and row; you have to make the decision as to whether the love you feel for the other person is worth putting up with their negative traits.
As usual, I was totally absorbed in Lisa Jewell's writing style and the story she was telling. It is quite a long book but I was swept along with it and had finished in two days. If you have already read Ralph's Party then great but it is not a necessity. Lisa Jewell provides enough information for the reader to understand Ralph and Jem's past without being bored by it. I could not recommend this book enough, it is a realistic take on modern relationships without the sugar coating that some authors seem to go for.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!, 1 Jun 2010
This review is from: After the Party (Paperback)
I've always liked sequels. That said, you don't need to have read Ralph's Party to fully appreciate this brilliant novel whose story could stand absolutely well on its own. You are introduced to Jem and Ralph's lives, hints of their past are provided without sounding an useless repeat of the previous book, and you can only be tempted to go back to it or buy it if you didn't previously! Really, really, really enjoyable, Lisa's style is as usual great, and you'll read it in no time! Definitely five stars to me!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 28 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xafd9b84c)

This product

After the Party
After the Party by Lisa Jewell (Paperback - 14 April 2011)
5.59
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews