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After the Party Paperback – 15 Apr 2010
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"Emotionally charged and compelling." (Daily Mail)
"Poignant and heart-wrenching, it's a wonderful insight into what can happen when the fairytale finally ends." (Sun)
"Pretty damn good ... Jewell stands out, providing insightful character studies ... and she is so readable - you can fall into After the Party as you would a particularly soft settee. Her messages are many, but one of them is this: don't write chick-lit off just yet." (Time Out, Paperback Pick, 4 stars)
"Lisa's heartfelt writing and raw, honest storytelling makes for an emotional, funny and heartbreaking journey ... but there is a glimmer of hope. Can Jem and Ralph find their way back to happiness?" (5 stars, Heat)
"Jewell's style is light and engaging." (Daily Mirror)
The brilliant novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author of Ralph's Party and The Truth About Melody Browne.See all Product description
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I think this is my issue with books like this. I enjoyed the first one. Ms Jewell is funny and she's an astute observer. But the second one was too close to the bone - not of my personal experience but of plenty others - to be entertaining, or more accurately, for entertainment to triumph over reality. So I didn't enjoy this as much as I'd hoped, but it's party my own fault. I shouldn't have gone back for more of the same.
However, it won't stop me from going back for more from Lisa Jewell.
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!
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.