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After the Party: A Novel [Paperback] Unknown Binding – 2011


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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Atria Books (2011)
  • ASIN: B008436S7E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

I look forward to reading more of Lisa Jewells books.
Kate robinson
I will never spoil the ending, but I believe that this book will keep you hooked until the end.
Kristin Jones
I have read several comments about this book; some of them really good, and other not so good.
Idris

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Book Him Danno on August 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
Having been born just inside the M25 and spent a lot of my under 21 years living in England in general, I really enjoy books about British 30 somethings. I end up reading a lot of chick-lit because of it, but quite a lot of it is quite good. So I had high hopes when the publisher asked me to review After the Party, that I immediately went out and read "book one" in the series Ralph's Party. Ralph's Party details the lives of the inhabitants of 31 Almanac Road as their lives intertwine. Some relationships founder and break apart and ultimately true love is found and the Jem and Ralph set off on their cosmic romance. (quick review 3.5 out of 5 - mainly because as a first book the writing needed a little tightening, a problem Jewell has solved over her many books)

So here we are eleven years later and how has the fairy tale love for the ages gotten on? Unfortunately it has stagnated a bit and gone off the rails. This is what I love about this book, the deeper look into the romance. At the end of Ralph's Party you feel a great love has been achieved and close it the book very satisfied. Typically you never take the time to ponder just how such a love will endure. I guess I always just assume that it will go on without a hitch. But imagine if Kate and Leo survived the Titanic and you meet up with them 11 years later - "How bout the bloody King of the World take out the trash!" That is what After the Party explores, and for the most part this is virgin territory in a contemporary romance.

The high Jem and Ralph have been riding since they got together has produced a couple of kids and careers, but it has not managed to take them to the next step in their relationship. It has not got them married.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lori Caswell TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
Set in London, Jem Catterick and Ralph McLeary have been together for eleven years. He is a successful painter and she works part time as a talent agent. They have two children, daughter Scarlett, and brand new baby boy Blake. They thought they would be together forever but clearly the party is over. Ralph really shows no interest in Blake, his artwork is faltering. Jem is exhausted caring for two children, getting up several times a night with Blake and trying to get back to work. If all that isn't enough Ralph announces he is going on holiday to visit an old friend in the states. He needs time away to recenter himself and he thinks some time apart would be beneficial. Jem is stunned but rolls with it as she knows their relationship is on a desperate path.

While Ralph is away Jem connects with someone new and so does Ralph. His life also turns in a direction he knows Jem will never understand but it rejuvenates him as he heads home. He returns with hopes of finding a way back together with Jem. Like the old days, the days after the party. But is it too late? Can their relationship be saved?

This book is said to be a sequel to Jewell's Ralph's Party published in 1999 but I had no problem reading it as a stand alone. It is definitely the story of a couple maturing and realizing that being adults with responsibilities is hard work and definitely not all sunshine and rainbows.

The book is very well written and the story flows effortlessly which is good as the book is 450 pages. She offers a keen insight of a modern family existing in today's world of more obligations than time. I really enjoyed the relationship between Jem and her sister Lulu. Lulu has no problem speaking her mind and telling Jem frankly what she needs to hear.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Angela M on June 28, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I absolutely loved 'Ralph's Party', it was my favorite book in the year I read it (2003). I've been awaiting this follow-up for quite some time and Lisa Jewell did not disappoint. It's a little darker, a lot deeper, not as much FUN as 'Ralph's Party' but nevertheless it's an extraordinary book about love and life, changes that come with the years, and new starts. I don't want to include spoilers here but I will say this novel took me for an emotional roller coaster ride! I found myself wanting to slap both Ralph and Jem, then wanting to cry for each of them. In my opinion, this book's a must-read for anyone who loved 'Ralph's Party' as much as I.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Leah Graham on April 21, 2011
Format: Paperback
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.
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