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After the Party: A Novel Paperback – August 16, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Lisa Jewell’s writing is like a big warm hug, and this book is a touching, insightful, and gripping story which I simply couldn’t put down.” (Sophie Kinsella)

“Jewell writes, as ever, with wit and verve.” —Guardian (UK)

“A gripping examination of all the difficulties a modern couple can face.” —Daily Mail (London)

“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.” —Time Out (London)

“Jewell's style is light and engaging.” —Daily Mirror (London)

“Lisa Jewell writes with such warmth—this is just lovely.” —Bookseller (UK)

“Lisa Jewell has beautifully created realistic and believable situations… seamlessly plotted, brilliantly written with fully crafted characters … a joy to read, a joy to share.” —Novel Chatter (blog)

“Flipping between their perspectives and illuminating their desires, fears, and sometimes clumsy actions, [After the Party] entertainingly marches its characters along the path to finally growing up.” (Booklist)

“Jewell’s easy prose and storytelling ability make for a pleasant trip. Engaging.” (Kirkus Reviews)

About the Author

Lisa Jewell was born and raised in north London, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She is the internationally bestselling author of twelve novels, including Before I Met You and The House We Grew Up In. One of the UK’s most talented contemporary novelists, she has sold more than 2 million books in the UK and is published in more than twenty countries. To find out more about Lisa, visit Facebook.com/LisaJewellOfficial, or follow her on Twitter @LisaJewellUK.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; Original edition (August 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451609108
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451609103
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,246,195 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lori Caswell VINE 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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2 of 2 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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