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Party of One Paperback – May 12, 2017
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“Clarice James is that smart, hilarious, authentic, sometimes ironic friend you always want to be around, and her writing is all that and more. Party of One had me at hello, and I immediately felt I was part of the dinner crowd at Cranberry Fare. It’s the kind of book you hate to start because you know, at some point, it will end. Funny. Poignant. Real. And smart—did I mention smart? You’ll want to form a book club just to discuss this book. Invite me when you do. We’ll have dinner!”
—LORI STANLEY ROELEVELD, author of Jesus and the Beanstalk: Overcoming Your Giants and Living a Fruitful Life, Red Pen Redemption, and Running from a Crazy Man
(and Other Adventures Traveling with Jesus)
“Party of One is a celebration. Of life and love. Humor and heart. Faith, family, and friends. Clarice James serves up authentic, captivating characters I want as friends. I smiled, chuckled, and laughed out loud. And even cheered. RSVP Yes! to this party. You won’t regret it.” —LINDA BROOKS DAVIS, author of
The Calling of Ella McFarland and A Christmas to Remember
“Party of One is an inspiring, humorous, heartwarming, and cleverly crafted story of friendship, reinvention, and hope. Brimming with wit and a hilarious cast of enjoyable, unconventional characters, Clarice G. James brings us a fun-filled novel that affirms the ability of God to comfort us in dark times while gently illuminating a new path that will help restore our happiness and lead us closer to Him. One of the few authors who can make me laugh out loud!” —TORRY MARTIN, actor, screenwriter, comedian, and author of Of Moose and Men.
“If you’re looking for a heartwarming read with the literary power to make you laugh out loud on one page and grow teary-eyed on another, you’ll enjoy Party of One by Clarice G. James. The author’s sense of humor often kept me in stitches. Yet, she blends those skills with her ability to bring to life the experiences of widowhood, adjusting to spousal loss and the single life again, and the challenges of moving outside one’s usual social circles to begin a second chapter in life. The author’s descriptions of the many varied characters who people this modern-day novel, paint word pictures that bring the characters and the story to life. I highly recommend this cozy, hopeful, and inspirational tale.” —MELINDA V. INMAN, author of Fallen and Refuge.
“Once again, Clarice James brings together wit, wisdom, and a winning tale in Party of One, a heartwarming story of grief reaching beyond self to bring comfort and joy to a group of lonely and sometimes unlikeable strangers. You’ll be tempted to start your own “party of one” after reading this rewarding novel!” —STEPHANIE PRICHARD, co-author of Stranded and Forgotten--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
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This is a humorous book with well individualized characters and a strong romantic element. I don't finish every book I start, but I kept turning the pages of this one to see what would happen next. All in all, a fun read.
Annie McGee is an engaging character who will capture your heart and have you smiling and laughing as she journeys through the process of adjusting to widowhood. Party of One also weaves a sensitive story of Annie’s maturing faith and the joy and comfort she discovers as a result. I can’t wait for Clarice James next book.
Party of One is a super read. Fun and funny (they’re not the same), the story stubbornly insists that you keep those pages turning. The eclectic bunch of characters is well-fleshed out, to the point of marveling how well they manage to get along together. You know from the start that the story will have a satisfying ending, but you don’t know the surprising circumstances that make it happen. Who indeed, will end up with whom?
Clarice James’ funny bone may well be a genetic gift, but she has honed it and uses it expertly. I guarantee that you will at least smile, if not LOL, throughout Party of One. She’s good. You’ll like the book. Read it.
McGee, a middle-aged widow living on Massachusetts’ South Shore, misses her husband Ned desperately but is determined to get back her social life. At their favorite diner, she’s frustrated when she shows up alone and is treated as a second-class citizen. She goes to another restaurant, which is more welcoming, and it sparks an idea: why not a supper club for people who would otherwise dine alone? A supportive restaurant staff helps her, and she’s soon eating out every Friday night with a motley group of singles who become her friends.
Relationships are formed, romantic and otherwise; a mousy woman transforms her appearance and home; a marriage is healed; and Annie finds both her Savior and a second chance at love.
James, widowed in midlife and later remarried, is an expert guide to this terrain. She understands loss. From the book: “When one of my coworkers whined about her job, I outwardly sympathized. But what I thought was, Do you really believe a bad day at work compares with my husband being dead? When my friend raved about the latest blockbuster film, I nodded and said, ‘Wow!’Inside, I recoiled. Movies? Have you forgotten my husband is dead?”
But Annie works through that, with the help of her old friends, new friends and the Savior who is waiting for her.
James handles Annie’s spiritual journey with understanding and grace. Spirituality is not tacked-on, but runs like a thread through Annie’s quest. From the book:
“For the last few years, my life had resembled a strange game of Boggle. With lettered dice scattered around me, I scrambled against an invisible hourglass to put them in an order that made sense. No matter how hard I tried or how fast I went, I felt like a ‘q’ without a ‘u.’
“Was the missing piece syndrome solely due to losing Ned? I sensed my longing was more, but what? Was that missing piece faith? Did I believe in God after all these years of being away from him? If not faith, what was I searching for? Love? Fulfillment? Purpose? Or the happily-ever-after formula to life?”
But Annie does put the pieces together, with the help of her friends and her childhood Bible.
James’s book also tackles grown-up sex in a realistic way. Annie and her eventual suitor have their own, child-free homes and plenty of time to spend together. James shows us that even people in midlife, or especially people in midlife, have to lead themselves away from temptation.
James’s book is full of crisp contemporary dialogue and self-deprecating humor. Annie is a likable heroine, and the reader will root for her and the motley cast of characters who join her for Friday night life.
James’s books are available on Amazon or by contacting her at http://claricejames.com or email@example.com.
“Party of One”
Clarice G. James
Elk Lake Publishing, 2017