After the Party by Lisa Jewell
- Pub. Date: August 2011
- Publisher: Atria Books
- Format: Paperback , 464pp
- Source: From the Publisher for Review
From the internationally bestselling author of Ralph’s Party comes a delightful new novel about the power of starting over.
Eleven years ago, Jem Catterick and Ralph McLeary fell deeply in love. They thought it would be forever, that they’d found their happy ending. As everyone agreed, they were the perfect couple. Then two became four, and an apartment became a house. Romantic nights out became sleepless nights in. And they soon found that life wasn’t quite so simple anymore. But through it all, Jem and Ralph still loved each other. Of course they did.
Now Jem is back at work part-time as a talent agent. Ralph, a successful painter, is struggling to come up with new, hopefully groundbreaking, work for his upcoming show. But the unimaginable has happened. Two people who were so right together are starting to drift apart And in the chaos of family life, Jem feels like she’s losing herself, while Ralph, stuck on the sidelines, feels like he’s lost his muse altogether. Something has to change. As they try to find a way back to each other, back to what they once had, they both become momentarily distracted—but maybe it’s not too late to recapture happily ever after…
I am going to start by saying that you do not need to read the first book, Ralph’s Party, to enjoy this story. Jem and Ralph’s relationship has changed through the course of two children, a boy and a girl, and numerous miscarriages along the way. They are not married yet living in a committed relationship, well kind of, things are just not the same as they used to be. It is very clear early on that both Jem and Ralph have a lot of concerns with not only their relationship but also with where they are individually, there are a lot of insecurities. Very vivid story from both points of view. Ralph decides that he needs to go after something for him and leaves his family and travels to Los Angeles to visit a friend. While he is away, Jem goes through her own crisis after meeting a nice man at the park where she takes her children. They both find someone of the opposite sex that are forces in their life. Will their relationship survive this influx?
I was very please with the writing in this story, I did get very frustrated with Jem and Ralph along the way. I kept thinking that they were forgetting that they were now parents and yes that changes things but they need to do right by their kids. The children in this story were also well written, sometimes I find this to be a weak spot in adult fiction. The interaction and relationship with the kids was well done and built depth to the story. I like the real-ness in this story, well done!