Aug 19, 2011

Book Tour: Review | After the Party by Lisa Jewell

Title: After the Party
Author: Lisa Jewell
Genre: Adult Fiction
Publication: 08.16.2011 by Atria
Pages: 480

Summary: 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…

Cover: I think it fits the story well, except I can't imagine Ralph wearing too many suits since he's an artist and works from home.

Thoughts: Unaware that there was a first part to Ralph and Jem's story, I decided to join in on the tour when I was given the chance. It sounded like a not-so-romance novel that would interest me and I decided that I really wanted to read it. I was surprised at how quickly I got into the story and I was really glad that everything felt very realistic, and I was able to connect with the characters.

Ralph's Party starts off Jem and Ralph's story, when they become roommates and then fall in love. Of course, theirs is not a happily ever after ending...yet. After the Party picks up eleven years later, with Jem and Ralph living together in their home and they have two children. Jem is returning to work as an agent, and Ralph continues his art, but feels that he has lost something. Ralph decides to take a vacation to California and that is where the story really begins. Alternating between past and present, from Jem and Ralph's point of view, we are able to see both sides of the stories and how they got to where they are. Together, Jem and Ralph struggle to keep their marriage working, but it seems like they are not destined to be happy after all...or maybe they are?

I can't say that I liked either Ralph or Jem, but that's because they were so good at being the characters that they were. I mean, they were both so unhappy, but neither of the spoke to their spouse about it. They were good people and I wanted to see them work everything out, but they were selfish and at times, a bit immature. This made them both very real, and although I say I "didn't like" them, I think that's what the author might have been going for. I liked that I didn't like them; it made the book more real for me.

The entire book though I felt like smacking them in the head. As the story moves along, we learn a little more on how they met, how they fell in love and what they feel now. But they refuse to really communicate and when they do, they're arguing. This sounds like many couples with problems and I was glad that the author was able to write a story and situation where I felt like I knew what the characters were going through. When Jem was upset with Ralph, I got it. She had every reason to be upset with him. When Ralph was stressed out, it made sense because it seemed like his situation was difficult to deal with. I really felt like I connected with the story and was able to understand what was going on with the characters.

After the Party was definitely an emotional book with great characters. It is a very realistic story that will make you feel like you know what the characters are feeling, even if you have never been in such a situation. Although this story does have some mentions of the previous book, it can definitely be read and enjoyed as a stand alone. I do want to read Ralph's Party though, and I am looking forward to reading more on this author. I recommend this to others who enjoy adult fiction and/or chick lit. This is one you shouldn't miss out on!

About the author:

Lisa Jewell is the international bestselling author of nine novels, including Ralph's Party, Thirtynothing, and One-Hit Wonder. She was born and raised in north London, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.

Aug. 16 - Kristin @ Kritter's Ramblings
Aug. 17 - Forbidden Reviews
Aug. 18 - Heather @ Proud Book Nerd
Aug. 19 - Cindy @ Oodles of Books
Aug. 20 - Andrea @ A Chick Who Reads
Aug. 22 - Lisa @ Books in the Burbs
Aug. 23 - Molly @ Reviews by Molly
Aug. 24 - Rebecca @ Beck's Book Picks


  1. I'm glad you like the story, Cindy! Thanks for being part of the tour!