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Posted September 23, 2011
Great Writing with no Fluff
This book was a great read that I wish I had the time to have read it quicker. The story life is real, and doesn't have fluff that can sometimes invade chick lit books, but I find that the authors from the UK are much better at writing stories that hold their own. The way that the two characters realize their love for each other is something that I am sure a lot of people have felt, but wouldn't openly admit or bother to work through in order to be happy. The fact that these two aren't married, and are partners with children also speaks to how many couples are committed without a legal document these days. The children are essential to the story, and I love the writing of the daughter, and the relationship both parents have with the children. Great book, read it.
Reviewed by Gabi for Book Sake
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Posted August 16, 2011
I need to read more from this author...great writing
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)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
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. Because they have come to face the wall all successfully married people have to climb, they must stop being two separate people who live together and become one; a couple comprised of two halves that are all in. They must become fully committed to each other and leave the aspects of single life behind (both good AND bad). When you can put the needs of the other (your spouse in this case, or more specifically the relationship, the family) above your own you can defeat the world. But it is very important that both partners fully commit to form a bond that will last.
If you are not willing to do this it becomes very hard to withstand the vicissitudes of life as time goes by. Otherwise you are just existing on goodwill, magic, and duct tape and that only holds for so long. Ask any couple who have been married a few years, especially ones who have added kids to the mix if this is true. Because magic can only hold out against a few real fights and if you are in a relationship with any substance you are going to have some fights. The national divorce rate attests to this fact.
Jem and Ralph have hit this wall and their relationship is beginning to slowly crumble from within. After the Party takes an in-depth look at a couple in crisis, makes you really care for them, and navigates that delicate path to a resolution. Well worth the read to anybody who is or hopes to be in a relationship. Plus for all you Ralph's Party fans, all the major characters are revisited and updated, so no loose ends to frustrate you either. Finally a personal sign of what I thought of the writing itself, Lisa Jewell will be put into the rotation and I will devour her backlist over the next few months.
Posted August 13, 2011
"AFTER THE PARTY" (REVIEW)
"AFTER THE PARTY" BY LISA JEWELLWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
A couple that's shared a passionate love for so long start to question the life they have chosen once marriage and a family enters the equation.
A wonderful and exciting story about true love and how doubt is always a factor in even the best of relationships. This was a great book, completely beautiful, having the ability to teach valuable life lessons.
-Kitty Bullard / Great Minds Think Aloud Book Club
Posted August 11, 2011
I Also Recommend:
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
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. The story between Jem and Ralph is an emotional one and this is not a light read, it gets really dark in places.
This was my first Lisa Jewell novel and while it did not leave me as moved as other books I read this week I would recommend it as a good book to escape into for a weekend. If you are a Jewell fan and liked Ralph's party this is a sequel I am sure you will enjoy.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Atria Paperbacks, a Division of Simon & Schuster. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Posted October 23, 2011
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