Wednesday, August 24, 2011

After the Party by Lisa Jewell

Jem and Ralph are blissfully in love and make the perfect couple. But several years later, it's not going so well. They fell in love at an art gallery so it's bad karma that Ralph feels he has lost his sense of artistry. His paintings just don't look or feel the same and Jem feels like she is Ralph's wife and the children's mother - she's lost who she is.

When Ralph decides to go to California to spend some time with his old friend Smithy, Jem is livid. They have a baby and responsibilities - but she allows him his time to go. But while he is away, she begins a flirtation with a virtual stranger. It puts a bounce back in her step.

When Ralph returns, they have another child and they try to work things out between them, but the sparks are gone. They decide to separate and see how things go. They share the children and Jem's career blossoms as well as her health and a fling with a younger man. Or so it seems. She worries about Ralph, they never talk anymore, but she is finding out who she is not attached to him. Ralph misses Jem but tries to find his muse - he ends up spending time with an old man and having a fling with a young American.

However, when Ralph fails to pick up the kids one week, Jem is frantic. What if something happened? What if there is no second chance? Can they be together without losing themselves in their relationship?

After the Party is a close look at what happens after the sparks dim, when reality sets in. Jem and Ralph are unique and complex characters whose personalities complement one another, even if they take different paths to reach their goals. Jewell's writing is captivating and a breath of fresh air. A wonderful tale about marriage, parenthood and starting over, readers of chicklit will devour this one!

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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