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After the Party

(Ralph's Party #2)

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  2,318 ratings  ·  236 reviews
"Lisa Jewell’s writing is like a big warm hug. After the Party is a touching, insightful, and gripping story which I simply couldn’t put down." —Sophie Kinsella

From the New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone comes an irresistible novel about the power of starting over.

Eleven years ago, Jem Catterick and Ralph McLeary fell deeply in love. They thought it wo
ebook, 464 pages
Published August 16th 2011 by Atria Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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L.E. Fidler
this novel represents the culmination of days of trying to be a goodreads giveaway winner. thank you, goodreads!

of course, as such, the aura of mystery and anticipation surrounding its arrival unfortunately built-up the potential majesty of said-prize.

ah well!

warning, here there be spoilers.

the bangers:
1. the names - sure, it's a bit gimmicky, but the highly literary names were pretty spectacular. jem, ralph, blake, and scarlett - it was a veritable feast of characters and authors. plus, using
Jul 28, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick one here. Again, 3-stars doesn't exactly do her justice. I actually do like Lisa Jewell quite a lot, I think in the way that I really like the Whopper with Cheese, or the burgers I get at my local during the lunchtime special. They're a bit better than, say, a shit burger and quite good now and then, but it's not sustenance.

That's kind of cruel, maybe, and I don't mean to be. Really. I like the idea that she's gone back to her first book, Ralph's Party and imagined what became of the char
Sep 12, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One word: seriously?

I was down with the main theme of fleeting youth and the changing of personalities based on having kids, becoming a stereotype, etc. That is something that 30+ people struggle with every day.

Instead, this was a jumble of completely insane and non-issues that deteriorated the relationship of two people. It was so forced that it was evident (reinforcing the Acknowledgments by the author at the beginning of the book) that this book was written for monetary purposes and not becau
Apr 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s been eleven years since Ralph McLeary and Jem Catterick first got together and everyone, including themselves, thought their relationship would last forever. Life hasn’t turned out that way though and as a flat has turned into a house and their family has expanded to four, it seems that Ralph and Jem are drifting apart. As Ralph tries to get over his feelings of helplessness and Jem tries to remember who she was before the children came along, they both try to figure out how to recapture th ...more
Jan 09, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I love Lisa Jewell and will always read her books, but I can't deny that this book was a struggle to get through at times.
I think I found it a struggle because I was comparing how I live my life with my husband to Jem and Ralph, and I found the story infuriating in so many ways! If Jem and Ralph had just been open with each other from the start then we probably wouldn't have a book and things would have been less complicated, but the sad reality is that most relationships are like Jem and Ralph
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Tak toto dočítať bolo pre mňa destilované utrpenie, ale dala som toooo.... Nuda, nuda, nuda, deti, plienky, nevery, trápenie sa kvôli tomu druhému, rozchod a znovu objavenie lásky a pohody. A nie, nie je to spoiler, je to také priamočiare, že to inak ani byť nemôže...
It's eleven years since Jem Catterick and Ralph McLeary first got together. They thought it would be for ever, that they'd found their happy ending. As everyone agreed, they were the perfect couple. Then two became four, a flat became a house. Romantic nights out became sleepless nights in. And they soon found that life wasn't quite so simple any more. But through it all Jem and Ralph still loved each other, of course they did. Now the unimaginable has happened. Two people who were so right toge ...more
Oct 02, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Go read Ralph's Party instead, and forget this book exists.
I was nostalgic for my former home London, and I've always liked Lisa Jewell's writing so click! there it was my Kindle. Amazon really makes impulse purchases far too, well, impulsive.

If I'd had to buy the book the old-fashioned way, it would have stayed on the bookstore shelf. Because I would have been able to flip through the book and easily determine that the Jewell magic, at least for me, just isn't present.

I read Ralph's Party eons ago, and I vaguely remembered liking the characters. Howeve
Sep 30, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Jem and Ralph have been together for 11 years, but now their relationship has fallen apart. A year before, both frustrated with what their lives were like after the birth of their second child, they looked for satisfaction elsewhere, Jem striking up a friendship with a single father and Ralph visiting his best friend--and falling for his best friend's girlfriend. While neither quite cheats, and both resolve to make their relationship work, they don't really address the problems and the ways that ...more
May 24, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a huge fan of Lisa Jewell and I buy whatever she writes.

I must have been about 20 when I read Ralph's Party and I totally fell in love with Ralph and Jem. Plus it was set in North London, where I grew up, and I really felt I was reading about people just like me. I couldn't wait to read After the Party and learn more about these two and I eagerly awaited the release date.

I have tried to read it twice now and I just can't do it.

I accept that this book is probably very realistic, but being ne
Laurel Garver
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a sequel to a book I haven't yet read, and I suspect I wouldn't like as much, because After the Party isn't about finding love but keeping it. What makes relationships break down and what's needed to heal them once they've broken down. Jewell writes with insight and painful honesty about leaving the rosy years of early adulthood for the tricky territory of midlife. Her writing is quite lovely in this book also, with sentences you want to savor.

The ending felt a little rushed to me, and
Lauren Roberts
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yesterday mainly thanks to the rain I started and finished After The Party by Lisa Jewell. It's actually the sequel to Ralph's Party which is still festering in one of my many to read piles!

Really enjoyed her style of writing, natural flow so it was like reading a chic lit beach read but with depth to the characters so you slowly got drawn in. It felt like I was following the characters around their home watching them act out the story which is when I know the author has grabbed me.

It tells the
Amanda Baker
Well, to start, I didn't read the first book and now I think I should to see if it changes my opinion. However, nah. I was not a fan. I thought this book was very forced, that the lack of communication was too grand to exist in a relationship and they both at times were absolutely infuriating. ralf endured a lot and Jem well..... we will leave my feeling about her character out of this. Much of the plot was forced though, it seemed things just happened to keep the book going rather than adding t ...more
Amy Hunter
This is the second Lisa Jewell book I have read this year. I enjoy her writing style and the way she builds the characters and weaves the different character stories together. I haven't read the first book in this series but I don't think that mattered. I couldn't help but compare my own marriage to Ralph and Jem's and what I would do. This made it hard to read at times - maybe the possibility that it could happen to me made it too real and hard to swallow? All in all it was a standard 3 star re ...more
Lydia Bailey
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this as an absorbing light read. The last LJ book I read was disappointing but here she's back at her best following up on the characters of Ralph's Party. I thought it was going to follow a very predictable pattern but it had lots of surprises, twists & turns. I felt like banging the two main characters heads together a number of times but it all makes sense in the end; It's chick lit- but good chick-lit!
I read "Ralph's Party", oh it must be knocking on twenty years ago &, like all other books by Jewell that I've read, I loved it. In fact she's one of those authors that I always felt I could rely on for an above average read, which makes me wish I hadn't read this book. There's no way to sugar coat it - I really don't like this "new" Jem & Ralph.

From the start they just plain irritated me. Yes, they've got young kids & that changes a couple's dynamic no-two ways about it but that's w
Wendy Hines
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
Jun 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tanya (Girl Plus Books)
3.5 stars

I love Lisa Jewell's writing. Opening the cover of one of her books is a great feeling. Like visiting old friends that I haven't met yet. :) And I'd been looking forward to reading After the Party for ages. Even though it's been 10-12 years since I read Ralph's Party, I remembered Jem and Ralph's story and was thrilled to catch up with them. I was certainly in for a surprise. Ralph and Jem were in dire straits. I suppose I should not have been surprised. It's hard to write 400+ pages ab
Sarah Obsesses over Books & Cookies
Okay. What happens after Happily Ever After??? This book- that's what. Ralph's party was my first Jewell and aside from Vince and Joy I haven't been disappointed with her stories. This book is the follow up to Ralphs Party which I loved and compelled me to get a hold of each and every one of her others, and I think it might even bypass it--which is a feat since sequels usually are just full of high expectations and typical let downs. We get to see what became of the couple who got together in th ...more
Jessica at Book Sake
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, ...more
Shawn Jaquiss
Feb 03, 2013 marked it as disappointments  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
The author offers an interesting opportunity to view the challenges which partners in a relationship face after children are born and the different perspectives of each partner. That being said, I don't like this book. The story is broken up with "one year before" for a few chapters then "one year later" for a few chapters back and forth throughout the 100 pages I read. It really disturbed the flow of the story and prevented me from diving in. Each time I was nearly submerged in the story, the ...more
May 28, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
I found myself disliking something about this book but I can't quite put my finger on it. I think it was partly because I couldn't see the characters taking the paths they chose to, based on them in the first book. Also, I think it made me see just how life can become so strained that you can lose your way. As I am yet to go through the stages Jem has, I think I've taken away the lesson of being open and honest and being able to talk things through. Having said I disliked it though, I did want t ...more
Jul 20, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
1.5 stars. Never ever again will I be fooled by a one trick pony hahahaaaa! Kidding! Of course I will!
At one point I thought "oh thank Poe, I must be near the end" only to find I was only 35% in! Honestly, I had to skim to the end. I have only one nice thing to say about this book, great characters, but unfortunately not great enough to carry this monotonous non-story.
May 15, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one became a chore rather than a pleasure to read and I wasn't hooked on it. Its well written but I lost patience with the characters and the lack of communication between them. I loved the character of Scarlett, the little girl - such an endearingly precocious child!
Helena Wildsmith
Feb 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think the thing I love the most about this book is the refreshing honesty. As a wife and mother myself I really felt for Jem and found myself nodding along with her thoughts - although not her actions! Will definitely keep an eye out for more books by Lisa Jewell.
Amber Yoo
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: relationships
This is the second Lisa Jewell book I've read. I would categorize her books as easy, beach-style reading on complicated, slightly heavy relationship topics. I particularly enjoy Jewell's writing style because she does a seemingly great job at portraying the male viewpoint in addition to the female viewpoint. I find myself saying "yes! totally!" about what the wife is thinking, but then when Jewell delves into what the husband is thinking, I feel compassion for his conflicting viewpoint, too.

May 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shannon Britton-Jones
Indulgently overly long

I've recently discovered Lisa Jewell's books and liking them so well, I decided to go back into her earlier work. I did not go as far back as "Ralph's Party", figuring that a sequel written over 10 years after the original would provide plenty of context for readers just coming into the story. That proved quite true as many significant episodes from the primary character's history were repeated so much so I felt sure I had not missed out for having skipped "Ralph's Party".
Lisa Eirene
Ralph and Jem have been together for a decade, through their fun-loving party days in their 20's to having kids. The romantic nights just the two of them change with the addition of a few little ones and they find themselves growing up and growing apart from each other. Ralph, an artist, is preoccupied with his lifestyle and doesn't help out with the kids like he should. Jem feels like she's losing who she used to be before kids. 

I liked a lot of aspects about this book. I feel like anyone in a
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Lisa was born in London in 1968. Her mother was a secretary and her father was a textile agent and she was brought up in the northernmost reaches of London with her two younger sisters. She was educated at a Catholic girls’ Grammar school in Finchley. After leaving school at sixteen she spent two years at Barnet College doing an arts foundation course and then two years at Epsom School of Art & ...more

Other books in the series

Ralph's Party (2 books)
  • Ralph's Party (Ralph's Party #1)