June 15, 2011

After the Party by Lisa Jewell

The first four years of their marriage they were the perfect couple. And then the children came and something changed. The romantic date nights out on the town turned into nights passing out from exhaustion as soon as the children were in bed. Jem (I love that name by the way) and Ralph both realized that something was missing but rather than trying to find it together, they went looking for it in different places. Ralph took a spiritually changing trip to California and found a higher power, and Jem looked in her past and tried to solve her problems with alcohol, drugs, and other men.

While many books are an escape to a different world for me, After the Party was a journey in reality. A relationship that changed after children but rather than accepting and growing with that change, both partners tried to somehow turn their relationship back in time, something which just isn't possible. Sure it works once in a while, but you can't just go out every night and expect that the 18 month old baby will take care of himself in the morning while you sleep off a terrible hangover. Because it was so real, it was both easy and difficult to read. Difficult because you could feel the heartbreak and frustration as these two characters just wanted to find love again but easy because Jewell's writing is like watching a movie where each scene continues to add on to the one before.

I really enjoyed this book. I read almost the entire thing on a plane ride from DC to Switzerland. Once I started, I had to know what would happen. I also loved how the book ended and the overall idea that life changes, we change, and that change is a good thing. 4 stars.

I received a copy of this book for free to review.

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