Contemporary, Drama, Family, Historical Fiction

The After Party by Anton DiSclafani

I’ve had my eye out for this novel for a while now. It was on a list of anticipated bestsellers before its release and after reading the premise, I was quite interested in giving it a shot. This novel is not my usual style but it had gotten so much advance praise that I couldn’t resist seeing whether it lived up to all the hype. So here we go!

Joan Fortier is glamorous, beautiful, and the center of the Houston social scene in the 1950s. She is every man’s dream and every woman’s envy. Her best friend, Cece, adores her and is protective towards her. She doesn’t envy Joan, she is her greatest admirer. And she will ensure that nothing bad ever happens to Joan. After all, that is what best friends are for. But what happens when Joan begins to dream of different things, of a life away from Houston? Will their friendship survive as they grow older? Does Cece even know Joan at all?

There are some who argue that this novel has no real premise. I can see why they may say that, as this novel is really Cece’s observations of Joan and how her obsession over Joan affects her own life. In that sense, this novel doesn’t really have a purpose. But I felt myself getting drawn to the story, and to the lives of these two women. I was compelled to read and see just how far a friend would go to be there for someone. While the big mystery was a little obvious, I enjoyed this novel more than I had expected. The setting was beautiful and the description of life in the 1950s was quite sensational. I don’t know about accuracy but it was certainly entertaining! While Cece may have been a bit foolish, I really empathized with her character and I understood her motivations towards maintaining her relationship with someone like Joan. Overall, I was happily surprised by this novel, and I will definitely be keeping my eye out for more books by this author!

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