Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Ralph's Party - Lisa Jewell

A lighthearted novel about the labours of love.

I enjoyed her other book, The House We Grew Up In and since then, Jewell has been a writer that I much like. She tells her stories with sharp insight. Her plots are all lighthearted and frothy but it is the clarity with which she describes her characters and gets them into situations that appeal to me. I reckon this is her debut novel and although it shows promise, she has perfected the art better in her later ones.


The story is about people inhabiting a set of flats on Almanac Road, full of working professionals and their trials and tribulations in love. Ralph and Smith are on a lookout for a flatmate and Jem walks in, into their flats and lives. Karl and Siobhan have been living together for a while but change is in the air, will it change their relationship too? Cherie is the beauty on the prowl for a guy and has sights on one of these guys. Although, they all lead separate lives, they find that they are all interwined and all is revealed at Ralph's party.

What works:
  • The story suggests of personal experience and Jewell seems to have drawn on her personal life to carve a story out of it. It is easy to get into and has a very urban feel to it.
  • The characters are all different although they have the same issue - their love life. It is entertaining to read how they connect with each other and the way they think about each other.
What doesn't:
  • The story is a breezy romance. However, there are times when all that candy floss can be a bit too sweet for itself. The introduction to the characters takes a while, but once they are established, the story is then on a roll. 
A great downtime read. It is entertaining and apparently her debut novle. This is not her best book.I found Vincy and Joy and The House We Grew Up In much better than this.

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