Friday, 7 May 2010

After the party...

The perfect story for Happy Friday...

Would I like to go to London, meet one of my favourite authors and spend an evening in the company of bloggers? Hmm, not too difficult a decision to be made there then... Was I seriously ever likely to turn down such an opportunity? So, Wednesday saw me on a speeding train to my favourite City full of anticipation.

Lisa Jewell writes wonderful books - sort of chick lit but with more depth, a stronger sense of reality with characters that seem recognisable, that friends-of-friends feeling. I've grown up with her books and, in her latest book more than ever have found that I'm relating to her characters.

Ten years ago Lisa wrote her first novel - Ralph's party - in which Ralph, an artist struggling to capture his Muse, finds her in flatmate Jem. Naturally, numerous obstacles were to be climbed before they made it into each other's arms but make it they did and all seemed destined to live happily ever after. When I read this 10 years ago, I was right in the middle of what I thought would be my happy ending too - on the cusp of marriage. Mine didn't turn out as planned - would Ralph and Jem's?

Well, ten years later and in the sequel Ralph and Jem have done some growing. Two children increased the size of their family and a gaping chasm of failed communication, resentment, frustration and total lack of understanding pushes them apart. The book begins shortly after the birth of their second child. Ralph, not coping well with all that life throws at him decides he needs a holiday and heads off to Santa Monica to visit an old friend leaving Jem well and truly holding the baby...

I found this hard to read... Echos of my own past with a husband feeling the need to get away on holiday on his own leaving his exhausted wife at home with the baby came flooding all too painfully back. Here was a writer who it seemed had been inside my head and come face to face with my communication issues, my resentment and contempt. I wasn't expecting this. This isn't 20-something or even 30-something chick lit escapism. This is real life.

Ten years had done another thing to all of us. We weren't on the cusp of being 30 any more either! Jem and I, it seemed have both gone through the same freaking out over approaching the big 40. By now I was beginning to believe that Lisa Jewell had been reading my mind or was she just perhaps picking up on the issues of our time? Was I not alone after all?

This was a good, strong read. Clever, insightful and a little bit gritty also spring to mind. I wonder what a fresh-faced 25 year old would make of it? For a fresh-faced (but with a few wrinkles) 40 year old it was shockingly close to life. But, it also made me feel a bit better. Remember I said that Lisa's characters always felt familiar - like friends you just hadn't met yet. Well, this week I shared a good old chat with Jem and Ralph and we all learnt that you come out of the other side of experiences like these much stronger!

If you've never read Lisa's books, go check them out - great stuff!

As it's Friday, this is definitely my happy post for the week. I had such a wonderful time at this event in the company of some like-minded souls. In fact, there is so much more to say, but I must start my day... Part 2 coming up later.

Stay tooned...

Lisa & Lisa


  1. Now that's what I call a cliff-hanger. Can't wait :-)

  2. Great Post. Can't wait to hear what happens next. Have a wonderful and happy week!!

  3. Can't wait for part 2. I think when we turn 40 we look at your life alittle for carefully. At least I know I did. I don't know if you celebrate mothers day where you live but Have a great mothers day!

  4. lisa & lisa look awesome!!! glad you went ahead to london :) nothing feeds the soul better than to be amongst like minded people!!

  5. The Author and book sounds like something I would enjoy reading, I will check them out. So glad you went and the picture is great.

  6. Good books make me very happy too. She actually sounds like a writer I might enjoy, thanks!

  7. Fascinating great you could meet the author and other bloggers. Looking forward to part two!

  8. What a wonderful treat to meet a favored author! Thanks for sharing this. I often ask people what their favorite books are -I've discovered many a great book this way. Since I'm the same age as Jewell's characters I think I'll relate all too well. Have a great weekend!

  9. Lisa this is awesome
    SOO neat I see where you have been busy cool!!!
    I love life adventures!!

  10. Sounds like a wonderful meet.

    I will have to check these books out...We are all connected through life's experiences one way or another - Looking forward to reading these.

    Smiles and happy friday!

  11. A happy post indeed and it was so lovely to meet you Lisa. Looking forward to part 2.....

    Have a wonderful weekend. x

  12. She sounds wonderful - thanks for the recommendation and glad you were able to meet her!

  13. What a fab experience - will definitely read the book.Funny how you can sometimes really see yourself in a character from a book - also slightlt disconcerting at times! Have a lovely weekend. Suzanne x

  14. Wow! you went to this! I really wanted to go, but couldn't get childcare :(....can't wait to read the book, sounds fab- loved Ralph's Party


Thank you for your comments - I always love to hear what you think :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...