It's 11 years since Jem Catterick and Ralph McLeary first got together. They thought 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. But through it all Jem and Ralph still loved each other.
Now, in the chaos of family life, Ralph feels more and more as if he's standing on the sidelines, and Jem that she's losing herself. As they try to find a way back to each other, they both become momentarily distracted - but maybe it's not too late to recapture happily ever after....
©2010 Lisa Jewell (P)2010 Isis Publishing Ltd
Retired Psychologist Love reading/audiobooks, travelling, animals Favourite saying The fact that you believe something does not make it true
In the end, it just didn't have enough substance to keep me interested. Her later books are much better. Several are excellent in fact!
Yes, I would. The story line is mostly realistic and is a believable representation of how relationships can be put under strain following the arrival of children. The characters were sympathetic and their flaws were understandable and forgivable.
Probably Jem as she is easy to identify with and her feelings could be understood by many new mothers.
Absolutely not. The ridiculous voices that she used for the men, children and Miranda were really annoying. She clearly cannot do accents so should not attempt it. Has she really ever heard an adult speak in the 'Minnie Mouse' voice that she used for Miranda? We all know that men's voices are lower than women's so why on earth did she feel the need to adopt some weird kind of gruff tone for each male character? If my daughter spoke as though she had permanently inhaled helium, I would be seriously worried.
Review: wow this novel really took it out of me. The tension, the emotion and the feelings of the characters are at the forefront during the entirety of this novel and it is so well written that you feel each and every sigh, laugh and tear with each of the characters. I am a massive fan of Ralph's party so I don't know why it has taken me so long to read the follow up novels, but I am so pleased that I did!
The characters are wonderfully similar to how they were in the first novel, they both still have a really strong voice thought the story and so from that point of view it is like returning home to old friends, however that would be boring if they were ENTIRELY the same. These characters have grown and evolved, they have had children and they are losing Ralph and Jem and simply becoming mum and dad and this is part of the problem throughout the whole of this novel-they need to find themselves again!
The things that this couple have gone through are realistic and believable and yet I simply don't know how they coped. In terms of the plot, it is beautifully mapped. They go through miscarriages, astilbe adultery, Ralph having issues with work, Jem having issues with work, questions over whether they should get married or not. It is one drama after another-it's fabulous. We hear a lot more of jems sister Miranda in this novel than in the previous one, and of course smith is back too. The big admission that I have to make, however, is that I really didn't like Ralph is this book! I LOVED him in the first novel, but in this one, really disliked him, thought he had turned into a lazy man who was letting his family life pass him by. I also really disliked Scarlet, their daughter. I thought she seemed spoilt and just took away from the enjoyment of the story a bit for me.
The fact that I had the dislike of these characters though and found the storyline so stressful was because it was so well written. Lisa Jewell really does have a way of writing drama to make it seem so real that it literally jumps off the page and pulls you in. This is not a novel to read if you are looking for a restful Sunday afternoon affair. You need to invest in this novel, but it is well worth the investment! This is Jewell at her best and if you are a fan of hers, you have got to read this one. If you haven't already read Ralph's Party then read that first because I think you have to know the characters from that novel before picking up this epic read!
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