Wow. I just wrapped up reading The After Party by Anton DiSclafani and it was intense. Not in a mysterious sense but more heavy content with well developed characters and relationships. It was my first read of DiSclafani’s and I can say she is a literary vision who writes with elegance yet complexity. This was not what I expected it at all. Yes it had the glamour of old, oil Texas but it was more. It was about an all consuming friendship between two different women. Love, obsession, friendship and parenthood are all things that happen at The After Party.
The After Party circles around Joan and Cece. Joan and Cece grew up with one another and have been best friends since they met. Joan is from wealth and is gorgeous. Cece isn’t as confident and has been in Joan’s shadow for years- a place she is content to be. Joan is a mysterious girl who marches to be the beat of her own drum and inspires to make it in Hollywood. Cece is always there for whatever Joan needs, putting Joan’s best interest in front of her own. Going through death of parents, first loves and life changes they never lost touch. As they both approach adulthood, Cece and Joan start to pursue different interests. Joan wants to be a free-spirit and take in all life has to offer. Cece is thinking of settling down and being a mother. Against Cece wishes Joan starts to get tangled into the wrong circle and she can’t stand that Cece is always there being a second mother to her. Cece has always watched out for Joan, even when it means abandoning her own family, and can’t help herself when it comes to telling Joan what is wrong and right. As their relationship takes a turn rocky road, dark secrets start to come out and they find out what it takes to make their relationship last…or not.
After reading The After Party you will need an after dinner drink, in the best way. It will leave you thinking and the characters of Joan and Cece will stay with you for a while. DiSclafani is a master storyteller who takes the reader deep within the pages and into the characters worlds. I am looking forward to more of what she has to offer and I can promise you The After Party will leave you excited for more too!
*Thanks to Riverhead books for sending a review copy.