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Ralph's Party by Lisa Jewell - Book Review

Title
Author
Publisher

Ralph's Party
Lisa Jewell
Penguin

Fiction-Net Rating 3 Star Rated Book

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Cover Story

Meet the residents of 31 Almanac Road in a romantic, engrossing novel that takes you up the garden path, through the front door and into the most intimate parts of other peoples' lives. Ralph and Smith are best friends. Until they fall for Jemima their new flatmate. Jem knows one of them is the man for her - but which one?

Karl and Siobhan live in the flat above. Happily married for fifteen years, it looks as if nothing can spoil their domestic idyll. Except maybe Cheri, the femme fatale in the top flat. She's got her eye on Karl and she isn't about to let his fat girlfriend stand in the way.

We Say

A great idea for a piece of light-hearted slushy fiction - three flats that are home to six very different people. The story evolves around how their lives come together.

I enjoyed the majority of this book in a single day, with only the last few chapters carrying over to the next because it's definitely the final chapters that let this book down. The characters are definitely likeable, even to some degree the 'baddie' of the story, Cheri. The scenes between Ralph and Jem in particular are very sweet - I was willing them together as the author would have intended but the characters do tend to fall apart late in the book and change their general behaviour a little too much for belief.

To make one final criticism, Lisa Jewell should give her readers a bit more credit for intelligence. There are one or two occasions where she unnecessarily points out what's going on - just in case we don't 'get it'.

Overall, Ralph's Party is not a stunner but this is Lisa Jewell's first novel and, for that, it's a pretty good shot. I expect she will improve with the undoubted talent she has shown here.

Review by: Rob Cook

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