I’ve been following with interest the updates on Cassie Hamer’s debut novel After the Party. Thanks to Netgalley, I was able to read an advance copy and I’ll say now, add this to your reading lists if you are a fan of Liane Moriarty and her sister Nicola Moriarty. You’ll get a story that mixes the joys and challenges of throwing a children’s birthday party with intrigue, tension, likeable characters, and plenty of party-popping humour.
This is the blurb:
Be careful what you wish for…
Lisa Wheeldon has a lovely life. Wife to a gorgeous husband, Scott, and a devoted mother to two small daughters, the former accountant has everything she wants – except a third child. But the universe has a strange way of providing.
On the surface, Ava’s fifth birthday party seems the ideal opportunity for Lisa to meet her daughter’s new kindergarten friends – all 32 of them! But from beginning to end, the day is a complete nightmare, capped off by the discovery of a little girl hiding in the Wheeldon’s backyard. At first, Lisa reasons that Ellie’s mum is running late. But when they open a gift from the mysterious little girl, it becomes clear her mother has no intention of returning at all…
I don’t want to give too much away here, but let’s say that the whole-class party itself is a challenge, especially since the well-to-do parents are of the drop-and-run variety, but what happens next is more challenging yet. One child is not picked up and further investigation shows she wasn’t even in the birthday girl’s class. Who is she and where is her mum? That’s what Lisa and her sister have to figure out. Add in a private investigator, a Russian mobster, a possible move to Dubai, a love triangle, and chaos all round, and you get the picture.
I was thoroughly entertained by After the Party – it’s refreshingly light but warm to its core.