The After Party by Anton DisClafani; 2016
The year is 1957; Houston, Texas. Cece Buchanan and Joan Fortier are twenty-five, wealthy, and socialites at the center of Houston’s social scene. They grew up together, practically sisters, and their friendship binds them in a way that is more intimate than any marriage. Joan is blonde, beautiful, independent and every woman wants to be her. Cece is her devoted keeper: responsible, the wife of a steadfast husband and a young son. In the summer of 1957, Joan starts to drift, living more and more recklessly and slipping beyond Joan’s protective grasp. As Joan’s behavior continues to spiral out of control, Cece is forced to make an impossible choice.
The After Party is Anton DisClafani’s second novel. Her first was the v. v. scandalous Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls. The two share similar themes: close female friendships, family secrets, society scandal, and ultimately female independence. While Yonahlosse was like O-M-G scandalous, The After Party was scandalous in a less dramatic way. DisClafani is a smooth writer, and the time she devoted to researching her book really shows.
This book has secrets, scandal, and social hierarchy intrigue. At it’s core, it’s about female power and independence in the late fifties, the impossibility for a woman to have a life of her choosing, regardless of wealth. If that sounds good to you, definitely pick this one up!