Adult book reviews, Book Reviews

After the Party by Cassie Hamer – ARC Review



My Rating ~ Four stars

4-gold-stars copy

RELEASE DATE:  18 February 2019

Publisher: Harlequin Australia

Format: E-ARC

Pages: 384


An unexpected gift left at her daughter’s fifth birthday party in the form of a little girl pitches Sydney mum Lisa Wheeldon into events both hilarious and life-changing.

Liane Moriarty meets Marian Keyes with a touch of Christos Tsiolkas’s The Slap in this hilarious, touching and clever novel that asks what wouldn’t you do to save a child?

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…

What sort of mother abandons her child? And why has she chosen the Wheeldons?

Together, Lisa and her sister Jamie launch their own efforts to find the missing mum, a journey that will force Lisa to face her past, Jamie to confront her future and see both embroiled with angry exes, pragmatic fortune-tellers, Russian mobsters and a hyena pack of yummy mummies.

A journey that will force Lisa to rethink all she knows about being a good mother.





Thank you to Harlequin Australia for providing me with a copy of After the Party in exchange for an honest review.

After the Party kicks off with a hilarious morning of mishaps for Lisa, on her daughter’s fifth birthday party.  Anything that can go wrong does go wrong and all she wants is for the party of kids bouncing off the walls to be over.  But once all the children have gone home and she finally feels like she can relax, there’s one more surprise….a child seems to have been left behind.  The assumption that her mother is just running late is quickly shattered when they read the note the little girl has with her.

As Lisa, her sister and a crew of intimidating mums at her daughter’s new school attempt to move heaven and earth to find the girls missing mother, they discover secrets about not only the girls situation but their own families too.

After the Party was an often hilarious but also heartwrenching story about what it means to be a mother, and the lengths you will go to for your children.  It also took us down paths of the choices people make to hold onto ideals for their own lives.  I really enjoyed this book, even though I sometimes found some of the subject matter hard to read.  As a mother I don’t think I could ever understand what Ellie’s mum did, but I understood her thought process, and by the end of the book I wondered whether that actually made me more selfish than her.  It begs the question ‘ how far would you go to protect your child?’

This was a fantastic debut novel for Cassie Hamer and I hope to read more of her books in the future!



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Photo via my Instagram account @Bookbookowl


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