STARRED REVIEW
June 2016

Glitz and grit during the Texas oil boom

By Anton DiSclafani
With just one previous book under her belt, author Anton DiSclafani has already made a name for herself as a writer whose female protagonists dare to be different. Her debut novel, The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, was a titillating coming-of-age tale set in a world of privilege in the 1930s South; it rocketed to the top of summer must-read lists and was one of the most buzzed-about bestsellers of 2013. Three years later, DiSclafani is poised to shake up summer reading once more with her second novel, The After Party.
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With just one previous book under her belt, author Anton DiSclafani has already made a name for herself as a writer whose female protagonists dare to be different. Her debut novel, The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, was a titillating coming-of-age tale set in a world of privilege in the 1930s South; it rocketed to the top of summer must-read lists and was one of the most buzzed-about bestsellers of 2013. Three years later, DiSclafani is poised to shake up summer reading once more with her second novel, The After Party.

In 1950s Houston, Texas, the champagne and martinis flow as freely as the oil that has made the River Oaks community so very wealthy. Our guide to the ins and outs of Houston’s social milieu is Cece Buchanan, best friend and confidante to Joan Fortier, the indisputable queen bee of the River Oaks scene. Even though it means standing in her shadow, Cece revels in her place by Joan’s side. She takes pride in being the only person who truly knows secretive Joan . . . or so she believes, until Joan disappears one day without a word. When she reappears a year later, Cece is ready to resume their friendship as though no time has passed. But as Joan’s signature wild behavior begins to morph into something more sinister, Cece won’t rest until she has uncovered whatever Joan is hiding.

The After Party is a scintillating journey into the world of the social elite that penetrates beyond manicured lawns and designer duds to expose the dysfunctions of the upper crust. But don’t dismiss this as a literary “Real Housewives of River Oaks”—DiSclafani delves deeper, thoughtfully exploring topics of female sexuality and empowerment, as well as the delicate dynamics of female friendship. Populated with complex and complicated characters and relationships, The After Party is an engrossing period drama.

 

RELATED CONTENT: Read our interview with DiSclafani about The After Party.

This article was originally published in the June 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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The After Party

The After Party

By Anton DiSclafani
Riverhead
ISBN 9781594633164

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