Cover image for
The after party
DiSclafani, Anton,

Personal Author:
Large print edition.
Physical Description:
463 pages (large print) ; 23 cm
From the author of The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls comes a story of the 1950s Houston social scene and the irresistible, controversial woman at the bright, hot center of it all -- a story of friendship as obsessive, euphoric, consuming, and complicated as any romance.
Pub Date:
Thorndike Press, 2016.



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Material Type
Shelf Number
Central - Houston Public Library Adult Large print Large print book DISCL
Looscan - Houston Public Library Adult Large print Large print book DISCL
Mancuso - Houston Public Library Adult Large print Large print book DISCL

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A New York Times Bestselling AuthorFrom the author of The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls comes a story of the 1950s Houston social scene and the irresistible, controversial woman at the bright, hot center of it all -- a story of friendship as obsessive, euphoric, consuming, and complicated as any romance.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* DiScalafani (The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, 2013) follows up her debut best-seller with another spellbinding historical novel, this time set in 1950s Texas. Cece and Joan have been best friends since kindergarten, growing up in the tony Houston neighborhood of River Oaks, saturated with oil money, marching toward the inevitable: debutante balls, women's college, Junior League, suitable marriages, and lives of respectable luxury. Narrated by Cece from an unspecified present day, The After Party is a lushly written novel of a symbiotic friendship. Cece's recollections of her relationship with the beautiful, rebellious socialite Joan over the years reveal the depths of her obsession. Cece has defined her own life in terms of her proximity to Joan, to the detriment of her own once happy marriage, fixed in place by a dark secret from their shared girlhood. The thick and clingy atmosphere, peppered with meticulously detailed descriptions of the day-to-day concerns of the midcentury moneyed class in Texas, paints an alluring portrait of the alcohol-soaked, seedy reality of high society, roiling just beneath the placid veneer of mannered respectability. Deliberate pacing and the hypnotic quality of DiScalafani's writing will entrance readers as the novel slowly burns toward a series of shocking revelations. Literary fans as well as those who enjoy historical and women's fiction will be delighted.--Szwarek, Magan Copyright 2016 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

DiSclafani's second novel, following The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, is an intriguing story about the complexities of female friendship and the intricate social hierarchy of Houston's oil elite in the 1950s. In a world focused on glamor and status, Joan Fortier has always been the center of attention, but no one loves her as much as her best friend, Cece. Friends since age five, Joan and Cece share a complicated past. Told from Cece's perspective, the narrative cuts back and forth between 1957, when they're in their mid-20s, and their adolescence, when Joan seems set up for the kind of privileged existence that Cece once assumed they both wanted-marriage, a family, and fancy parties. However, Joan seems to want more. To Cece, Joan seems vibrant and free, but it's not until later that she realizes no woman in this particular society, not even Joan, can completely escape the social limitations imposed by gender. The narrative sometimes succumbs to stereotypes, but the social milieu-and the attitudes that these women alternately embrace and rebel against-is vivid, and the relationship between Joan and Cece becomes increasingly compelling as the story progresses, resulting in a most memorable read. Agent: Dorian Karchmar, WME Entertainment. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

Houston socialites and BFFs Cece -Buchanan and Joan Fortier have been the toast of River Oaks since their preschool days. With the 1950s in full swing and the girls in high school, Cece comes to live with the Fortiers after her mother dies. She acts as defender and constant companion for the willful, hard-partying Joan. When Joan abruptly skips the debutante ball to seek stardom in Hollywood, Cece is devastated but forges new friendships and begins dating her future husband, Ray. When Joan blows back into Houston, mysterious beau in tow and ready to step back into the Shamrock Hotel party scene, Cece senses that Joan is carrying secrets. As she adopts a predictable upper-class life of marriage, motherhood, and garden-club luncheons, can Cece balance Joan's burdens with her own? Best-selling author DiSclafani (The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls) paints a compelling picture of the ups and downs of longstanding female friendship set against the excesses and restraints of the Mad Men era. -VERDICT Readers' opinions will vary on whether the revelation of Joan's dark secret is satisfying, but such strongly wrought characters and attention to period setting and mores should enthrall most fan of novels of intricate relationships and society such as those by Mary McCarthy, -Rebecca Wells, Fannie Flagg, and Jill Connor Brown. [See Prepub Alert, 11/2/15.]- Jennifer B. -Stidham, Houston Community Coll. © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Copyright © 2016 Anton DiSclafani The Shamrock Hotel was  wildcatter Glenn  McCarthy's green baby.  Sixty-three shades to be exact: green carpet, green chairs, green tablecloths, green curtains. Green uniforms. The hotel sat next to the Texas Medical Center, which Monroe Dunaway Ander­ son had founded and bequeathed nineteen million dollars to in his will. It was like that, in Houston: there was money everywhere, and some people did very good things with it, like Mr. Anderson, and some people built glamorous, foolish structures, like Mr. McCarthy.  Mr. Anderson helped more people than Mr. McCarthy, certainly, but where did we have more fun? The rest of the country was worried about the Russians, worried about the Commies in our midst, worried about the Koreans. But Houston's oil had washed its worries away. This was  the place where a wealthy bachelor had bought himself a cheetah and let  it live  on his  patio, swim in his  pool; where a crazy widower flew in caviar and flavored vodka once a  month for  wild soirees where everyone had to speak in a Russian accent; where Silver  Dollar Jim West had thrown silver coins from his  chauffeur-driven limo, then pulled over   to  watch the crowds' mad scramble. The bathroom fixtures at the Petroleum Club were all plated in twenty-four-karat gold. There was a limited supply of gold in the world; it would not regenerate. And Houston had most of it, I was convinced. We valeted our car and headed straight to the Shamrock's Cork Club; Louis, our Irish, gray-haired bartender, was there, and he handed me a daiquiri, Joan a gin martini, up, and Ray a gin and tonic. "Thank you, doll," Joan said, and Ray slid a folded-up packet of money across the bar. That night we were all in attendance: the aforementioned Darlene, dressed in a lavender dress with, I had to admit, a beautiful sweetheart neckline; Kenna, Darlene's best friend, who was very nice and very boring; and Graciela, who went by Ciela. Ciela had been a scandal when she was born, the product of her father's affair with a beautiful Mexican girl he'd met while working in the oil refineries down in Tampico. His ex-wife had been rewarded for his sin--she'd received the biggest divorce settlement in Texas history. All of this was old news, though. There had been bigger divorce settlements since then, much bigger. It was Texas: everything bigger, all the time. Ciela's father had married the señorita, was still married to the señorita, which perhaps would have been the greater scandal, if he weren't already so powerful. We all had that in common, save me:  powerful fathers. And husbands who would become powerful. And we were going to go there with them. Darlene kissed Joan on both cheeks and then turned to me, "Long time no see, Cece," and then laughed uproariously at the repetition. She was already loaded. "You look like Leslie Lynnton herself," she said, and even though I looked nothing like Liz Taylor, aside from the dark hair, I was pleased. We'd all seen Giant at least three times, were titillated by the fact the James Dean character was based on Glenn McCarthy himself, even though we publicly hated Edna Ferber and her portrayal of Texas. Ciela, whose hair was now so blond and coiffed she looked as Mexican as Marilyn Monroe, was on the arm of her husband, and Darlene and Kenna's husbands were across the room, smoking. My own husband was at my side; Ray was quiet, a little bit reserved, most comfortable near me.  He wasn't shy, exactly, but he didn't feel the need to be the center of anything, a rarity in our crowd. The night wasn't full of possibility for us wives, like it used to be, like it still must have been for Joan. Yet the champagne was crisp and cheerful, the men were handsome and strong, and the music buoyed our spirits. I was wearing a beautiful silver dress, strapless, cinched at the waist. (Ray made a good living at Shell but my mother had left her small fortune to me, and because of it I wore astonishing clothes. My one extravagance. My mother had always refused to touch the money, thought my father should earn more. And so it was mine, granted to me in a legacy of bitterness, in lieu of parental attention. I was determined to spend it all.)  My wrist was encircled by my fourteenth-birthday present, a delicate diamond watch I only took out when I was feeling hopeful. Later tonight we might venture outside, to the Shamrock's pool, which happened to be the biggest outdoor pool in the world, built to accommodate waterskiing exhibitions. Joan loved to dive from their high board, said it felt like flying. Or maybe we'd make our way to the Emerald Room, the Shamrock's nightclub. From the Hardcover edition. Excerpted from The After Party by Anton DiSclafani All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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