Houston in all of its fifties glory–the heat and sun of Houston summers–River Oaks, The Shamrock, and the “…world of garden clubs and debutante balls”–is as much a character in this new (2016 publication) novel by the author of The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, as are Joan and Cece, the unforgettable main characters of The After Party.
Joan Fortier, “…the epitome of Texas glamor and the center of the Houston social scene…” and CeCe, her plain best friend and their strange friendship are at the heart of this novel. Joan is tall blonde and beautiful, everything CeCe is not, but CeCe is loyal and the only one who understands Joan (and the only one who will defend her to her critics). It is the story of women’s friendships, family secrets and relationships, as well as women’s lack of power and status in the 1950’s. In Houston, the “money flows as freely as oil, and the author who is an excellent story teller brings together “flawed characters worth knowing”and involves the reader in the story of the novel as well as the intertwined stories of the two girls’ lives.
I considered it a good investment of my reading time.