Because she slept in, Lisa’s running behind on preparations for her daughter’s fifth birthday party. With nothing going to plan and her sister, Jamie, also a no-show, it all looks like being a disaster. But even though the day is saved by a nanny in a Wonder Woman costume and a school mum bearing a bottle of moscato and a cake, things get even stranger after the party.
No one comes to pick up one of the little girls, and instead Ellie has a note from her mother Missy, pleading with Lisa to look after her for a while. While Lisa tries to track down this woman she has never met, Jamie has a big decision to make concerning her boyfriend and her PR job.
This story was more light-hearted than I was expecting given the storyline of an abandoned child. It’s a heart-warming and often funny read about the depths of a mother’s love, even for a child who is not your own. The only thing I didn't like: the explanation behind Missy’s disappearance seemed a bit flimsy on the credibility front. Overall, a very promising debut.
After the Party, the debut novel by Sydney-based writer Cassie Hamer, sees a mum get more than she bargained for at her daughter's birthday party.
The summary says: "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." After the Party is out in February 2019.