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Think about your group of friends. Is there one woman who seems to shine a little brighter than the rest? You know, the one who gets everyone’s attention, all the time. (If you can’t identify her, congratulations--it’s probably you!)

In Anton DiSclafani’s great new novel, The After Party, that friend is Joan Fortier, a beautiful but troubled socialite.

The latest from the author of The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls sees the entrancing Joan and her lifelong best friend, Cece Buchanan, navigating life as wealthy women did in 1950s Houston. (Read: Lazing the days away poolside before posting up at the city’s hottest clubs in gorgeous outfits.)

Joan and Cece’s relationship is fascinating, obsessive and decidedly unequal. Joan has always had a bit of a wild streak, while Cece, much more conventional, has lived happily in her shadow.

Now, though, Joan’s scandalous lifestyle is getting out of control, and Cece’s involvement is throwing a wrench into her own stable marriage. Will Cece risk losing her husband and young son to save her friend once again? Does Joan even want to be saved this time?

Consider it the perfect escapist read for your next poolside afternoon. (With or without a martini in hand.)

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