After the Party
Cressida Connolly

Book cover image

Narrated By: Kristin Atherton

Duration: 9 hours and 51 minutes

What to expect

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of After the Party by Cressida Connolly, read by Kristin Atherton.

'I always wanted to be friends with both my sisters. Perhaps that was the source, really, of all the troubles of my life...'

It is the summer of 1938 and Phyllis Forrester has returned to England after years abroad. Moving into her sister's grand country house, she soon finds herself entangled in a new world of idealistic beliefs and seemingly innocent friendships. Fevered talk of another war infiltrates their small, privileged circle, giving way to a thrilling solution: a great and charismatic leader, who will restore England to its former glory.

At a party hosted by her new friends, Phyllis lets down her guard for a single moment, with devastating consequences. Years later, Phyllis, alone and embittered, recounts the dramatic events which led to her imprisonment and changed the course of her life forever.

'Wonderfully subtle and compelling' Linda Grant

'Uncanny, evocative, atmospheric' Sunday Times

'Connolly is a terrifically subtle writer... [she] slyly sweeps her readers into the period drama as tensions tauten between families and social classes' Daily Telegraph

'Wonderful, tragicomic... beautifully researched' The Times


Modern & contemporary fiction, Historical fiction, Second World War fiction

Listen to a sample

Uncanny, evocative.... Connolly skilfully sets scenes in pared yet atmospheric prose

Sunday Times

Connolly has tremendous fun with her posh characters' class-obsessed milieu, but the privations of Holloway Prison, with its rope-thick dust, bone-chilling cold and maggoty food, are equally sharply drawn

Daily Mail Summer Reads

Polished and reflective... a salutary masterclass on the values that really matter

Country Life

Connolly is a terrifically subtle writer... [she] slyly sweeps her readers into the period drama as tensions tauten between families and social classes

Daily Telegraph, Five Stars

[A] virtuoso novel

Telegraph Magazine

Wonderful, tragicomic... beautifully researched

The Times

Deeply impressive.... quietly devastating tale of world affairs played out on an intimate scale


This historical novel is an absorbing, nuanced look at extremism dressed up with social niceties and class privilege, and is sure to resonate today


I finished it in two days flat and I've never read anything quite like it. Everything about the book rings true, politically, psychologically, and in period detail, from the sunny beginnings to the grim end

Hilary Spurling

A wonderfully acute writer

Sunday Telegraph Summer Reads

A wonderfully subtle and interesting account of the Mosley women, with a compelling voice

Linda Grant

Profound and moving and completely original, with a storyline that is completely satisfying. It'll be one of those novels that stays in my mind forever... it's a work of art

Craig Brown

One of the best books published this year

The Lady

Connolly gives an object lesson in how to tell a story in a non-judgmental way. The result is a brave, engrossing and unexpectedly moving novel

Mail on Sunday



Connolly [is] an unerring storyteller who excels at both period and place

Daily Mail

In her latest novel, Cressida Connolly expertly evokes a changing nation, and a woman whose life is altered forever


Extraordinary, gripping... Exquisitely written with lyricism and a stiletto-sharp and humorous pen, Connolly takes on a subject which resonates powerfully with current politics