Title – The Party Author – Robyn Harding
Genre – Adult Fiction
Publisher – Gallery/Scout Press Pub. Date – June 6, 2017
In this stunning and provocative domestic drama about a sweet sixteen birthday party that goes horribly awry, a wealthy family in San Francisco finds their picture-perfect life unraveling, their darkest secrets revealed, and their friends turned to enemies.
One invitation. A lifetime of regrets.
Sweet sixteen. It’s an exciting coming of age, a milestone, and a rite of passage. Jeff and Kim Sanders plan on throwing a party for their daughter, Hannah—a sweet girl with good grades and nice friends. Rather than an extravagant, indulgent affair, they invite four girls over for pizza, cake, movies, and a sleepover. What could possibly go wrong?
But things do go wrong, horrifically so. After a tragic accident occurs, Jeff and Kim’s flawless life in a wealthy San Francisco suburb suddenly begins to come apart. In the ugly aftermath, friends become enemies, dark secrets are revealed in the Sanders’ marriage, and the truth about their perfect daughter, Hannah, is exposed.
Harkening to Herman Koch’s The Dinner, Christos Tsiolkas’s The Slap, and Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies, The Party takes us behind the façade of the picture-perfect family, exposing the lies, betrayals, and moral lapses that neighbors don’t see—and the secrets that children and parents keep from themselves and each other.
My Rating: 3/5
The Party by Robyn Harding is an adult fiction novel that centers on a family drama and the community-wide consequences of an accident at a sixteenth birthday party. I was quite excited to read this book, as I was drawn in by its exploration of the facade of a “picture-perfect” family.
The Party is a fast-paced and approachable novel. Personally I was able to read the book in one sitting over the course of an afternoon’s babysitting. One of The Party‘s highlights is the strong and engaging writing presented by the author, Robyn Harding. Although the novel is written from a third-person perspective, the writing is conversational and quite enjoyable (as evidenced by my binge reading session).
The book was captivating from the start, with the first chapter focusing on Kim, the mother in the “picture-perfect” Sanders family, waking up in the middle of the night to find her sixteen-year-old daughter Hannah crying and covered in blood. Different chapters center on different members of the Sanders family. The insight into each of their lives lends depth and perspective to the narrative.
Unfortunately, there are two ways in which The Party did not meet expectations. First, the novel is not as intense as I had anticipated, given the way it was played up in advertising and media. Perhaps had my expectations for intensity not been so high, this may not have been a problem for me. Second, I was quite disappointed by the novel’s ending — though for spoiler-related reasons I won’t go into detail here. The crazy “twist” that was revealed in the novel’s last few pages didn’t do the story any justice. It also seemed an unrealistic scenario, and not in the fun scifi/fantasy way. There were a number of better opportunities for revealing the information that was instead saved for the end for what feels like cheap shock value.
Overall, I found The Party by Robyn Harding to be a wonderful read up until the very end. I’m sure there are readers who love the last minute twist, but it just didn’t work for me. That being said, I would still recommend giving The Party by Robyn Harding a try. The novel is well-written and fun to read. I look forward to reading more from Robyn Harding in the future.
Thank you for stopping by my blog to read my review of The Party by Robyn Harding, published on June 6, 2017.
I am grateful to Gallery/Scout Press and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC copy for reading and review. All opinions expressed in this review are honest and are my own.
Have you read The Party? What did you think? Do you plan on reading it?
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