One invitation. A lifetime of regrets.
Sweet sixteen. It's a coming of age, a milestone, a rite of passage. Of course Jeff and Kim Sanders would throw a party for their daughter, Hannah. She was a good kid with good grades and nice friends. And it wasn't a big, indulgent affair. It was just four girls coming over for pizza and cake, movies and a sleepover. What could possibly go wrong?
But things did go wrong, horrifically wrong. When a tragic accident leaves one of the young guests disfigured, Jeff and Kim's flawless life in a wealthy San Francisco suburb begins to unravel. The injured girl's mother, Lisa, files a lawsuit that turns friends into enemies, reveals dark secrets in the Sanders' marriage, and exposes the truth about their perfect daughter, Hannah. Lisa's determination to make the Sanders pay stems from a fierce love for her only child and Lisa's own dark and damaged past.
At school, Hannah must deal with the ugly aftermath as her peers turn on the victim, and she struggles to maintain her social standing while heeding her moral compass. Her popular best friend, Lauren, is losing herself to drugs, alcohol, and a relationship with an inappropriate older man. Then a shocking, horrifying act of desperation rocks their upscale world and brings everything to a halt. And no one's life will ever be the same.
In The Party, Christos Tsiolkas's The Slap meets Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies, taking us behind the façade of the perfect family, exploring the secrets, betrayals, and moral lapses the neighbors don't see.
The Party uncovers the lies and duplicities that children and parents tell each other. And tell themselves.
Do you really know what your daughter is up to?
Advance praise for The Party
'Robyn Harding spins a masterful tale of the disintegration of a seemingly-perfect family in the aftermath of a disastrous sweet sixteen party. Engrossing and unflinching in its portrayal of the dark side of human nature, The Party takes the concept of ‘mean girls’ to a whole new level.' A. J. Banner, #1 bestselling author of The Good Neighbor and The Twilight Wife
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
In the best tradition of novels like The Slap—where one small incident threatens to derail multiple lives—The Party centres around a sweet-sixteen sleepover that goes tragically wrong. Nobody in the Sanders family is likeable—but they’re somehow relatable, making terrible decisions for understandable reasons like popularity, saving face or rebellion against the constraints of routine. Using alternating points of view, Robyn Harding slyly reveals the hidden prejudices of Jeff, Kim and their daughter, Hannah. Harding casts a sharp, appraising eye on the modern family unit, making us squirm and thank God the events in the book aren’t happening to us.