It was supposed to be a celebration. How did it all go so wrong?
'A tense and riveting story about one night gone horribly wrong, and the fallout within a family and a group of friends' Megan Miranda, author of All the Missing Girls
Sweet sixteen. It's a coming of age, a milestone, a rite of passage. Of course Jeff and Kim Sanders will throw a party for their daughter, Hannah. She's a good kid with good grades and nice friends. And it isn't going to be a big, indulgent affair. Just four girls coming over for pizza and cake, movies and a sleepover. What could possibly go wrong?
But things do go wrong, horrifically wrong. After a tragic accident, 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.
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.
'A compulsive page-turner that mines the push-pull between basic impulses and doing the ‘right thing,’ The Party is a domestic drama that spins off the rails with hellish consequences' Erica Ferencik, author of The River at Night
'Cleverly constructed and brilliantly paced, The Party is a raw telling of a family coming apart at the seams. Robyn Harding weaves a riveting tale that is impossible to put down' Bill Clegg, New York Times bestselling author of Did You Ever Have a Family
In Harding's (The Secret Desires of a Soccer Mom) latest incisive family drama, a 16th birthday party is the catalyst for an affluent family's fall from grace. Hannah is the well-behaved and well-adjusted daughter of Jeff and Kim Saunders, or so they think. When Hannah's low-key sweet 16 celebration pizza with a handful of friends becomes a test to see if she can cut it with her more mature friends Ronnie and Lauren, Hannah is willing to break the rules. The night quickly turns to terror when Ronnie has an accident that throws Hannah's parents and their choices into the spotlight, threatening to unravel everything they have built. Although the plot doesn't build the tension required to sustain the high drama of the novel, Harding expertly peeks into the darker corners of the high school experience. Hannah is a believably smart yet insecure teenage girl, and the conflict between her parents, who feel jarred by her growing up, and Hannah, who feels constantly reminded of how young she still is, rings true and textured. The premise, which often feels like a reworking of and homage to Herman Koch's The Dinner, feels simplistic at times, but the intricate family dynamics that Harding teases out are complex and engaging.
Better in this genre.
Forgettable. Didn’t love the characters, appreciate you maybe weren’t meant to.
Such a good read, couldn’t put it down!