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.
If you like the works of Liane Moriarty then you’ll like this one because it’s a very similar style and revolves around domestic drama at its ‘revengiest’.
It’s one of those books perfect to pick up when you need an afternoon escape or a great recommendation for your next book club because after all the success of things like Desperate Housewives was built on our voyeuristic need to watch the downfall of seemingly perfect families.
Like those in its theme genre you’re never quite sure who to hate, love, root for or feel sorry for because they’re all imperfect and caught in a terrible situation of their own making. It’s like a car wreck you feel bad for the victims but can’t seem to stop watching the tragedy either. Harding knows how to make this emotional upheaval work and throw in enough twists to keep us wanting to read to discover how this will all shake out in the end.
This is the PERFECT book for a group to read and find out where everyone’s moral compass really points. I could actually see this being turned into an HBO miniseries like what was done with Little Big Lies.
Thank you to Netgalley and Gallery / Scout Press for allowing me to review this book.
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*synopsis and pic from netgalley.com