by Harding, Robyn

"In this stunning and provocative domestic drama about a sweet sixteen birthday party that goes horribly awry, a wealthy family in San Francisco finds themselves entangled in a legal battle, 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 picture perfect life in a wealthy San Francisco suburb suddenly begins to unravel. A lawsuit is filed that irrevocably changes their relationship, reveals dark secrets in the Sanders' marriage, and exposes the truth about their perfect daughter, Hannah. 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 faðcade of the 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"-

Robyn Harding is the author of numerous books, including the international bestseller, The Party, and The Swap, which was an instant #1 Globe and Mail (Toronto) and #1 Toronto Star bestseller. She has also written and executive produced an independent film. She lives in Vancouver, BC, with her family. Visit her at or follow her on Twitter and Instagram @RHardingWriter or Facebook @AuthorRobynHarding.

After a sweet-16 party gone horribly wrong, a well-to-do family's life is threatened to its breaking point in Harding's (Chronicles of a Midlife Crisis, 2010) domestic drama. Kim Sanders has worked hard to create a perfect life for her family, and on the surface, she has succeeded. A successful husband, kids who excel in school and sport, and a home in an expensive San Francisco neighborhood signify her triumph. But only Kim knows the truth: her marriage is falling apart since she found her husband with drugs more than a year ago, and she's considering an affair with a coworker. After her daughter's birthday party turns tragic, the secrets threaten her carefully constructed facade. As the bad decisions keep piling up, Kim becomes her own worst enemy. With teenagers worthy of Mean Girls, and a healthy dose of suspense, The Party reads like a cross between Megan Abbott and Jodi Picoult by way of James Patterson. More nuanced characters would be welcome, but this doesn't stop the race to find out how all is resolved. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

An accident at a Sweet 16 party triggers a series of traumatic events that threatens to shatter a family.Hannah Sanders is finally one of the cool girls at San Francisco's elite Hillcrest Academy, where she's a sophomore. But everything could change if her 16th birthday party isn't legendary, and the way her uptight mother, Kim, is behaving, it seems like it's going to be the kind of staid sleepover better suited for tweens than a 16-year-old desperate to hold on to her newly acquired social status. Told no booze, drugs, or boys, Hannah and her friends-queen bees Ronni and Lauren, along with two girls from her anonymous days, Caitlin and Marta-sneak in all three, with disastrous consequences. As the saying goes, it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye, which is exactly what happens to drunken Ronni when she goes crashing through the coffee table in the middle of the night. Harding (Chronicles of a Midlife Crisis, 2010, etc.) fragments the story, going ba ckward and forward in time in an attempt to stir up more tension than actually exists, both surrounding the accident and in the Sanders' lives, particularly the shiny-on-the-outside, rotting-on-the-inside marriage of Kim and Jeff. They're sued for a ridiculous sum by Ronni's mother, Lisa, which triggers a predictable pile of skeletons to come tumbling out of the marital closet, while Hannah must try to deal with the wrong kind of attention at school as she decides whether to stick with her new friends or stand up for the bullied, disfigured Ronni. The domestic drama is done well, even if it's nothing new, but the cruelty of adolescence is painted with too broad a brush to be wholly convincing. Copyright Kirkus 2017 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

The Party <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="../styles/9781501161292.css"> <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="../styles/SS_global.css"> <h2><a id="page_1"></a>kim</h2> <h2>THAT NIGHT</h2> <br>Kim should have heard it, would have heard it if she hadn&#8217;t installed earplugs and taken half an Ambien. The girls were two floors below, but she&#8217;d anticipated giggling, music, a few late-night trips to raid the fridge. . . . To ensure a sound sleep, she&#8217;d nibbled a bit of the sedative, despite having had two glasses of white wine after dinner. She&#8217;d done it plenty of times without incident. She&#8217;d always been a light sleeper, and, lately, adequate rest had become imperative for Kim. There were too many hormones wreaking havoc with her humor. And there was far too much tension in her marriage to handle without a good night&#8217;s sleep.<br> <br>&#8220;Mom! Dad!&#8221; Kim dragged herself up from under the warm, wet blanket of sedation. It was Hannah&#8217;s voice, tearful, close. . . . Kim opened heavy lids and saw her daughter at the end of the bed. Tall, pretty Hannah wearing a nightie that looked like a football jersey, the number 28 across her chest. It was Hannah&#8217;s birthday today&#8212;sweet <a id="page_2"></a>sixteen&#8212;she was having a slumber party. So why was she here, in the small hours of the morning? Why was she crying? As Kim struggled for lucidity, she realized something was terribly wrong. Tears streamed down Hannah&#8217;s face and there was something on her hands . . . something dark and wet, glistening in the faint glow of the LED clock radio . . .<br> <br>Blood.

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