The Party: A Novel by Robyn HardingThe Party: A Novel by Robyn Harding

The Party: A Novel

byRobyn Harding

Paperback | June 6, 2017

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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.
Title:The Party: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8.25 × 5.31 × 0.9 inPublished:June 6, 2017Publisher:Gallery/Scout PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1501172573

ISBN - 13:9781501172571

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Rated 3 out of 5 by from A party gone wrong Set in affluent Marin County, California, "The Party" centres around a 16th birthday party gone wrong. A student at a local private high school, Hannah Sanders invites some girlfriends to her home for a birthday sleepover party. While her parents lay down strict rules for the party, the girls ignore the rules, invite some boys over, and use both alcohol and drugs. Everything would likely have been fine except that one of the girls, Ronni, is seriously injured as the result of the behaviour of the evening. The heart of the book is the reaction post-accident. This book is an easy read and had my attention from the beginning, but I found most of the characters unlikable. That said, no doubt such parties happen and such accidents occur.
Date published: 2018-03-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book! I really enjoyed this book. I liked how each chapter gave the perspective of each of the main characters. I was totally engaged from beginning to end.
Date published: 2018-03-14
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Bad Oh please, this is bad. It feels badly written. I can't recommend this book. I think there is lots of junk, probably 80% of written books are garbage.
Date published: 2018-02-25
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not great ‘The Party’ started off promising, then started to go downhill and just about plummeted by the end. An accident at Hannah’s sweet sixteen party kicks off the 340-page melodrama. With chapters from the perspectives of Hannah, her goody-two-shoes mother, her airhead father and Ronni’s vindictive mother, a back-and-forth debate begins over who is responsible for Ronni’s disfigurement. I found the characters to be repulsive. The book may have been filled with many juicy topics, but the way that everyone treated each other and the obsession over popularity left much to be desired. This one definitely fell short for me.
Date published: 2018-02-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Quick Read and Entertaining The book was an easy read and kept me interested until the end.
Date published: 2018-02-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent read! This book was everything I expected it to be. It was an easy read and I really enjoyed the plot and characters despite the bad decisions they make. Each chapter is told from the perspective of various individuals from "that day" to days/months after the life shattering event.
Date published: 2018-01-31
Rated 2 out of 5 by from So so read This book was not what i expected. Very very hard to get into.
Date published: 2018-01-28
Rated 1 out of 5 by from disappointing this book was getting a lot of hype about being a thriller and these deep dark secrets, i was really looking forward to compelling mystery thriller type book. This was none of those things, it was boring, predictable, and i honestly hated all of the characters personalities.
Date published: 2018-01-24
Rated 1 out of 5 by from do not read this book unless you really read everything else on earth It did grab my attention in the beginning (hence why I bought it) but my goodness it was so hard to finish, it just got so boring and so superficial. I d not know maybe it is just me but I did not enjoy reading this book.
Date published: 2018-01-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Meh Although I finished the book (mostly due to my curiosity and not being able to leave a book unfinished), I was longing for more suspense the whole time.
Date published: 2018-01-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from quick and compelling read This book has the reader engaged from the first chapter. Harding does a good job of telling the story from all sides and letting the reader draw their own conclusions. Hard not to imagine what you would do in that situation and to determine who really was at fault.
Date published: 2017-12-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Page Turner This was a great read! I think it's important to go into it and think of it as just a story, and not necessarily a mystery or thriller. It was the right amount of suspenseful and I did not want to put it down, even though a lot of the characters were frustrating. The ending was a little disappointing, and felt only half-resolved, but it's still a great read. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-11-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Started off well...dry ending. More than half of the book was very interesting and fun to read....however getting closer to the ending I realized I was almost done the book and the same storyline was being dragged on. That's when I felt the book was getting boring...I was expecting a major twist but it was just a simple yet realistic turn of events. The storyline was very good because it seemed of teenagers and the battles they/their families face. However with the thrilling beginning I was expecting more from this book, when I got to the last couple of chapters I was quite disappointed. I felt the ending was rushed and incomplete. Overall it was a 3.5/5.
Date published: 2017-11-12
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointing I found this novel to be a quick simple read that was very fluffy. I found it very disappointing.
Date published: 2017-10-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Realistic Read I had a hard time with this book. I had a love/hate feeling towards it all throughout and I think that can be attributed to the fact that it was very realistic. This is something that could easily happen in real life and I was often stressed out reading through Kim and Jeff's perspectives. I guess that's the sign of a good author, pulling you right into the story!
Date published: 2017-10-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible Dark, mysterious and unexpected. You won't see the twists and turns coming that The Party has to offer.
Date published: 2017-09-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Meh..... I'd give it 3.5* and that's generous because it kept me engaged. I found all of the characters to be completely self absorbed! Ridiculously so. The victim's mother being the worst of the worst trying to profit off the incident and using it to knock people down a peg or two. Utterly disgusting. I didn't like the ending and really felt the wheels come off in the final 4 chapters. I also don't find the outcome believable in the least. After hearing good things and it being highly recommended by chapters I have to say it didn't at all live up to the hype.
Date published: 2017-09-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Entertaining Read I really enjoyed this book. This may have been one of the most entertaining books of the year for me. Although I didn't necessarily identify with any of the main characters and found myself flip-flopping between who I agreed with, I think that was the point. The point was what you could easily be one or the other or maybe none! I will say that this book made me realize that if I had kids, I would be checking bags before a party!
Date published: 2017-09-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not what I expected (..disappointed) I was really excited to start this novel but was ultimately disappointed. Very anticlimactic.
Date published: 2017-09-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Currently reading I am currently reading The Party and was engaged from the first chapter. Eager to find out how the rest of the book pans out. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-09-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing One of the best books I've read this summer
Date published: 2017-09-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from yes I was pulled right into this novel from the first page
Date published: 2017-09-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Easy read. Read this book in no time at all. Didn't end how I expected which was sort of anticlimactic but a good read none the less.
Date published: 2017-09-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good book This book was good, but not quite what I expected. A little bit of a let down in the end.
Date published: 2017-09-11
Rated 2 out of 5 by from .. um i love thrillers and i do not mind have different levels of characters, ie: the kids versus the parents and relationships in between - but i'm sorry, this book was really hard to finish. i took it on vacation to France with me, hoping it would be a page turner, i finished it simply because i had no other book but it was almost a pain to finish. the events were really not that exciting and it was not suspenseful in comparison to the thrillers i'm used to ... i don't understand why they include characters in the accident that did not suffer any consequences, what was the point. i thought this book was not well written and the story was all over the place. i tend to only go for books that have very good reviews and based on the reviews here, i'm very confused and conflicted. if readers "enjoyed" this book that much, then they really do not understand the definition of a thriller book. you need to go read Gone Girl or The Kind Worth Killing or Behind Closed Doors - those are great thrillers. then come back and let me know your thoughts, honestly, this is just my opinion. perhaps i missed the whole concept of the book and just couldn't appreciate as much as the other readers ... how did this book even get that much buzz to be put on one of the tables at Indigo? sorry, again, just my honest opinion.
Date published: 2017-09-09
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Dont waste your time I didn't like this book at all. The characters weren't likeable and the part about them being sued didn't make sense
Date published: 2017-09-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful and disturbing read Robyn Harding writes upper, middle class ass-holiness with a sure hand. Her latest novel, The Party, is a portrait of the painful downward spiral of a family who take more pride in keeping up lofty appearances, than maintaining their relationships with one other. After a sweet sixteen party goes horribly askew, parents Kim and Jeff struggle to come together in order to give their daughter Hannah the support that she needs. With their own social status hanging precariously by a thread, they become self obsessed and distrustful of one another. Hannah, a high school student on the brink of becoming a ‘popular girl’ in her own right, is plagued more by her own social roster, than caring for her now seriously injured friend. What ensues is a dark and tragic look at a family who has it all, but is unable to come together in a time of crisis. Vivid and disturbing, Harding’s The Party is a modern, well-heeled tragedy that smacks of the perils of family disconnect — a modern cautionary tale.
Date published: 2017-09-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Suspenseful and addicting. I love this book. Kept me reading page after page once I really got into it.
Date published: 2017-09-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Awesome! A good thriller that keeps you guessing.
Date published: 2017-09-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down One of the best I've read in a while. Totally realistic situation that could happen to anyone. The Lauren character's personality might not have happened in real life, but it made the web of lies and deception far for tangled and interesting. Can't wait to read another one of Robyn Harding's books!
Date published: 2017-09-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Party A good thriller that kept you guessing.
Date published: 2017-09-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was ok don't get me wrong it was a interesting read but not great predictable story. good msg regarding bullying other then that kinda a bore. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-09-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from So/So The book was a real page turner for a while and you just want to know what happened at the party! But once you read in to the daughter a bit more and get to the end it was disappointing. The author probably managed to capture a selfish teenage daughter but it seems like she didn't learn much at the end. Wouldn't recommend.
Date published: 2017-08-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from good a really good read, though a bit slow at times, but nonetheless, worth it!
Date published: 2017-08-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Intense and eye-opening! I loved this book; I read it in 2 days! The characters are interesting and the web Harding weaves that readers must traverse with the characters is powerful. I loved the alternating points of view, but keep track of the dates.... Totally worth the read!
Date published: 2017-08-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was good! Loved this book, It was suspenseful and had a good plot considering it was a bit jumbled at times. I would really like to see the author do a book that has more twists.
Date published: 2017-08-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Glued until the end This was such a great read. I finished it in a week - the way the author shows the different vantage points keeps you glued until the end. #plumreward
Date published: 2017-08-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Thoroughly Compelling Read I was pulled right into this novel from the first page. The characters are, without exception, despicable. Normally, that's a turnoff for me. But Harding does such a great job of making them real and three dimensional that I found myself entrained by their story. This would be a great book club selection as I think readers will tend to take sides in the strong conflict. Although the protagonist, Kim, isn't particularly likeable, I sympathized with her plight because I thought she did everything she reasonably could to prevent the tragedy at the heart of this story. Harding also does a great job of parsing out the story to the novel's main characters. Each chapter is told from a different character viewpoint, which contributes to the book's fast pace. All of this would make for a great discussion after the read. The only reason I didn't give it a full five stars is that I wish events had escalated more towards the end of the story. But I forgot about that by the time I reached the very strong ending. This is not for readers who insist on lovable characters. Nonetheless, I was able to relate to their harrowing predicament. If you're looking for something that is thought-provoking (particularly for parents), a page turner, and a devastating indictment of the modern family, I highly recommend it.
Date published: 2017-08-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down A great read.I highly recommend this novel.It had me so engaged that I ignored my family until I finished it.Very thought provoking and enjoyable. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-08-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good book #plumreview. I enjoyed this book it was well written and shows what it can be like dealing with the pressures of highschool and trying to fit in with the "cool kids"
Date published: 2017-07-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good, but different I wouldn't call this a die-hard mystery, or a thriller necessarily, but it does fit into the grouping loosely. Over all a good book, and I was eager to finish the rest. The final scene with Hanna does make you wonder if there is going to be a second - and exactly what Hannah is planning. Different.
Date published: 2017-07-09

Read from the Book

The Party kim THAT NIGHT Kim should have heard it, would have heard it if she hadn’t installed earplugs and taken half an Ambien. The girls were two floors below, but she’d anticipated giggling, music, a few late-night trips to raid the fridge. . . . To ensure a sound sleep, she’d nibbled a bit of the sedative, despite having had two glasses of white wine after dinner. She’d done it plenty of times without incident. She’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’s sleep. “Mom! Dad!” Kim dragged herself up from under the warm, wet blanket of sedation. It was Hannah’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’s birthday today—sweet sixteen—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’s face and there was something on her hands . . . something dark and wet, glistening in the faint glow of the LED clock radio . . . Blood.

Editorial Reviews

"Domestic drama... done well."