Summary from Goodreads:
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.
What I Liked:
Writing Style. The main reason I did not put this book down during some of the slow parts was because of Harding's writing style. She did d a great job crafting interesting characters and a unique plot that kept me reading until the end.
Characters. Harding goes between four different points of view, Kim and Jeff, their daughter Hannah, and Lisa, the mother of Hannah's friend, Ronnie. I was not a huge fan of the multiple POV in each chapter but Harding still did a good job creating unique voices for each of the characters.
What I Disliked:
Lack of Suspense. The one thing that hampered my reading experience was the lack of suspense. I went into the novel with the idea that it was a thriller or mystery but it feel short in delivering it.
Length/Pacing. I felt that the novel went on longer than it needed to, with the focus on points of view that we could have done without, and the pacing lagged in the middle of it.
Despite some of my issues I still recommend checking this out if you enjoy slow paced mysteries with interesting writing and characters.
3.5 Stars Out of 5 Stars