One invitation. A lifetime of regrets.
Sweet sixteen. It''s a coming of age, a milestone, a rite of passage. Of course Jeff and Kim Sanders would throw a party for their daughter, Hannah. She was a good kid with good grades and nice friends. And it wasn''t a big, indulgent affair. It was just four girls coming over for pizza and cake, movies and a sleepover. What could possibly go wrong?
But things did go wrong, horrifically wrong. When a tragic accident leaves one of the young guests disfigured, 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.
At school, Hannah must deal with the ugly aftermath as her peers turn on the victim, and she struggles to maintain her social standing while heeding her moral compass. Her popular best friend, Lauren, is losing herself to drugs, alcohol, and a relationship with an inappropriate older man. Then a shocking, horrifying act of desperation rocks their upscale world and brings everything to a halt. And no one''s life will ever be the same.
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.
Do you really know what your daughter is up to?
Advance praise for The Party
''Robyn Harding spins a masterful tale of the disintegration of a seemingly-perfect family in the aftermath of a disastrous sweet sixteen party. Engrossing and unflinching in its portrayal of the dark side of human nature, The Party takes the concept of ''mean girls'' to a whole new level.'' -A. J. Banner, #1 bestselling author of The Good Neighbor and The Twilight Wife
''Suspenseful and provocative, The Party is a story that will keep you reading and keep you thinking long after you''ve turned the last page. This is one party invitation you don''t want to turn down.'' --Barbara Taylor Sissel, bestselling author of Crooked Little Lies
''In this blistering fast read, self-obsessed soccer moms battle it out with their nasty teenagers who refuse to grow up. Why should they? Their parents never did... 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. Consider yourself warned." --Erica Ferencik, author of The River at Night
"A tense and riveting story about one night gone horribly wrong, and the fallout within a family and a group of friends. Secrets, desires, choice and consequence, The Party reveals that what lies inside a family--and each person--is not always as it seems. I was hooked from the opening scene and could not look away until I reached the very last page."
--Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls
"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
"Fast-paced and tension-filled, The Party explodes the myth of the perfect family and is one invitation you can''t turn down."
--Rebecca Drake, author of Only Ever You
"Everyone is flawed in this contemporary tale of mothers and daughters. Everyone behaves badly. And the story is a pure delight."
--Lucy Ferriss, author of A Sister to Honor