Kim’s daughter, Hannah, is having a sleepover for her 16th birthday party. Before leaving them to it, Kim lays down her rules – no drugs, no alcohol, no boys. But the girls end up breaking every rule and in the middle of the night, Hannah comes to her parents with blood on her hands. There has been an accident and one of the girls, Ronni, has been badly injured. The repercussions from that night affect all concerned, with Ronni’s mother blaming Kim and her husband, Jeff.
Starting with a great inciting incident and unreliable characters, this suburban drama delves into many issues from parental responsibility to popularity and bullying at a private school. I was easily hooked into the story, wanting to know how it would resolve, but was not a fan of the ending. Well worth a read.
The Party, by Robyn Harding, is about a sweet sixteen birthday party that goes horribly awry. The synopsis says: "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.
The Party takes us behind the facade of the picture-perfect family, exposing the lies, betrayals, and moral lapses that neighbours don't see - and the secrets that children and parents keep from themselves and each other." The Party is out in June 2017.