Blog Tour + Excerpt + ARC Book Review: The Party by Robyn Harding
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 . . .
ashley | I very easily ripped through The Party by Robyn Harding in only a few days. There was enough happening that I couldn’t wait to see the outcome. But ultimately, things ended up being much as you would expect and I was left with a bad taste in my mouth.
This book is full of horrible people. I can’t say I empathized or could even remotely stand a single character here. They were all flawed and dysfunctional, but that wasn’t the problem. That is normal. These people were so selfish, so greedy, so absolutely self centered that I honestly didn’t care what happened to any of them. I wanted to see their lives fall apart. Everyone behaved like spoiled children, no one deserved any kind of sympathy or vindication in the end.
What’s scary about this book is the weighing reality of the situation. These are all relatively normal families thrust into a tragic situation that likely couldn’t have been avoided even with better parenting, stricter rules, etc. This could have happened to any family, in any home, no matter the upbringing or social status. And how would you and your family react? It’s hard to imagine you wouldn’t be as quick to blame, quick to jump to conclusions and want to wreak full vengeance on someone.
The further I read, the further I just couldn’t believe the behaviour of these people and how stubborn and bullheaded they were being. I wanted to see some character growth, I wanted people to learn something and maybe redeem themselves. There wouldn’t be a happy ending for everyone but maybe something good could come from this. But everyone was just as awful and unhappy in the end. Except maybe for one character, who seemed to finally be fulfilled, which is rather ironic given they were pretty much the worst and most selfish and lost through the whole thing.
But I guess all of that speaks loudly for a certain type of person. Some people never change, some people don’t want to change. The ending of the book, the turn of events there, is kind of fitting and proves the lengths people are willing to go for their own personal gain.
My chest still feels tight and I’m not entirely sure whether I actually enjoyed this or not. It definitely stirred some emotions, though none of them pleasant, but I always appreciate a strong reaction from a book. If you want a glimpse into the dark and greedy side of family life, this is definitely a good example of it on all levels. I think I’ve had my fill of this for a while.
june 6, 2017