Tag Archives: Marriage

Review: The Party

The Paty

The Party
By Robyn Harding
Gallery/Scout Press, Hardcover, 9781501161247, June 2017, 352pp.

The Short of It:

After just a few paragraphs I found myself completely absorbed by this story of a sleepover gone wrong.

The Rest of It:

Jeff and Kim Sanders host a sweet sixteen party for their daughter Hannah. They open their beautiful home to Hannah’s closest friends, pick-up her favorite cake and make it clear that boys, drugs & alcohol will not be tolerated.

What do you think happens?

As you can guess, something horrible happens and now Jeff and Kim Sanders, perfect in every way, find themselves trying to prove their innocence to the police as well as the parents and children involved. This blemish on Kim’s otherwise perfect reputation is enough to do her in. Then there’s Jeff, who is keeping a secret from her. Hannah is no saint either and forced to choose between popularity and cruelty.

There is a lot going on in this story but it’s SO good. You’ve got the whole “perfect” thing going on with Kim and Jeff but they are far from perfect. The other parents have their issues too and the kids…oh, the kids… their loyalty to each other changes with the weather. People are in. People are out. There are lies and secrets and lots of self-analysis going on. Oh, not to mention the denial!! I could not turn the pages fast enough.

These characters are complex and very well-developed and even though some of them do horrible things, you still feel something for them because the author just pulls it out of you. This book was read while making spaghetti and doing laundry because putting it down wasn’t an option. Plus, the events detailed in this story could literally happen to anyone which makes it all the more readable.

If you want a fast-paced domestic drama then you can’t go wrong with The Party.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Please Look After Mom

Please Look After Mom

Please Look After Mom
By Kyung-Sook Shin
Vintage, Paperback, 9780307739513, April 2012, 272pp.

The Short of It:

The sacrifices that a mother makes for her children and husband are not fully realized until she goes missing.

The Rest of It:

Sometimes you read a book and it stays with you for a very long time. Please Look After Mom is one such book.

Sixty-nine year old So-nyo is with her husband at a Seoul rail station when they become separated from each other. Suddenly, days have passed and she has not been found. As the family gathers to post flyers, each of them find themselves questioning the life she’s lived and the sacrifices she’s made. As their search continues and the days pass without any news, they discover things about their mother that they never knew and it dawns on them that the severe headaches she complained of and the lapses in memory were perhaps more serious than she let on.

This book hit me hard. As a daughter, I just kept thinking of my own mom who passed away late last year and how so many things were left unsaid between us. Mental illness and addiction took center stage and I was left to dream about a mother I could never have. But then you look at this book from a mother’s perspective and you can certainly see why she did the things that she did. I’m telling you, this book grabbed me from all directions and it nearly caused me to “ugly cry” and that’s saying a lot.

Parts of the story are told using a second person point of view which always throws me off. Once I got used to it and how it was used to tell the story, it just felt right for the author to share the story that way. There’s an intimacy to it that leaves you feeling a little uncomfortable, which in this case wasn’t necessarily a bad feeling. It just really got me thinking about mothers, children, marriage and everything in between.

I can’t even adequately tell you how this book made me feel because it affected me on so many levels but it was a really good read and very different from what I’ve been reading lately. I’m so glad my book club chose it for our May meeting. Looking forward to the discussion.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.