The Party

In Robyn Harding's domestic drama, a low-key sweet 16 takes a catastrophic turn.

Robyn Harding

Sweet 16. 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. (From Simon & Schuster)

From the book

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 humour. 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...


From The Party by Robyn Harding ©2017. Published by Simon & Schuster.

Other books by Robyn Harding