The Party: Book summary and reviews of The Party by Elizabeth Day

The Party

by Elizabeth Day

The Party by Elizabeth Day X
The Party by Elizabeth Day
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2017
    304 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

A taut psychological tale of obsession and betrayal set over the course of a dinner party, The Party tells the story of two married couples who, in a single evening, will come to question everything they thought they knew about each other, as the long-buried secret at the heart of their friendship comes to the surface, culminating in an explosive act of violence.

Ben, who hails from old money, and Martin, who grew up poor but is slowly carving out a successful career as an art critic, have been inseparable since childhood. Ben's wife Serena likes to jokingly refer to Martin as Ben's dutiful Little Shadow.

Lucy is a devoted wife to Martin, even as she knows she'll always be second best to his sacred friendship. When Ben throws a lavish 40th birthday party as his new palatial country home, Martin and Lucy attend, mixing with the very upper echelons of London society.

But why, the next morning, is Martin in a police station being interviewed about the events of last night? Why is Lucy being forced to answer questions about his husband and his past? What exactly happened at the party? And what has bound these two very different men together for so many years?

A cleverly built tour of intrigue, The Party reads like a novelistic board game of Clue, taking us through the various half-truths and lies its characters weave, as the past and present collide in a way that its protagonists could never have anticipated.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Day's latest is a dark, haunting, and elegantly crafted tale of obsession, desperation, devastation, and rebirth." - Kirkus

"Fans of Herman Koch's The Dinner will be tempted to check out Day's fourth novel - both follow two couples with simmering emotional histories as they spend an upscale evening together, during which old resentments are revealed and something tragic occurs - but in this novel, the plot plays out predictably and is beset by obvious foreshadowing." - Publishers Weekly

"Witty, dark and compelling." - Sebastian Faulks

"Superb - clever, gripping, psychologically acute." - Laura Barnett, author of The Versions of Us

"Day's latest novel is sinister and seductive and nothing short of breathtaking." - Francesca Segal, author of The Innocents

"Think Brideshead Revisited meets The Talented Mr. Ripley with a dash of The Riot Club. I couldn't put it down." - Louise O'Neill, author of Asking For It

"I practically murdered this book in an evening I loved it so much. The Party is a terrifying, hilarious, brilliantly written original with a wit to die for." - Phoebe Waller-Bridge, creator and star of Fleabag

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Author Information

Elizabeth Day

Elizabeth Day grew up in Northern Ireland. She is an award-winning journalist and has written extensively for The Telegraph, The Times, the Guardian, the Observer, Vogue, Elle and the Evening Standard.

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