The House Party: Book summary and reviews of The House Party by Rita Cameron

The House Party

A Novel

by Rita Cameron

The House Party by Rita Cameron X
The House Party by Rita Cameron
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  • Published Sep 2022
    320 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

When a house party goes terribly wrong, a suburban town fractures, exposing disturbing truths about the community - perfect for fans of Little Fires Everywhere and Ask Again, Yes.

It's the party of the year. Afterward, nothing will ever be the same.

Maja Jensen is smart, stylish, and careful, the type of woman who considers every detail when building her dream home in the suburbs of Philadelphia. The perfect house that would compensate for her failure to have a child, the house that was going to save her marriage. But when a group of reckless teenagers trash the newly built home just weeks before she moves in, her plans are shattered.

Those teenagers, two months away from graduating high school, are the "good kids"—the ones on track to go to college and move on to the next stage of their privileged lives. They have grown up in a protected bubble and are accustomed to getting by with just a slap on the wrist. Did they think they could just destroy property without facing punishment? Or was there something deeper, darker, at play that night? As the police close in on a list of suspects, the tight-knit community begins to fray as families attempt to protect themselves.

What should have been the party of the year will have repercussions that will put Maja's marriage to the ultimate test, jeopardize the futures of those "good kids," and divide the town over questions of privilege and responsibility.

An absorbing novel told through shifting perspectives, The House Party explores how easily friendships, careers, communities, and marriages can upend when differences in wealth and power are forced to the surface.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Cameron's riveting latest explores class and economic divisions in an affluent Philadelphia suburb during the late-2000s housing bubble...Cameron does a stellar job at demonstrating how easily stereotyping and wealth can influence outcomes, setting a wide lens on the burgeoning housing crisis...A seamless plot and believable characters make for an accomplished sophomore effort. Readers are in for a treat." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Fans of Tom Perrotta and Matthew Norman will appreciate Cameron's keen observational eye, while fans of Celeste Ng's Little Fires Everywhere will welcome the closed-ranks mystery. Cameron's novel acknowledges the privilege we all enjoy in different ways and the strength it takes to do the right thing." - Booklist (starred review)

"[A] novel about choices and consequences, compassion, and the limits of forgiveness...An unflinching look at the dysfunction of a 'nice town'; a resonant morality tale." - Kirkus Reviews

"Cameron's riveting novel explores the far reaching consequences of a high school party gone terribly wrong. The ensuing investigation exposes the fault lines lurking beneath an idyllic suburb. I couldn't stop turning pages as the police search for truth in a community where everyone has so much to lose. Ultimately it's a book about understanding what's really important and the power of forgiveness." - Tracey Lange, New York Times bestselling author of We Are the Brennans

"The House Party is a darkly delicious page-turner and a gimlet-eyed critique of parenting and privilege in our time. Cameron's intimately portrayed characters inspire our empathy despite their train wrecks and flaws. A thrilling read." - Bruce Holsinger, bestselling author of The Gifted School

"Rita Cameron's The House Party explores how a night of seemingly innocent fun can lay bare the class and moral fault lines of one tight-knit community. What struck me most about Cameron's confident and absorbing novel was the empathy she bestows on her characters, making it difficult for the reader to cast blame on some while vindicating others. A fresh take on privilege and entitlement, The House Party is exactly the kind of thought-provoking and highly readable novel I love." - Amy Meyerson, bestselling author of The Bookshop of Yesterdays

This information about The House Party was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Rita Cameron

Rita Cameron studied English literature at Columbia University, and law at the University of Pennsylvania. But like many lawyers, she dreamed of writing a novel. She currently lives in San Jose, California, with her husband and two children.

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