Thursday, September 11, 2014

{Review} LYDIA'S PARTY by Margaret Hawkins

ISBN #: 978-0670015764
Page Count: 304
Copyright: January 23, 2014
Publisher: Viking Adult

Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

Lydia is having a party—it’s a party she hosts every year for six women friends who treasure the midwinter bash. Over a table laden with a feast of food and wine, the women revel in sharing newsy updates, simmering secrets, and laughter. As this particular evening unfolds, Lydia prepares to make a shattering announcement.

As we follow these friends through their party preparations, we meet flawed but lovable characters who are navigating the hassles of daily chores while also meditating in stolen moments on their lives, their regrets, their complicated relationships, and their deepest desires. When Lydia’s announcement shocks them all, they rediscover the enduring bonds of friendship and find their lives changing in unexpected ways.

Tender, wryly funny, and exquisitely written, Lydia’s Party poignantly considers both the challenges of everyday life and of facing our fears while creating characters whose foibles and feistiness will capture readers’ hearts.

Mandy's Review:

Lydia just received some upsetting news and has decided to share it with her friends at this year's Bleak Midwinter Bash. She knows her news will bring down the festivities, so she tries to hold off as long as possible to give her friends time to enjoy themselves before her news changes the atmosphere.

Lydia is the pivotal point in all of these ladies lives. If she didn't exist, it would be unlikely that these ladies would've ever met or become friends with each other. I think we all have a friend like that. The only difference in this novel is that Lydia's news changes all of that. Her announcement is the catalyst to bringing them all together and changing their lives.

It felt as if the majority of this book was based on one day, the day of the Bash, and Lydia's preparations for it. Yes, the reader was introduced to the other characters, but it was Lydia that we really got to know. Like the lives of her friends, Lydia was the main focal point of this novel. I do have to disagree with the book summary, however. Her friends may have started off treasuring the Bleak Midwinter Bash, but by the time this story takes place, they're all pretty much dreading the whole ordeal. Most, if not all, of them had considered not showing up this year.

Once the party was over, the mood of the novel changed to a more somber approach. But, as is with all darkness, there does shine a bit of hope. It's this hope that carries the reader through to the end.

This novel was only so-so for me. It wasn't the powerhouse I expected it to be, but it wasn't bad either. I am absolutely in love with the cover. I could stare at it all day. The story, though, left me a bit melancholy. If you want to read it, it wouldn't be a bad idea. Just don't expect to be blown away.

*A hardcopy of this novel was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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