The Party by Elizabeth Day employs many familiar literary devices of suspense – the unstable outsider surrounded by privilege, the unnamed secrets that bind characters together, a plot revealed through multiple epistolary viewpoints, an unreliable narrator – but Day deftly utilizes these in refreshing and unexpected ways. The comparisons to other recent works of literary suspense, particularly Gone Girl and The Talented Mr. Ripley, are unavoidable, but I hope these do not deter potential readers who might expect more of the same. I promise: this one is different.
I found the primary vehicle of suspense to be reminiscent of Big Little Lies – mainly, something has happened and now the reader will be taken between time periods and perspectives to get the answers. I have been disappointed more than once with recent popular suspense setups, but not here. Day’s writing is crisp and her pacing is even. Her character development is so good that both Martin, a creepy sociopath, and his damaged, subservient wife, Lucy, are sympathetic without the use of reader manipulation. The innermost thoughts of Martin are particularly chilling, and Day’s employment of The Art of War as a guide in Martin’s pursuit of Ben’s friendship is a masterful choice. Readers will certainly become impatient for the resolution (this reader certainly did) but this sense of urgency only underscores the author’s writing talents. The Party is a page-turner of the highest, creepiest order.
I was provided an advance reader copy by the publisher through NetGalley for review purposes.
See, when you have a middle grades book problem, and are then advised to take personal belongings home for the summer, your home office looks like this.
Living on one income means living without fancy cars, clothes and restaurants. It means hand-me-downs and garage sales. It also means giving up material things for what really matters – your children. Priceless.
One of my articles….yay! eHow Mom
Now that work has slowed for me somewhat, I am reminded of how important it is to ALWAYS be searching. A great gig (probably) won’t last forever. This can be tough because we get so busy with working that we forget to continue to look for more work.
I just signed up a JournalismJobs.com. This isn’t for everyone, of course, but I want to continue to work in the media field so it seems like a good hunting spot for me. Find job hunt pages that you like, bookmark them, and check them every morning. My fav is Rat Race Rebellion.
I just found out about the Bing rewards program. You can sign up here and earn rewards for the searches you would be doing anyway.
Hallelujah! My weeks of sinus suffering have ended. The problem was a mean and nasty molar tooth that had turned on his brethren. Yanked out on a Sunday by my wonderful dentist and I feel good as new.
Back to helping mommies find work – including finding some for this mommy!
Leapforce is one of the big search engine evaluation companies, and it is very popular with work-at-home moms. When I last checked it out, you could work as little as 10 hours per week and these could be at any time, day or night. The basic premise of this job is that you provide feedback on how well a search engine is understanding what the human who typed the search was looking for.
I got into and completed the training for one of the other big companies, but the work was HARD and involved adult content (ick) so I didn’t do the job. I did apply this time with Leapforce, because I compulsively apply for every job I see, and I think you should all do the same. This is, in my opinion, one of the best gigs out there. Here’s the link https://www.leapforceathome.com/qrp/public/job/1;jsessionid=1360E854D7FAA4FB4E896DCD0BD3F4AF to apply. I hear it can take a long time to hear anything. Good luck!
Before relocating to a new city last year, I had made exactly two new female friends in the last 15 years. I don’t mean that I didn’t meet any new girls through other connections such as work and friends-of friends, but the kind that comes from a sudden connection with a previously unknown person that develops into lasting friendship. One of the two that I did make as a grown-up just happened to relocate to the same new city at the same time, and her constant presence has been a tremendous blessing. But before her, my last entirely “new” friend happened when I was 21, and before that it was high school. I have always had lots of acquaintances. I am good at making acquaintances. But moving, as far as finding true and lasting female friendship goes, was daunting. I would just add to the acquaintance list, I figured.
The foundation of my prior acquaintances was proximity – cubicle neighbor, the wife of my husband’s childhood friend, the mom of the one kid that my kid plays with at the park. These are friendship of convenience. We are here, so we are friends.
Having the cloak of relocation-related friendlessness serves to open my mind and heart to strangers. Because I really have only one friend, there is heart space to see each new person with clear eyes.
Now new friendships are blissfully based solely on the soul of what a real friend is. In my new vibrant town, I meet someone new, a lot of new someones. We chat. If our words feel forced, or our values are too disparate for reconciliation, that’s okay. I will gratefully settle for acquaintance. But if we quickly fall into the joyful lose-track-of-time conversations that tend to accompany real connection, if being together leaves us both uplifted, I have the opportunity to pursue a friendship. I am new here. I need friends. That’s my in. I have made more wonderful, lasting connections in the past year than I did in the 20 that came before it. Change is good. Yes, change is good.