Lydia's Party by Margaret Hawkins

Title: Lydia's Party
Author: Margaret Hawkins
Publisher: Viking
Publication Date: January 23, 2014
ISBN: 9780670015764 
Number of Pages: 304
How I Got It: NetGalley
Format: Kindle

NetGalley Description:
For fans of Anne Tyler and Anna Quindlen, a mesmerizing portrait of friendship that explores seven women’s lives with a generous embrace and wondrous wisdom

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 fears, foibles, and feistiness will capture readers’ hearts.

My Review:

Although the book is mainly told from Lydia's point of view, readers are given great detail of the other ladies in the group. Norris, Elaine, Celia, Maura, Jayne, Betsy, and Lydia.  That's a lot of characters to keep straight. I couldn't tell you now who was who except Norris and Lydia. Norris would be the perfect example of a "frenemy" for Lydia:
Much later, Lydia found out they'd offered the job to Norris first, for better pay, and that Norris, two years out of grad school and twelve years younger, had turned it down. Norris had gotten a better offer, at a real college, the same week, from someone she'd met at the residency she'd gotten Lydia bumped from. Now Norris didn't have to teach. She was that rarest of all creatures, an artist who lived--and well--off her art.
I think we all know a Norris. Someone who seems to effortlessly achieved what we work so hard for. But I couldn't help but feel that the author had someone in her life that she was personally shaping Norris after and seeking some sort of revenge by making readers dislike her. While all the other characters are flawed in their own ways, they appear human and likable. Norris has zero redeeming qualities and just doesn't seem to fit in other than to give a cold-hearted artist foil to the cozy group of ladies.

I will not be recommending this.

** I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review **

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