Book number 6 in the 100+ reading challenge
The Garden Party
by Sarah Challis
Outer back cover: Alice Baxter knows the best things in life are free.
But the approach of her fortieth wedding anniversary and sixtieth birthday surely warrants a proper celebration. Her husband David isn't so enthused: he's lost his lust for life since retiring. And he's not the only one who isn't in the mood to celebrate. Each of Alice and David's four grown-up children has their own problems to contend with and things aren't going as smoothly as any of them had hoped.
As Alice focuses on preparations for the perfect party, her family begins to unravel around her. Even her husband's sudden rise from apathy isn't as great a blessing as it first appears. It's only a matter of time before Alice's special day is a risk of disaster...
This book changes between a lot of characters: Alice and David and also some of their children, in-laws, grandchildren and friends. But with exception of Alice and Anne it wasn't very confusing, and it was mostly only confusing with Alice and Anne because of their similar names (I can be rubbish with names).
The book is about the life of all these characters, the tension and dilemma of family life, and the search of true happiness. Often in books you only know what the main character is thinking and how he/she sees other people, but in this book you got all sides of the story. It was very interesting to read about what was happening in each characters life and what they thought of it, and at the same time read what the other characters though of them. It was also interesting to read about the differences and similarities between generations. I think all of the characters were really believable.
I'm not really sure what was my favorite part of the book. Maybe the ending... I also liked the parts with Sabine, Alice and David's step-daughter-in-law, it was interesting (I seem to used that word a lot...) to read about her views on her parents, their separation, their living in different countries, her step-parents and step-families. And I was really worried about her when she was going to France to visit her father.
I also didn't know how the book would end, which was nice as it made it even more exciting.
I really enjoyed reading this book, it was a little bit slow to start with, but after the first chapter it got more exciting.