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Lydia's Party
by Margaret Hawkins

Overview - "It is this kind of book: the kind one buys extra copies of to pass out to friends."
"--Kirkus Reviews "(Starred Review)
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.
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More About Lydia's Party by Margaret Hawkins
 
 
 
Overview
"It is this kind of book: the kind one buys extra copies of to pass out to friends."
"--Kirkus Reviews "(Starred Review)
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 foibles and feistiness will capture readers' hearts.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780670015764
  • ISBN-10: 0670015768
  • Publisher: Viking Books
  • Publish Date: January 2014
  • Page Count: 294
  • Reading Level: Ages 18-UP


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary
Books > Fiction > Contemporary Women

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2013-10-14
  • Reviewer: Staff

Hawkins (A Year of Cats and Dogs) sets a sumptuous table for a last supper like no other: a repast that’s alternately uncomfortable and soothing, weepy and jubilant, evocative and realistic. Party host and art teacher Lydia is having her annual dinner for her women friends—Elaine, Celia, Maura, Jayne, Betsy. This year she’s also invited Norris, a former teaching colleague who’s become a successful artist. But a howling Chicago blizzard will turn their boozy dinner into a raucous slumber party, where Lydia confesses she’s dying of cancer and reveals her secret fears and nagging regrets. “My life is a heap of remnants,” she laments. Norris is with Lydia in her final moments, and he also witnesses the death of her dog, Maxine, who dies an hour after her adored mistress. With Lydia’s passing, egotistical Norris, best friend Celia, and old friend and spurned lover Ted face their fears and regrets. And in a quirky, impossibly magical and sweetly charming twist, Lydia helps guide them all to forgiveness. (Jan.)

 
BookPage Reviews

A night to remember

Taking a page straight out of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, Margaret Hawkins begins her third novel with the preparation for a dinner party. Each year, Lydia invites a group of friends over for a midwinter meal, where they devour food, sip wine and share secrets. Except this year, Lydia has the biggest secret of all. She has just been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, and with only a few weeks to live, she has to share the devastating news so that she can properly say goodbye.

Each year, Lydia invites the same six women, no matter how close (or not close) they might be at the time. These include Maura, who has spent most of her life devoted to her and Lydia’s married boss; Elaine, who is bitter after having ended up alone; Celia, whose life primarily consists of waiting on her husband and teenage son; and Norris, whom Lydia continues to invite despite the fact that no one really likes her. Little do they know that this year a blizzard will force them together overnight and alter the course of their relationships.

Lydia’s Party ably addresses the question of what legacy we leave after we die. Lydia worries that she made the wrong choices: in the men she dated, the art she created and even the friendships she established. This novel is a tearjerker, but readers will find comfort in Hawkins’ sumptuous descriptions of the party preparations and the cozy winter setting. This thought-provoking new novel will please fans of authors like Elizabeth Berg—and provide plenty of fodder for book club discussion.

 
BAM Customer Reviews

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