The Street Party by Claire Seeber, Narrated by Anna Cordell, Laura Brydon, and Nano Nagle
Published June 8th 2021 by Bookouture, W. F. Howes Ltd
About the Book: The party was supposed to be the highlight of the summer. If only I’d known that night would destroy our lives…
All the neighbours were laughing, drinking out of plastic glasses and getting along. I almost felt happy. Almost forgot about the terrible argument earlier and the sinister messages I’d been receiving from a strange address all week, threatening to expose the lies behind my perfect life.
As we finished with the red and gold fireworks and welcomed everyone back to our house, I believed that everything would be okay.
But I didn’t know who I was inviting in.
I never could have imagined what would happen here, in our home, after I’d gone up to bed.
Everyone saw something different.
It’s my daughter’s word against the story the boy from down the road is telling. But how can I find out what really happened that night without everyone finding out the truth about me?
An absolutely gripping story of the secrets you would do anything to keep hidden, with a twist you just won’t see coming. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl, Big Little Lies and The Girl on the Train.
The Street Party is advertised as a thriller, but I think it fits more into a domestic drama, or women’s fiction with suspense. It focuses on the group of neighbours living in Northgate Square in West London. The story revolves around three women and their families. Ruby a recently widowed, working mother with two children, Melissa, Ruby’s best friend who is married to Rex, the headmaster of St Bede’s and is stepmother to his daughter Cecelia, and Nella Jackson who is married to local politician Marcus. She is obsessed with money, beauty and putting on airs of having a perfect life. She has a daughter, Willow, and a young son, Beau. Nella decides to organize a street party and fundraiser to raise cash for charity and give her husband an opportunity to shake some hands and raise support for his newest political endeavour. Fireworks, alcohol, drugs and fun sounds like a wonderful time, but something happens at the party that’ll change the lives of these three women and their families forever.
The women are the main focus of the story, but it is the actions of their children that drive a lot of this story. There is an allegation by one of the young women that puts things in motion that will change lives. Some of these kids are spoiled rotten, but giving gifts, money and protecting them from failing is not what kids need and trying to get attention often has problems. This story is a slow burn, with the first half of the story, setting the stage and introducing the families. These families are all very different and dealing with different issues, but they all have problems. The story is told from the POV of the three women. They alternate between chapters and I was often left wondering who was telling the truth. All three women pretend everything is great on the outside but behind closed doors it tells a different story. The story sped up for the last third and it kept me riveted. This story reminded a bit of Big, Little Lies with characters that didn’t always present themselves honestly. This story was full of secrets, lies, deception, betrayal, addiction, scandals and domestic violence. There were some twists and turns throughout the story and some things that took me by surprise. This is a neighbourhood that I definitely don’t want to move into, but I did care about several of the characters and was cheering for a certain outcome. The audiobook is narrated by three performers, Anna Cordell, Laura Brydon, and Nano Nagle. This gave each of the women their own voice which was wonderful as you could always tell which woman was sharing her story. This added to the enjoyment of the story, as I always prefer books with a cast of narrator. If you enjoy a good community story, with some well-written characters, toxicity, lies and suspense, then pick up The Street Party. There is some sexual assault and abusive relationships, so if these are triggers for you, be warned. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.
About the Author: Claire Seeber is a Londoner who started professional life as a (bad) actress and became a documentary maker, a journalist and a writer of, so far, psychological thrillers. The Observer said of her first novel: ‘a disturbing debut’ whilst The Guardian called it ‘powerful’…she keeps writing whilst also studying psychology and (trying to) manage a home of slightly feral kids and animals. Luckily she’s got a very nice partner to help too.