Published: 14 October 2021
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Published by: Bantam Press
Genre: Family Comedy
Length: 336 pages
Reading dates: 5-10 October 2021
The Talbots are having one last party at their family home.
But Effie hasn’t been invited . . .
Effie’s still not over her parents splitting up a year ago. Her dad and his new girlfriend are posting their PDAs all over Instagram – and no one should have to deal with photos of their dad with the hashtags #viagraworks and #sexinyoursixties. Now they’re selling the beloved family home and holding a ‘house-cooling’ party. When Effie receives only a last-minute ‘anti-invitation’, she decides to give it a miss.
Until she remembers her precious Russian dolls, safely tucked away up a chimney. She’ll have to go back for them – but not as a guest. She’ll just creep in, grab the dolls and make a swift exit. No one will know she was ever there.
Of course, nothing goes to plan. Not only does Effie bump into her ex-boyfriend (who she’s very much not over), she can’t find the dolls. And as she secretly clambers around dusty attics, hides under tables and mournfully eyes up the dessert table, she discovers unexpected truths about her family – and even about herself.
With time (and hiding places) running out, Effie starts to wonder if she’d be better off simply crashing the party. Perhaps that’s the only way to find out what’s really going on with her family…
As the book begins, at what Effie thinks is a perfect family Christmas party, Effie’s parents announce they are divorcing – Effie is completely blindsided by this believing them to have the perfect marriage. Very quickly, her father appears to move on, and starts dating the much younger Krista whom Effie takes an instant dislike to and the feeling is mutual!
Putting the beloved family home on the market, her dad and Krista decide to throw a huge party to say goodbye, but while Effie’s siblings, Bean and Gus are invited, Effie is “forgotten” and receives a last minute invitation as an after thought. Unbelievably hurt that her dad would treat her like this, she shuns the party, despite pleas from her siblings to attend. But then she remembers a precious set of Russian dolls from her childhood that she wants from the house, so decides to gate-crash the party, sneak in, take the dolls then leave before anyone spots her.
But her plan goes almost immediately wrong – she finds herself hiding in various places all over the house, in cupboards, behind sofas and under tables and in doing so learns a lot about her family and how things might not be exactly as she though.
I loved The Party Crasher so much! I’ve read a lot of Sophie Kinsella books over the years but it’s been several years since I last picked her up and I’m so glad I did as this was an absolute joy! The setting of the family home Greenoaks sounded idyllic – not a traditional house by any means but one character, with nooks and crannies and attics and a wonderful sounding garden and treehouse. As Effie dodges her family and hides around the house, we hear about the lovely childhood she had there with her siblings. I could totally understand why Effie and her siblings would find it hard to let it go.
What was interesting is that Effie had her very set ideas about the people in her life – she is hurt by her dad who appears to not be talking to her and she is absolutely convinced Krista is a gold-digger and is after her dad’s money. At the party, she also meets her first boyfriend Joe who broke her heart 4 years ago and is able to finally talk to him about what happened. Effie discovers that eavesdropping on conversations is never a good idea!
Perfectly paced, Effie’s antics are believable and very funny and I liked her and her family very much. The Party Crasher is a book that just made me feel so happy – I was glad to pick it up and read whenever I had the chance. With a whole cast of wonderful characters, The Party Crasher is humorous and delightful – highly recommend!
With thanks to Becky at Transworld for my beautiful proof copy.
About the author
Sophie Kinsella is an internationally bestselling writer. She is the author of many number one bestsellers, including the hugely popular Shopaholic series. She has also written seven bestselling novels as Madeleine Wickham and several books for children. She lives in the UK with her husband and family.