‘As the train pressed on, I realised that my life was in the process of taking a different direction, plotted according to a new constellation. Because, although I didn’t know it yet, I was about to meet Ben and nothing would ever be the same again.’
Martin Gilmour is an outsider. When he wins a scholarship to Burtonbury School, he doesn’t wear the right clothes or speak with the right kind of accent. But then he meets the dazzling, popular and wealthy Ben Fitzmaurice, and gains admission to an exclusive world. Soon Martin is enjoying tennis parties and Easter egg hunts at the Fitzmaurice family’s estate, as Ben becomes the brother he never had.
But Martin has a secret. He knows something about Ben, something he will never tell. It is a secret that will bind the two of them together for the best part of 25 years.
At Ben’s 40th birthday party, the great and the good of British society are gathering to celebrate in a haze of champagne, drugs and glamour. Amid the hundreds of guests – the politicians, the celebrities, the old-money and newly rich – Martin once again feels that disturbing pang of not-quite belonging. His wife, Lucy, has her reservations too. There is disquiet in the air. But Ben wouldn’t do anything to damage their friendship.
Reviews of The Party
‘I practically murdered this book in an evening I loved it so much. The Party is a terrifying, hilarious, brilliantly written original with a wit to die for’ Phoebe Waller-Bridge
‘Superb – clever, gripping, psychologically acute’ Laura Barnett, author of The Versions of Us
‘Fast out of the traps, compelling and infinitely believable: but what really got me about The Party was the writing. Stunning‘ Susie Steiner, author of Missing, Presumed
‘Think Brideshead Revisited meets The Talented Mr Ripley with a dash of The Riot Club. I couldn’t put it down’ Louise O’Neill, author of Asking For It
‘As sharp, stylish and witty as the perfect guest. Beware: you’ll be up far too late’ Lucie Whitehouse, author of Before We Met
‘Elizabeth Day’s latest novel is sinister and seductive and nothing short of breathtaking’ Francesca Seagal, author of The Innocents
‘The Party is a compelling read, but it’s a lot more than a page turner. Like Martin, the protagonist, we as readers are sucked into the lives of the privileged few and, like Martin, in turn titillated, appalled, bewitched and ultimately punched in the stomach by their casual cruelty. We may have seen a hundred stories like this on the news, but Elizabeth Day’s perfectly pitched dialogue and vivid prose brings it all to life’ Catherine Chanter, author of The Well