THE PARTY

Author(s): 
Benet is a happily married housewife who's going to college. Salon owner Diandra likes thugs. Kendra is a computer geek searching for Mr. Right. The owner of a party-planning business, Shaeyla wants a man to accept her independence. Worthy expects the minimum from life, and that's what she gets. These five women are as different as can be, but their friendship is strong. And one party will change their lives.

The author flips between characters, which is interesting but also frustrating, since Harris fails to balance the amount of attention devoted to each individual. But readers will be moved by the characters, from Worthy's heart-wrenching battle with addiction to Kendra's struggle with being overweight and dating to Shaeyla's efforts to find happiness.

The cliffhanger ending is disappointing, but it's exciting to know that there will be a followup. Harris has taken issues affecting women from all walks of life, combined them in one book and created a complicated and intriguing novel. (Jan., 316 pp., $15.95)
Reviewed by: 
T.L. Burton