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Robyn Harding Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Journal of Mortifying Moments (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Secret Desires of a Soccer Mom (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Secrets and Wives (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Unravelled (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Chronicles of a Midlife Crisis (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Party (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Robyn Harding is a Canadian author from Quesnel, British Columbia best known for writing a series of mystery thrillers. Given that there was not much to do in her small town setting, she spent much of her time in creative writing as she hoped to publish a novel by the time she was seventeen, just like SE Hinton, an author she looked up to. Besides Hinton, she was also a voracious reader of Archie Comics, Nancy Drew, and anything that has horses. After finishing her high school studies, she moved to Vancouver to study and her writing career was relegated to a hobby for the time being. In college, Robyn studied journalism English literature, and then marketing after which she got a job in the advertising industry. She loved advertising until the politics, egos, and deadlines made her job a stressful nightmare. By this time she was mother to a young daughter and son and juggling the demands of advertising and motherhood proved too much. She left advertising after spending seven years in the business, and by 2004, she had published her first novel “The Journal of Mortifying Moments”. By 2009, she had written four adult novels that she drew from her own experiences. She writes of the utter embarrassment of her parents, the struggle to fit in, and the insecurities she had. Robyn currently resides in Vancouver with her family, where she writes screenplays, nonfiction, and fiction.

Many of Robyn Harding’s novels are related to her experiences as a teenager. Characters such as Hannah Sanders reflect the author’s teenage experiences. Just like her lead characters, Harding had followed her parents’ rules, done well at school, even as the desire to be wild was very strong. Her characters flirt on the periphery of trouble though they never become full-blown bad girls instead trying desperately to be part of the in crowd, be cool, and just fit in. For the most part, they try as much as possible to keep their activities away from their parent’s prying eyes. In the novel “The Party”, the mother of Ronni Lisa Monroe is a cool mom, which is what most kids that wanted to be cool always needed growing up. Some of Harding’s other novels are about the struggles of her characters in their romance, professional or marital lives. The characters such as Kerry portray the insecurities in the workplace and in social life that the author may have experienced. Some of the novels take something of a feminist twist in dealing deal with the befuddling issues of gender. The greater theme of the novels is about the need for women whether they be teenagers or young women to spread their wings, push the boundaries and experiment to get the type of life that they need. Through characters such as Kerry Spence and Paige Atwell, she not only encourages women to fly but also tells of the plight of suburban housewives.

Robyn Harding’s novels are guilty pleasure reads that read more like a mash up of “Mean Girls”, “Big Little Lies” and a sprinkling of “Desperate Housewives”. They are truly fascinating narratives that show just how gracious as well as how mean people can be. While some of the characters are utterly flawed, they are realistic and relatable in their human flaws. What makes Harding’s novels so intriguing is the relatability not only of their characters, but also of their plots. The happenings in her novels including the meanness, drama, accidents, and embarrassment are what could actually happen in any real life community. The pacing of the narratives is also very good with not a dull moment anywhere in the novels. The drama in the novels start right from the first page and does not let up right to the very end. Harding writes of catastrophic or bad things happening to seemingly perfect families or persons. For instance despite Jeff and Kim Sanders of “The Party” presenting the look of the perfect family being attractive and having nice toys, clothes, and nice cars, they have problems and secrets that their neighbors know nothing about. Overall, the author asks the question, do the characters have what it takes to survive the strain of catastrophic or distressing events in their marriages, child parent, or romantic relationships. Told from multiple points of views the stories come to life as each character and plot line is fleshed out making the drama all the more juicier.

“The Party” is a provocative and stunning drama about a sweet sixteen-birthday party that becomes horribly wrong. One invitation leads to a lifetime of regrets when a party turns their best friends into enemies, their darkest secrets are reveled, to ruin their picture perfect life. When Kim and Jeff Sander throw a sweet sixteen party for Hannah their daughter, it should be an exciting milestone of a coming to age rite. Instead of having an indulgent and extravagant party they invite four of her best friends for a sleepover, movies, cake, and pizza. But things go horribly wrong when a tragic accident reveals the darkest secrets of their marriage, and the truth about Hannah the seemingly perfect daughter. Similar to novels such as “Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty, “The Slap” by Christos Tsiolkas, and “The Dinner” by Herman Koch, “The Party” is a behind the scenes look into what happens in the picture perfect family. It exposes the moral lapses, betrayals, and lies that we never see – the secrets that parents and children keep from each other and from themselves.

“The Journal of Mortifying Moments”, Robyn Harding’s second novel is a novel that looks at the soulless and unfulfilled life of Kerry Spence and advertising executive. She is worried by the size of her ever-increasing ass and a dysfunctional relationship. Sam her gorgeous boyfriend has just made her a late night hookup leaving her to resort to late night bingeing on cream cheese and prime time TV. Everybody in her life from her mother who is in a dysfunctional relationship, her Cosmo reading friends, and her unflappable therapist seems to have some advice to give. The crux of the story is when her therapist suggests that her past relationships may be contributing to her current relationship woes. As such, she would be better served starting a diary chronicling what made her past relationships go wrong. For Kerry, it is more of a journal of mortifying moments that take her on a journey down memory lane from grade school to her teenage and her thirties that were all full of man troubles. Even as she first thinks her therapist is a crazed therapist with poor dressing to boot, once she starts journaling, she finds that the quest may actually make sense. The quest for personal awareness even if sometimes embarrassing may offer her the opportunity to find love again by giving her the strength to face current challenges. The novel is a hysterically funny glimpse into the lovable Kerry Spence’s obsessive and slightly quirky mind.

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