From the New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six . . . Four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate the end of the summer. But over the course of twenty-four hours, their lives will change forever.
Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer, and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over–especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva.
The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud–because it is long past time for him to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth.
Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there.
And Kit has a couple of secrets of her own–including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.
By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come bubbling to the surface.
Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them . . . and what they will leave behind.
Malibu Rising offers a tantalizing glimpse into the lives of the famous Riva family and delves into each member’s fascinating life story.
The story opens the day of Nina Riva’s annual summer beach party — an epic event that’s become quite legendary. It’s known to be a drug & alcohol-fueled gathering frequented by celebrities, film directors, famous authors, musicians, and whoever else knows the address of the party. Though the four Riva siblings live in the shadow of their rockstar father Mick Riva, they themselves are pretty famous in their own right:
- Nina, the eldest, is a famous surfer and supermodel.
- Jay is a well-known award-winning surfer.
- Hud’s a renowned photographer
- their younger sister Kit is also a talented surfer.
The storyline alternates between preparations for the party and the heart-wrenching and complicated backstory of Mick and June, their parents. Mick is an iconic rock star who didn’t succeed very well at being a faithful husband. He is also estranged from his four children and barely knows them. Through the narrative, the author delves deeply into Mick and June’s compelling yet tragic story: how they met, Mick’s rise to fame, and the inevitable shattering of their family. If the name Mick Riva rings a bell, it’s because he was married to Evelyn Hugo in one of the author’s previous books, “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.”
This year’s party, however, is unlike those of the previous years, as each of the secrets that the siblings have been hiding comes to light. Additionally, a few unexpected guests manage to further fuel the fire that’s been brewing. As the party gets insanely out of control (kind of like a freight train running off the rails!) due to excessive drugs, copious amounts of alcohol, and disappearing inhibitions, the underlying drama escalates — resulting in quite an explosive conclusion, so much so that none of the Riva’s lives will ever be the same afterward.
Though the party is the main event of the book, at its core, the story is a character study of each member of the Riva family, which is told through various flashbacks through alternating perspectives. Their stories are utterly compelling, and the author quickly sucked me right into them. I especially loved siblings’ stories, through which we learn how flawed and wounded in different ways each of them is, yet there is an intense bond that binds them tightly together. Like a bright light, the characters’ souls really shined through in this story.
All in all, this was a fun, fast-paced, and at times poignant story. Topics such as grief, loneliness, family, love, loss, trust, identity, legacy, and the effects that our actions have on others are explored through the multiplicity of characters the author has created. Malibu Rising an emotional and thought-provoking read about self-bewilderment and self-discovery and of mental blocks and breakthroughs. I was absolutely enamored with the entire thing, and I cannot do anything except highly recommend this delightful novel.
A huge thank you to Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine Books for providing an ARC via Netgalley.