HOW COULD SHE
An assured and savagely funny novel about three old friends as they navigate careers, husbands, an ex-fiancé, new suitors, and, most importantly, their relationships with one another.
“Lauren Mechling's portrait of the ramifications of female friendship is so razor-sharp and accurate I found myself wincing as I read. I know these women; I am these women: flawed, conspiring, neurotic, and loving. Very few writers can entertain and still reveal deep pathos--Mechling has done it flawlessly."
—Stephanie Danler, bestselling author of Sweetbitter
"What a hilarious, devastating, yet humane representation of a gratifyingly specific slice of New York life! How Could She is at once a compulsively readable catalogue of 'painfully curated' (Mechling's phrase) outfits, menus, emails, guest lists, and magazine assignments, a true-and mysterious-feeling portrayal of the way friends' relative statuses fluctuate over time, and as wise and unforgiving as a nineteenth-century French novel."
—Elif Batuman, author of Pulitzer Prize-finalist The Idiot
"Lauren Mechling's sophisticated new novel dives right into those stickiest parts of women's inner lives, their friendships with each other. Mechling's observations are vivid and fresh, and this book will win her many a fan."
—Emma Straub, New York Times bestselling author of The Vacationers
“Lauren Mechling’s debut is at once a portrait of three very real women and a wry send up of the times in which we live. Witty but never too wicked, cutting but never too cruel, How Could She is a thoroughly modern comedy of manners.”
—Rumaan Alam, author of Rich and Pretty and That Kind of Mother
"There doesn't begin to be enough fiction centered on friendships, especially friendships among women. Profound, radiantly alive, insightful, large-hearted, Lauren Mechling's How Could She goes a long way toward addressing this. Mechling's novel is vital reading."
—R. O. Kwon, author of The Incendiaries
"A cunning, witty book. How Could She satirizes New York's cultural elite and tells a brutally honest story about the fluctuations of power between friends; Lauren Mechling is an obvious heir to Nora Ephron."
—Catherine Lacey, author of Certain American States
"A sharp dissection of the fraught dynamics of 30-something female friendship. . . . [The characters'] relationships to each other are delicate and often painful but also essential to their understanding of their own adult lives. . . . There is a profound and wistful melancholy at [How Could She's] core. . . . Emotionally astute; a pleasure."
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)"
"Mechling's whip-smart portrait of female friendship is perfect for fans of Meg Wolitzer's The Interestings. . . . Mechling excavates the layers of envy, support, and respect that fill the cracks of any long-term relationship. With an insider's view of today's media landscape, How Could She is a delight."
“Mechling turns a sharp eye on the relationships between women in her first adult novel. . . . [She] is particularly insightful when it comes to the envy and affection that marks friendship. . . . A breezy, entertaining romp.”
“A modern twist on the ‘just moved to New York’ story by focusing on three women in their mid-thirties, stumbling through their lives while trying to keep up appearances.”
—Town & Country (The Must-Read Books of Spring 2019)
“On every long list of summer reads should be a juicy female friendship story. . . . This is the one for 2019. . . . A painfully yet shrewdly relatable story of the trials and tribulations of adulting with friends who are all at different stages in life.”
—Women’s Health (Best Beach Reads To Add To Your Summer 2019 Reading List Stat)
After a devastating break-up with her fiancé, Geraldine is struggling to get her life back on track in Toronto. Her two old friends, Sunny and Rachel, left ages ago for New York, where they've landed good jobs, handsome husbands, and unfairly glamorous lives (or at least so it appears to Geraldine). Sick of watching from the sidelines, Geraldine decides to force the universe to give her the big break she knows she deserves, and moves to New York City. After she arrives, though, and zigzags her way through the downtown art scene and rooftop party circuit, she discovers how hard it is to find her footing in a world of influencers and media darlings. Plus, the magazine where Sunny and Rachel work is on the brink of folding. Rachel is struggling to juggle her life as a writer, wife, and new mother--how is it that she was more confident and successful at twenty-five than in her mid-thirties? And Sunny's life as a popular West Village tastemaker is not nearly as charmed as it seemed to Geraldine from Toronto. Perhaps worst of all, why are Sunny and Rachel--who've always been suspicious of each other--suddenly hanging out without Geraldine?
Hilarious and fiercely observed, How Could She is a novel of female friendship, an insider's look into the cutthroat world of New York media--from print to podcasting--and a witty exploration of the ways we can and cannot escape our pasts. In Geraldine, Sunny, and Rachel, Mechling exposes how women can pragmatically manipulate one another in life and in love, and how the glamour, energy, and hope of New York City doesn't deliver for everyone, but sometimes, in the most unexpected and delightful moments, embraces those who have just the right amount of hope and delusion. takes on grave importance, leading the pair to discover secrets about the cathedral, about the Grail, and about themselves that neither expected.