How Could She: A Novel by Lauren MechlingHow Could She: A Novel by Lauren Mechling

How Could She: A Novel

byLauren Mechling

Hardcover | June 25, 2019

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"Brilliant. . . . The perfect summer read." --Nylon

"[A] compulsively readable page-turner." --Cosmopolitan

Named a most anticipated novel of the summer by Vogue, Entertainment Weekly, Elle, Bustle, Vulture, and more.

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


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.

As she 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. Meanwhile, Sunny's life as an It Girl watercolorist is not nearly as charmed as it seemed to Geraldine from Toronto. And Rachel is trying to keep it together as a new mom, writer, and wife--how is it that she was more confident and successful at twenty-five than in her mid-thirties? 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 an essential 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.
Lauren Mechling has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, The New Yorker online, and Vogue, where she writes a book column. She's worked as a crime reporter and metro columnist for The New York Sun, a young adult novelist, and a features editor at The Wall Street Journal. A graduate of Harvard College, she liv...
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Title:How Could She: A NovelFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:320 pages, 8.8 × 5.8 × 1.1 inShipping dimensions:8.8 × 5.8 × 1.1 inPublished:June 25, 2019Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0525559388

ISBN - 13:9780525559382

Reviews

From the Author

"Brilliant. . . . The perfect summer read." --Nylon"[A] compulsively readable page-turner." --CosmopolitanNamed a most anticipated novel of the summer by Vogue, Entertainment Weekly, Elle, Bustle, Vulture, and more.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 anotherAfter 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. As she 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. Meanwhile, Sunny's life as an It Girl watercolorist is not nearly as charmed as it seemed to Geraldine from Toronto. And Rachel is trying to keep it together as a new mom, writer, and wife--how is it that she was more confident and successful at twenty-five than in her mid-thirties? 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 an essential 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.

Read from the Book

1 Geraldine considered her grapefruit. To an observer it might have appeared that she was snacking, but anyone who knew her could attest that Geraldine Despont was a considerer. Perched on the window seat in her living room, her back upright against the washed-out January sky, she peeled the skin into careful ribbons and arranged them in a pile beside her. Rotating the heavy pink sphere in her palm, she was suddenly overcome by the grapefruit's erotic aspect. It was the fruit kingdom's breast or, she determined with a little squeeze, more likely a buttock. Geraldine contemplated her own backside, which was rosy and muscular, with slight puckering by the thighs. The citrus connection certainly held up. Geraldine let loose a snort and flushed, remembering she wasn't alone this evening. Her roommate, Barrett, was in the den with his girlfriend, Katrina, who took epic showers in Geraldine's bathroom most mornings and availed herself of other people's bath products. Ever since Geraldine had taken to keeping her shampoo and cleansing gel in a hunter-green canvas kit that traveled with her to and from the bathroom each day, Barrett felt free to accuse her of not liking Katrina. Liking had nothing to do with it. It was just that she didn't get Katrina. Her unintended roommate was a twenty-something woman who dressed in rave pants and baby-size T-shirts, as if airing out her navel ring were more important than avoiding looking like she'd wandered in from the mid-nineties. Barrett, too, was bepierced and no stranger to the Toronto rave scene-God, could there be three uglier words in the English language?-but at least he was serious about his work and in the process of losing his hair. His head now resembled a half-blown-off dandelion, which Geraldine found touching. And they had history. Back when Geraldine was assisting the managing editor at Province, Canada's weekly newsmagazine, Barrett, then in his second year at York University, was an editorial intern. He showed up for work in shiny button-down shirts and, because no one else talked to him, eagerly fetched Geraldine cups of tea and typed up detailed pitches for long-form features-mostly to do with food politics or the changing Canadian city (Jane Jacobs was a big influence). Geraldine had no clue whether his ideas were special, but she was always good for a dose of encouragement. She even invited him to join her for tea a couple of times. Barrett had been terribly respectful of his colleague, never realizing that she was merely a twenty-five-year-old who was planning on going to law school once she dug her way out of student debt. Geraldine did nothing to disabuse her intern of his perception that she was some all-powerful entity, never explicitly telling him that she simply passed his memos on to her boss, Barb McLaughlin. Barrett felt safe in Geraldine's hands, and who was she to take that away from him? There'd been a chance encounter at Kensington Market nearly a decade later, and now here they were, living together in the second-floor apartment of a peeling Victorian. Geraldine was no longer his superior, barely in his industry at this point, but he still viewed her with enough respect not to constantly make her feel like a loser for being on the verge of thirty-seven and renting out the second bedroom of an apartment that wasn't even her own. She was indefinitely subletting from her old friend Sunny MacLeod, who'd ages ago left town and moved to New York, where she was by all standards, measurable and not, winning the game of life. "I'm not eating God-knows-how-old leftovers. They're stinking up the fridge." Katrina's husky voice entered the room before she did. Geraldine wiped her hands on her sweatpants and considered running into her bedroom and shutting the door, but it was too late. Now Katrina was on the couch, one hand fiddling with her limp ponytail, the remote control dangling from the other. "Is it okay if Bear and I watch TV before we go out?" Katrina stared through Geraldine, her eyes blue orbs of indifference. She stalled at a promo for a Kids in the Hall marathon, then moved on to HGTV. A man with frost-tipped hair and his Eastern European wife were touring a three-bedroom condo on Vancouver Island. Garth, Geraldine's boss, had urged her to spend time watching these shows that might inspire new ideas. Garth was editorial director of Blankenship Media, the company that had acquired Province seven years ago, after its longtime owner, the Ricker Family Trust, in a fit of consultant-inflicted financial prudence, had decided to sell rather than fix it. She was a senior editor at Blankenship's Special Titles, a division responsible for creating cheerful one-off publications tied to holidays or popular movies or Canadian personalities. Geraldine didn't know anybody who ever purchased these heavy-stock magazines posing as coffee-table books, yet they were a surprisingly profitable business. The Drake special issue kept reprinting, and copies with a limited-edition fold-out poster now fetched nearly eighty dollars on eBay. "You in for the night?" Katrina asked. "There's a film screening I'm supposed to go to at eight," Geraldine said, and when Katrina didn't follow up with any questions, Geraldine made no mention of its being a science-fiction movie, some of which had been filmed in Toronto. "Oh, I thought since you were . . . ," Katrina said. "In my happy pants?" Geraldine was wearing her beloved Kermit-green sweats with interlocking tennis rackets and orange stripes along the seams. When she'd found them in the bottom of a thrift-store bin, they'd reminded her of childhood. Not her childhood specifically, which she'd gone through mostly dressed in cheap princess costumes from Winners, but an alternative version in which she'd cavorted in primary colors with an unbroken family. "Hey." Barrett arrived from the kitchen, cradling a bowl of microwaved popcorn that smelled vaguely vinegary. "Hungry?" he asked Geraldine. "It's vegan." "Sure, but I'm not vegan," she said with a slight laugh, and stood up to take a handful. "I thought you'd converted for January?" Barrett cocked his head. "I did a dairy cleanse," Geraldine reminded him. "For five days." Barrett settled onto the couch next to his girlfriend. "Want to watch with us?" "Sure, for a little bit," Geraldine said. One of her New Year's resolutions had been to work at improving her home life. She was over thinking she had a shot at doing anything about her career. There was more room for growth on the home front. Living with harmless weirdos was so much better than cohabiting with a fiancŽ who thought it was his right to insert himself into any available orifice. Those days were over, thank goodness. Arranging herself on a low-slung armchair by the couch-with limbs as long as Geraldine's, she was never so much seated as she was arranged-she reached out for a second handful of popcorn and met Katrina's curious gaze with a warm smile. Such was Geraldine's determination to make nice. Last month Barrett had spent a grand total of zero weekend nights at home, and he'd gone to his parents' house in Winnipeg for Christmas week. Yet December had been stressful for Geraldine, an endless procession of holiday parties, with their identical oozing baked-brie wheels and inevitable token single man in velvet. Why did they always wear velvet? When Geraldine was among the coupled, she could ignore these predatory bachelors. Her ex-fiancŽ, Peter Ricker, had brought ruin on her life, yet sometimes she missed having him at her side, if only to carry the conversation at gatherings. Now on her own, Geraldine was expected to show up wearing something sharp and not grumble about the often exorbitant carfare home. Even tonight, on this bleak, frostbitten evening, she was expected to be out and about. Geraldine really did not want to go all the way to Richmond Street to watch a movie that undoubtedly would contain not a single joke or snatch of genuine conversation. But Garth had more or less ordered her to go as some sort of an ambassador to the production company, to say hello to whichever bright-eyed assistant would be clutching a tablet at the theater entrance and waiting to cross Geraldine's name off an electronic list. Devoting the past month of her life to cobbling together a collectors' issue pegged to the latest release in the franchise had not been enough, Geraldine gathered. She would much rather stay in and read the book she'd bought at the Upper Yonge Street library sale, a paperback of You'll Never Eat Lunch in This Town Again. Or, more realistically, she'd look up her online horoscope and settle in to near infinite refreshes of her social media feeds. Gus Di Paolo, whom she had slept with on her last trip to New York and who was her very occasional correspondent and possibly the next true love of her life, had been tweeting some weird shit. Perhaps his latest, "Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards," was meant to telegraph that he spent his free time mulling Danish philosophers, but the only conclusion Geraldine could draw was that something sudden and important was up with Gus and his ex, Sarah. Geraldine had never met Sarah, but Sunny had filled her in. Sarah and Gus had been together for nearly a decade, and they hadn't had any problems save for Sarah's desire to make babies and Gus's unwillingness to propose. Last summer Sarah had startled everybody in her and Gus's circle by leaving him for a guy she'd met surfing on Rockaway Beach. Gus, who had crinkly blue eyes and meaty hands that made things that sold for ridiculous sums of money, was crushed. Geraldine had met him a couple of months after that and Sunny had coached her to give him his space in their courtship. "I know how he comes across, but he's far more sensitive than he appears," Sunny said. On the television the house hunters were wearing hard hats and inspecting a basement. The man was knocking on the beams while his wife expressed her burning desire to build an at-home spinning studio. Geraldine realized she was the only one watching. Barrett and Katrina were exchanging strange glances, and then Katrina was looking at a message on Barrett's phone. "What's up?" Geraldine asked. "Everything okay?" "Nothing's up." Katrina sounded jumpy. "We're fine." Cupping his hand over his girlfriend's knee, Barrett slowly turned to Geraldine. "Maybe we should talk," he said. Geraldine willed her features into a serene expression, as if she could fend off the dread closing in on her. She knew exactly where this was going. "Kat and I are thinking about . . . looking at apartments." "Apartments!" Geraldine exclaimed. "We've seen one," Katrina said. "But it was way above our price range." "You've worked out a budget?" Geraldine said. The room was becoming slightly blurry. "Nothing's definite," Barrett replied. "But you're moving in together." Geraldine tried to maintain her composure but couldn't help gulping. "That's huge. Wow." She stopped short of congratulating them; she and Barrett were past insincerities. "I'm going to miss you, buddy." "I know, it's bittersweet," Barrett said. "But I don't want to be keeping a secret from you until the last minute. Last Sunday morning when you asked where we were going, I felt lousy lying." Geraldine recalled talking to the two about the restaurant they were running out to-Ondine East, a Vancouver-based chef's hot new spot in the Beaches. At the time she'd felt envious, not of their plan but of their enthusiasm for waiting in line to eat brunch, a made-up meal that was entirely unnecessary in a city whose streets went dead at midnight. "You didn't go to brunch?" "We got bagels." Barrett cleared his throat. "Of course we'll help you find a replacement when it's time. I'm not going to leave you with some psycho." "My friend Mabel met her boyfriend through a roommate-search app," Katrina said. "Oh! I just remembered something." Geraldine refused to meet Barrett's eye as she sprang off the chair and headed for her bedroom door. Once she was safely alone in her room, the sensation of despair only became more piercing. Barrett was Geraldine's third roommate in four years to move on in order to cohabit with a significant other. Geraldine had attended two weddings that resulted from these departures. Gracelessly she dropped to her knees and pulled a blue plastic crate out from under her bed. She flipped through a couple of photo albums and spiral notebooks filled with diary entries before she even fastened on what she was doing. Some animal instinct had pushed her to find the composition journal with the marble-patterned cover that she'd started writing in some years ago. It was a greatest-hits of sorts: Only the very lowest of Geraldine's lows occasioned an entry in the Book of Indignities. And now she was faced with what might be the greatest indignity of all: She didn't even have her book. In one of the more poorly thought-out gestures of her life, she'd lent the journal to Sunny, who'd vowed to return it once she'd illustrated the scenes in it. The closest Sunny had come to keeping her promise was emailing Geraldine a picture of her Cray-Pas rendering of one of the original indignities: Dad Moves to Alberta, Age 3. That had been two years ago. Surely she wasn't still working on it. Geraldine collapsed on top of her bed, her coral tendrils fanning out on the duvet's cloud print, and felt stupid for letting Barrett's news take her unawares. That's what men did, even the sweet ones. They left. She tried to figure out which was worse, Barrett's forthcoming abandonment or the added disgrace of needing to remind Sunny to return the journal. Sunny forgot things only when it suited her, when she didn't stand to gain anything. The book was probably stashed away with a jumble of treasures Sunny had picked up on one of her international jaunts and some dried-up art supplies. The only way Geraldine could imagine reclaiming it was to finagle her way into Sunny's house. An invitation to stay at Sunny's for any longer than the length of an afternoon had not come in years and years. Geraldine pictured herself looking like some deranged assassin as she marched through a throng of Sunny's bubble-dress-clad admirers at one of her painfully curated all-women get-togethers to demand she hand over the composition book. She could picture Sunny's disorientation, her nervous chuckle as the reed of her body tilted five degrees away from her friend as she realized the magnitude of Geraldine's sense of injury. Sunny had been kinder to Geraldine during her darkest hour than anybody else, and certainly kinder than she needed to be to somebody who had no way of repaying favors. She'd been there for Geraldine during her crack-up and had bequeathed her Toronto apartment, with its crooked floorboards and plastered-off fireplace, to her friend. But on some level Sunny had to know the truth. Holding on to the journal was a means of keeping Geraldine in her place, serving as insurance against Geraldine's ever thinking, God forbid, that she was equal to Sunny.

Editorial Reviews

“[How Could She is] both a satire of the 21st-century media world—with its podcasts, tastemakers, and print products on life support—and an emotional accounting of changed friendship and aspirations.” —The New York Times“Precise and of-the-moment. . . .  A delectably uncomfortable time capsule of our post-aughts selves and the honest struggles that lurk inside the hearts of women everywhere.” —Vogue, "10 New Books to Read This Summer"“This wily send-up of NYC’s high-flying media elites proves that hell is a party filled with velvet-clad single men. A trio of 30-something BFFs drift apart and back together amid ego-bruising soirées and dubious alliances. Mechling poses the age-old question: Do men work better as soul mates or accessories?” —O, the Oprah magazine, “The Best Books by Women of Summer 2019”“With the big-hearted psychological acuity of Meg Wolitzer and the keen social scrutiny of Edith Wharton, Mechling probes what’s thorny and brutal about female friendships while also affirming just how ferociously important they are.” —Esquire, "Best Books of Summer 2019"“Fifteen years after the finale of Sex and the City, our collective appetite for stories of highly ambitious female friends living, laughing, and loving in New York City hasn’t waned one bit. . . . This summer’s living proof of that concept is the bitingly funny and often painfully realistic How Could She.” —Entertainment Weekly "For when you want a book to match your Aperol Spritz . . . enter Lauren Mechling's How Could She. . . . An inside look at female friendships—and betrayals." —The Skimm“Mechling captures the prickly feelings of possessiveness and isolation that creep in when two people in a triangle—even a platonic one—draw close, shutting out the third. Add to that the stress of trying to make a living when you’re a woman on the far side of 30, in a field that’s almost no longer a field yet is still dominated by men. How Could She has a vibrant modern energy, and it gets how hard it can be to preserve friendships when we’re so busy going after everything else we want in life.” —Time“Wit and spritzy entertainment. . . . In the lineage of Candace Bushnell’s Sex and the City and, well before that, Edith Wharton’s novels of New York status-striving, How Could She is enjoyably rich in taxonomic details. . . . The ever-shifting media landscape is a fitting backdrop for Ms. Mechling’s trenchant look at the subjective nature of status envy.” —Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal"Mechling gives the time-honored moving-to-New York City novel a refreshing update: failure. Three thirtysomething friends reckon with seemingly successful lives that aren’t living up to expectations, thanks to mediocre apartments, marital strife, and the gradual dissolution of their chosen industry, print media." —Entertainment Weekly, "This Season's 35 Hottest Reads" “In How Could She, Lauren Mechling captures the power dynamics, competitiveness, and beauty of female friendships.” —Real Simple, "The Best Books of 2019 (So Far)""[A] compulsively readable page-turner about three friends—one just went through a breakup with her fiancé, one is struggling to keep it together as a new mom, and one is aging out of her It Girl persona. The thing is, they all think the others have perfect lives."—Cosmopolitan, "Books We're Excited About"“Smart novels about adult friendship are so, so, so hard to find that this very 2019 novel . . . is destined to become the book you turn to when you can’t decide whether to hug or throttle your suddenly successful best friend.”—Vulture“People will be drawn to [How Could She] because it’s a story about adult friendship. . . .  How Could She drops into midlife for three women. . . . Each one trying to renegotiate her past as a means to getting somewhere else in the future. And in the process, they all have to navigate their increasingly complicated ties to one another.” —Goop, "22 Books for Summer 2019"“Drop [this] into your beach bag: Lauren Mechling’s keenly observed How Could She . . . examines how both fulfilling and fraught female friendships can be.” —Marie Claire   “Engrossing. . . . Sharply funny. . . . Change isn’t always pretty for these women, but Mechling deftly captures the excitement and wisdom that come along with it.” —Martha Stewart Living“There’s nothing like a trio of female friends, and their shifting allegiances and two-versus-one dynamics, to remind you that life truly is a lot like high school. Mechling weaves the stories of three women . . . as they figure out their lives in NYC. These three will intrigue you at times, annoy you at others and, best of all, make you laugh out loud.”—Catherine Hong, Family Circle“The joy in Lauren Mechling's novel comes in the details. Mechling's novel follows three old friends, all turning 37, as they face professional and personal crossroads. Their New York social circle, ambitions, and personalities are so specifically rendered you'll be convinced by the end that you know Geraldine, Sunny, and Rachel."—Refinery 29 “Brilliant. . . . An incisive, brutally funny look at one year in the lives of three close friends. . . . This is the perfect summer read.” —Nylon, "35 Great Books to Read This Summer"“If #relatable is your main criterion for reading material, then why not try the novel that earned the endorsement from Sweetbitter author Stephanie Danler: ‘I know these women; I am these women.’ . . .  We've all been disappointed by our crappy lives and lusted after others' brighter-looking ones, haven't we?” —Elle.com, "The 30 Best Books to Read this Summer"“Brilliantly titled. . . . Mechling focuses on jealousy motivated by vanity and cruelty. . . . The novel does not render an emotional world that brings us to our knees. It’s more like she’s making a case for rejiggering chick lit as the cruelest genre. . . . Completely satisfying.” —Kaitlin Phillips, Bookforum“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"“[A] brilliant new novel. . . . [Mechling is] one of our most intelligent and honest cultural writers . . . in the same league as Nora Ephron and Laurie Colwin.” —The Observer“[How Could She] chronicles the complicated and awkward dissolution of friendships. . . . The bonds between Mechling’s characters were forged in the irradiant light and heat of their early working years. . . . Insecurities and rivalries creep in, eventually taking centre stage in the theatre of friendship.” —The Globe and Mail “Mechling does a remarkable job portraying the shifting realignments of the women’s loyalties. . . . [How Could She] manages to nail our moment in time.” —am New York   “Devastating, reliably hilarious. . . . Perhaps what’s most striking about How Could She is the way in which Mechling has written a novel that is simultaneously about connection and alienation, unspoken social codes and explicitly laid out rules of interpersonal engagement.” —Nylon“Lauren Mechling has a gift for creating elaborate, realistic pretense and then marching straight through it with a machete, slicing it to bits in a way that is both shocking and frankly fun. . . . Mechling excels at creating realistically complex hopes, needs, and disappointments. . . . How Could She is the perfect summer read. It’s entertaining, insightful, and at times agonizingly true to life.” —BookPage“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""As soon as I finished this book, I wanted to send it to my closest friends and talk about our own relationship struggles over a glass of wine." —She Reads"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."—Booklist“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.” —Publishers Weekly"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"How Could She is so much sheer fun, such pure joy to read, that it wasn't until I finished the final page that I fully understood how profound it is. Mechling's dissection of a three-way female friendship is tender and brutal, lighthearted and fierce, warm-hearted and unsparing, wise and satirical—a triumphant literary debut."—Kate Christensen, author of The Last Cruise"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