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Publisher's Summary

Named a Best Book of 2019 by Esquire and a Best Book of 2019 (So Far) by Real Simple and Glamour 

"Bitingly funny and often painfully realistic." (Entertainment Weekly)

"Brilliant . . . . Devastating, reliably hilarious." (Nylon)

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

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 25 than in her mid-30s? 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. 

©2019 Lauren Mechling (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"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)

“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”)

What listeners say about How Could She

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Well ok

This is a little book about old “friends” who are in the middle to transitioning their lives in NYC while navigating mid life crises. That’s it. I feel bad calling this book slight when so many books about men in similar circumstances have been written and praised but there just isn’t much insight or purpose in this book.

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Immature

Good premise, good beginnings of characters & story, but ultimately never went anywhere interesting. Maybe a good poolside read because you would be fine putting it down or getting it wet, but I listened to it on audible, so I feel i wasted a credit.

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Painfully specific

If you are in your late 30s, work in New York or Toronto media, or better yet, travel back and forth, and aren’t put off by the coming of 40s age theme, this one’s for you. With its book cover, that is telegraphed. On the audiobook the cover has been changed. What I don’t understand is the boatload of favorable critical reviews by consumer magazines.

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Not worth a credit

I tried to keep reading this book but I couldn’t do it. Boring, story didn’t go anywhere, too much jumping between characters, I had to give up.

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  • Ana Kinsella
  • 06-29-19

Brilliant, hilarious, cutting and lifelike

A portrait of modern female friendship - the good, bad and ugly - set in the contemporary media landscape of Trump-era New York. Minutely observed, on everything from matcha lattes to the politics of podcasts. Can’t wait to watch the inevitable HBO adaptation.