STARRED REVIEW
June 25, 2019

How Could She

By Lauren Mechling
Review by
Debut author and Vogue book columnist 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.
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Three’s a crowd, as the old saying goes. But what if the three are polite, sophisticated, creative women? How Could She tackles societal pressures, biological clocks, jealousy, infidelity and more in an insightful yet comfortable manner. Debut author and Vogue book columnist 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.

How Could She is not so much plot-driven as it is a study of dynamics. It centers on three women in their late 30s who have maintained some semblance of friendship for over a decade. Sunny and Rachel didn’t get along as carefree mid-20-somethings in Toronto, where they worked together with Geraldine before print media became a sinking ship. Years later in early 2017, Geraldine decides to move to New York, where Sunny and Rachel both live. Rachel and Sunny secretly bristle: Will Geraldine come begging for scraps of mercy, needing help to make friends and get a job? Will she want to move in? Instead, Geraldine makes her own contacts and forges her own career path, which creates new ripples of contempt through the trio.

Mechling excels at creating realistically complex hopes, needs and disappointments. The tension builds for months toward an inevitable clash, and when it comes to a head, it’s hard not to root for each woman. At the novel’s core are three individuals searching for truth in an overly complicated world, and it is evident that, despite all their flaws, Mechling loves each of her protagonists.

How Could She is the perfect summer read. It’s entertaining, insightful and at times agonizingly true to life.

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How Could She

How Could She

By Lauren Mechling
Viking
ISBN 9780525559382

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