How Could She by Lauren Mechling
Published by Viking
Publication date: June 25, 2019
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How Could She by Lauren Mechling is the perfect palate cleanser after reading two tomes in a row about the Tudors. Defiantly contemporary, it’s the story of three friends. Or maybe, frenemies? It’s a blurred line. Rachel, Sunny, and Geraldine all met in Toronto when they worked for the same magazine. Later both Sunny and Rachel moved on to Manhattan in pursuit of their media dreams. Gerry stayed behind for a fiancé and a job with a media company, both of which turned out to be dead ends. After six years she still can’t rouse herself enough to get back in the life game, until she decides to emulate her friends and try moving to NYC.
From the start, the inequities between Gerry, Rachel, and Sunny are clear. Gerry is the fulcrum, while Rachel and Sunny sit on opposite ends of the seesaw—Rachel wanting to be part of Sunny’s inner circle but being largely ignored. After the move, the two orbit in separate worlds, with Rachel writing and settling into married life with a baby while Sunny finds success with her art and her rich hotelier boyfriend. Gerry’s visit upends the dynamics that exist between the three and makes for new tensions and new alliances, all while she struggles to find job and a way new way to define herself.
There are a lot of dynamics at play in How Could She and they are all wonderfully realistic. Rachel has always felt like the odd girl out so when Sunny does finally notice her, her insecurities and desire to please Sunny are sad. Gerry let an unworthy man derail her life. Each woman copes with their own drama all while fighting the existential angst of being in your late thirties and not yet feeling secure in your choices. That Mechling can wrap it all up so well, balancing life issues with the bitchy, not-so-noble realness of longtime friends made this welcome, fun reading.
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