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How Could She: A Novel
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How Could She: A Novel

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  365 ratings  ·  83 reviews
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

"I know these women, I am these women."
--Stephanie Danler, author of Sweetbitter

"As wise and unforgiving as a nineteenth-century French novel."
--Elif Batuman, author of The Idiot
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published June 25th 2019 by Viking
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3.50  · 
Rating details
 ·  365 ratings  ·  83 reviews

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A contemporary novel about three women navigating their lives through their friendships, careers and the complexities of each of their relationships.

From the start, I had difficulty connecting with this book. The principal characters Geraldine, Sunny and Rachel were all somewhat interchangeable, leaving me unable to really become vested in any of their lives.

Not sure if it was the book or just not a good fit for me.🤷🏻♀
There are some great reviews out there, so if this one’s on your radar I
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I ate this novel up and didn't want it to end. It's a comedy of manners/ social satire about friendship— and also about the absurdity/perils of making art in the age of influence. How Could She has that rare combination of a generous heart + an enviably cool eye, and it's hilarious to boot. I put it alongside my Edith Wharton, Evelyn Waugh and Mary McCarthy— one of my favorite novels in a very long while.
Dannon Hewitt
im not gonna write a long review just because it honestly wasn't a great book for me. it wasnt bad though maybe in a few years it will be more enjoyable.
Simone Praylow
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was like sex and the city, but better. And you can't beat sex and the city.

How could she is a coming age book about three friends that are all going through challenges in their life with each one hanging on just barely at times. I found Geraldine and Rachel to be the most likeable characters because their storyline were so relatable. Geraldine with her breakup, and again trying to find her footing and Rachel a struggling writer trying adjust to motherhood. Those themes alone are immen
Mar 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, kindle
This was one of those books where you kind of just get plopped down in the middle of a story that's already begun and you spend half the book just figuring out what's going on. It reminded me of Allison Pearson's books in that way (which is not a criticism, just an observation). I never really felt like I got a good handle on these characters, but that's just me. But I love a good city book, and this was definitely one of them.

Thank you to NetGalley and Viking for the advanced copy.
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very compelling and very realistic tale of three friends (frenemies?) whose fortunes rise and fall throughout the course of the book. Loved the insidery publishing details; I gasped when one character stole another's story idea. I would love to know what each of the characters does next, even though the ending was satisfying. Liked the author's breezy writing style and completely related to the competitive female friendships depicted.
Lorri Steinbacher
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great summer read. Friends who are navigating their changing relationships in the publishing/art world.

Recommended for readers who like novels that explore friendships between women, who like New York stories, fans of the TV show Girls (this would probably annoy me as an author, but I kept getting wisps of Hannah and Marnie).
Sam Glatt
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most important thing about ensuring the success of a "New York novel," is that it needs to be more than about New York. Characters need to jump off the page, prose and the dialogue need to work in tandem to reveal psychological truths while maintaining that sense of realism in the sense that they're conversations you wouldn't be shocked to overhear from the table next to you at brunch. The characters and situations need to be realer than real; the novel needs to take the mundane relationship ...more
Astrid Galactic
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How Could She is a modern day story of the ever changing lives of three friends in an ever changing world that takes place between Toronto and New York City and how these changes affect each other. Three women, Geraldine, Rachel and Sunny, must come to terms with the changes in their careers, their relationship struggles, their living situations and how all of these dynamics affect their friendship with each other. During tough times, they support each other yet they also must deal with each oth ...more
Booksandchinooks (Laurie)
Thanks you to Penguin Random House Canada for a free copy of this book to review. To be honest I struggled with this book in the beginning. There seemed to be a lot of characters to keep straight with so many acquaintances of the three main characters mentioned. Once I got past this and deeper into the story I was hooked. Geraldine, Sunny, and Rachel have known each other for years. Rachel and Sunny have made the move from Toronto to NYC and Geraldine is determined to move there too. They have a ...more
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Here’s the thing...I can enjoy a book with unlikeable characters as long as it has an engaging plot. And I can enjoy a book where not much happens when it is a fascinating character study. What I apparently can’t abide is a book where the characters are shallow, unlikeable and interchangeable...and nothing happens. Well, I shouldn’t say NOTHING of the characters moves at one point. Other than that, the book is just essentially the three main characters standing around talking and a ...more
Dreama Villa
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic characters! I loved it!
Nicole Barbosa
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very fun book. I had the privilege of receiving an advanced copy which was a real treat. Sunny, Rachel and Geraldine are great characters, all complete with flaws and unique personalities, but this made me love them more. As a woman in her (almost) mid-30s, I also enjoyed that all three characters were relatable and although fictional, they were perfect examples of how we are all navigating the game of life. This book made me feel like I might just figure it all out one day.

Highly rec
This one of those book that picture the world around us in a satiric way and they do it in the right way.
A great read, engaging, entertaining, well written, and full of food for thought.
A book that won't be easily be forgotten.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
So I finally finished this book and OMG.

Things happen but it’s so interesting to truly look at what lies beneath the surface of a friendship. This is some of the best character development that I have ever seen. The novel centers around three women in media in various stages of their lives, though about the same age, their careers, and loves have taken them to different places. This is the story of what happened when they find themselves in the same city for the first time in a while.

The novel
Kayleen Schaefer
Mechling writes about friendships, but the side of them that makes many of us squeamish: when they fade or end completely. She does this beautifully and gracefully, using her three main characters to take us through how this can happen and why it often does. For me, reading this book brought up my own lost friendships and reminded me both of how fragile and how wonderful women's bonds can be. I loved this book.
Marcy F Cox
A little slow going for my tastes. The characters were interesting but never fully fleshed out. Lots of random actions with no real motivation or explanation. Not a terrible book but not the best by far.
Sara Deana
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book about three women navigating their twenties and thirties blew me away. And I’m in my late 50s... It starts funny and gets deeper and a little uncomfortable— in a way that I admired. Reminded me of Kingsolver and Ephron.
May 07, 2019 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
ARC received from Penguin Random House Canada.
Elizabeth Weinstein
Loved, loved this book. Getting it for all my friends to read this summer. Can’t wait for Mechling’s next one!
Ilyssa Wesche
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa Gabriele
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this smart, juicy book. Rachel, Geraldine and Sunny are a trio of complicated young women navigating the tricky terrain of friendship, motherhood, love, the ever-changing media landscape and their own shifting alliances. It was also edifying to read about that ol' Canadian gaze southward, and the idea that the Big Apple ain't the be all end all after all. Combines the warmth and intimacy of Tom Perrotta but the breadth and knowingness of Edith Wharton. The real deal. Can't wait to see wh ...more
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My prediction: This is going to be a big book. An engaging story that I read in two sessions and I still can't stop thinking about. I will be recommending it to fans of Curtis Sittenfeld, Stephanie Danler and, most of all, Edith Wharton. I will be using "Geraldine" as shorthand for all the magical women who come my way.
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was great--intelligent, funny, and insightful. I could really relate to the dynamics at play between the characters, and once I picked it up I couldn't stop reading. With realistic characters, a multi-layered plot and an interesting twist, this book had me entertained and kept me thinking right up until the ending. 5 stars!
James Beggarly
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book and the three women who make up its main characters. The scenes take place in so many interesting areas of NYC that it’s such a treat to go on this tour, but the main reason to love this book is the three old friends who narrate alternate chapters. Funny, sophisticated, honest and each going through huge life changes. A wonderful book.
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book brilliantly expresses the subtextual layers in contemporary female friendship. I'd recommend reading it as a companion to other society classics—like Edith Wharton's The Custom of the Country—the more things change, the more they stay the same, etc.

Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved, Loved, LOVED THIS. Juicy and compelling and funny (because it's all so true). It makes you want to be young and in New York City and have fancy friends and then, at the very same time, make you never want to be young or set foot in New York again.
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I scored an early copy of this book and it is both hilarious and heartbreaking. It tapped into how friendships function and their inner-workings, and honestly made me reevaluate my own relationships. I have to say though, out of Sunny, Rachel, and Geraldine, I’m for Geraldine!
Jennifer Kaplan
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful book, finely written with female characters you feel you know as friends. It’s a love affair with friensdship. All the entanglements of time, the brilliant mistakes, all that women friends learn from each other. And youthfulness with it’s force and fragility and voice. Just so good!!!!!
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I skipped a ManRepeller event just to get a few more chapters in and I’ll never regret it.
It’s real life through the New York babe lens, written by that witty friend who you can’t wait to text for a recap of the party.
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