It’s a familiar story – stuck at a disappointing dead end in life, a wide-eyed young woman packs her bags and moves to New York City, where a universe of exciting possibilities surely lie in wait. What’s less familiar and more inventive about Lauren Mechling’s “How Could She,” on sale now from Viking, is the vivid representation of the cutthroat New York media world and the friendship between three women who inhabit it.
After a bad break up with her fiancé in Toronto, Geraldine starts to long for escape, and looks toward the enviable-from-a-distance-lives of her two New York girlfriends, Sunny and Rachel. Geraldine moves to New York, where she hopes to carve out a similarly glamourous life for herself as a writer. But gaining her footing among the insiders and influencers is tougher than Geraldine expected, and making matters worse, Sunny and Rachel’s social media façade begins to crack as Geraldine picks up on the discord at the heart of their friendship. To cope, Geraldine will have to rise above it all, in what Elit Batuman calls, “a hilarious, devastating, yet humane representation of a gratifyingly specific slice of New York life.”
Mechling, a longtime Brooklyn resident, held her launch event for “How Could She” at Books are Magic in Cobble Hill. She is the author of several YA novels, has been a crime reporter and metro columnist for The New York Sun and writes a regular book column for Vogue.