Sarah and Lauren met twenty years ago at a tony Manhattan private school and have been inseparable ever since--best friends throughout high school and college, first jobs and first loves, the uncertainties of their twenties and the realities of their thirties.
Now, Sarah, the only child of a prominent intellectual and a socialite, works at a charity and is methodically planning her wedding, while Lauren--beautiful, independent, unpredictable--is single and working in publishing, deflecting her parents' worries and questions about her future by trying not to think about it herself. Each woman envies--and is horrified by--particular aspects of the other's life, topics of conversation they avoid with masterful linguistic pirouettes.
Once, Sarah and Lauren had been inseparable; for a long time now, they've been apart. Can two women who rarely see each other, only share secrets selectively, and lead vastly different lives still call themselves best friends? Is it their abiding connection--or just force of habit--that keeps them together?
With impeccable style, biting humor, and a keen sense of detail, this irresistible debut deftly explores how the attachments we form in childhood shift as we adapt to our adult lives--and how the bonds of friendship endure, even when our paths diverge. Rumaan Alam provides a sharp, insightful look into how the relationship between two best friends changes when they are no longer coming of age but learning how to live adult lives.
Advance Praise for Rich and Pretty
"Smart, sharp, and beautifully made, Rumaan Alam's portrait of two childhood best friends transitioning into their adult lives is vividly rendered, set against a tantalizing background of moneyed New York City that is impossible to resist."--EMMA STRAUB, author of The Vacationers
"A must-read for anyone who has ever had a long-lasting and complicated friendship. In gorgeous prose that is by turns hilariously funny and painfully perceptive, Rich and Pretty chronicles the lives of two very different women across the decades. With careful attention to the ways social class and mores shape relationships, Alam gives us insight into both his characters and ourselves."--J. COURTNEY SULLIVAN, author of Maine
"Sharply observed and incredibly entertaining, Rich and Pretty tells the story of childhood friends struggling to hold on to their relationship as they grow up and grow apart. Rumaan Alam's debut is one of the most honest portrayals of the complicated world of female friendship."--JENNIFER CLOSE, author of Girls in White Dresses
"Deceptively easy to read, Rich and Pretty is a complex testimony to the resilience of female friendship. With clarity and heart, Rumaan Alam brings to life the fraught, bewildering, and beautiful nuances that keep us reaching for each other over decades."--MIRA JACOB, author of The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing
"Rich and Pretty is a beautifully written novel, a lushly detailed portrait of the mores and manners of contemporary Manhattan, and a penetrating look into the heart of the generation now facing their thirties. Alam's study of female friendship is wickedly witty, keenly insightful, and deeply, compassionately wise."--DAN CHAON, author of Await Your Reply
"Engrossing, funny, and wise, Rich and Pretty by Rumaan Alam is the story of two young women growing up and growing out of their past selves, even as that past still, profoundly, matters. Its cleverness is surpassed only by its compassion. A marvelous debut."--EDAN LEPUCKI, author of Californiashow more