Rich and Pretty is the debut novel from Rumaan Alam, just released this summer. There has been a lot of buzz about this book, mostly centering around Alam’s ability to write about women, The story centers around Sarah and Lauren, who have been best friends for almost their whole lives. Now in their early thirties, with their lives taking dramatically different paths – marriage and family for one, career focused for the other – they are struggling to remain relevant in each other’s lives.
Sarah is the daughter of New York socialites, and is planning her lavish wedding as the book opens. Lauren is single, working in publishing and just living a normal after college type of life. The women try to understand each other’s choices and really have nothing in common anymore but they are trying to stay friends. The book is fairly realistic about friendships and how they change as people go through different milestones separately and together.
But the question I thought about repeatedly while reading this book was –why were they ever friends?
Also, to a greater extent – shouldn’t books have plots?
But maybe that’s just me being picky…because this one really doesn’t have a plot. While the issue of long standing friendships is an interesting one, this book was just not very interesting. I kept waiting for this to get complicated or surprising or offer any challenging complex issues, but it really never did. Overall, I didn’t quite understand the hype for this book.
Grade – C