The Art of Pretend

by Lauren Kuhl

On Sale: 07/09/2024

The Art of Pretend

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The Art of Pretend

by Lauren Kuhl

On Sale: 07/09/2024

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About the Book

A tantalizing debut about a woman drawn into the orbit of her friend's wealthy artist family in New York City and the complications and consequences that arise when she embarks on a secret relationship with the golden-boy older brother

“A delicious take on class, friendship, and desire.” —Christina McDowell, author of The Cave Dwellers

Pretending is an art, and all art comes at a price…


Ren loves and hates Etta, her best friend since they met at NYU nearly a decade ago. Etta defines Ren's New York. She lavishes her with designer hand-me-downs and takes her along to parties at trust fund lofts and Hamptons estates. But when Etta moves to Barcelona with no warning, Ren is left to face who she is without her, her unremarkable life of shoebox apartment, thankless job, and estranged family.

Enter Archer, Etta’s older brother, whom Ren’s always been infatuated with. In his sister’s absence, suddenly he’s inviting Ren to visit his art gallery, to prestigious galas, on weekend trips with his friends to Amagansett. Archer’s interest makes Ren feel alive in whole new ways, but she knows Etta can't find out. As their relationship intensifies, so does her unease. If it all blows up, who will she be on the other side?

Set over a heady New York summer, The Art of Pretend is an alluring novel about love and friendship, wealth and power, art and ambition—and the stories we tell ourselves and others to get what we want.

Critical Praise

“Delicious and biting, The Art of Pretend probes the artifice of even our most intimate relationships. It kept me up way too late, with a sophistication that removed all guilt from the pleasure.” 
—Avery Carpenter Forrey, author of Social Engagement


“This fun and twisty novel is a delicious take on class, friendship and desire. Set among the super rich in the art world of New York City, Kuhl's cast of characters' ambitions inevitably collide in the ultimate pursuit of power, exposing the complexities hidden beneath the art of pretending.”
—Christina McDowell, author of The Cave Dwellers

“Lauren Kuhl’s compelling and beautifully written debut explores the nuances of friendship and romance, while also capturing the absurd antics of the rich and Insta-famous. Poignant, funny, and elegant from start to finish, this artful book is a must-read.”
—Lauren Edmondson, author of Ladies of the House and Wedding of the Season

The Art of Pretend is a compulsively readable, voyeuristic journey into the wealthy world of New York City, filled with unforgettable characters and razor-sharp dialogue. I devoured this page-turner. ”
—Jillian Cantor, USA Today bestselling author of The Fiction Writer -

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781525831539
  • ISBN 10: 1525831534
  • Imprint: Graydon House
  • On Sale: 07/09/2024
  • Pages: 368
  • List Price:36.99 CAD
  • BISAC1 : FICTION / Psychological
  • BISAC2 : FICTION / Friendship
  • BISAC3 : FICTION / Literary
  • BISAC4 : FICTION / Coming of Age

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