Tin House invited a select number of early readers—also known as Galley Club—to receive advance copies of Pretend We Are Lovely, Noley Reid’s delicious novel out this month. Told in alternating points of view by the four living members of the Sobel family, Pretend We Are Lovely is a sharp and darkly funny story of forgiveness, family secrets, and the hungers we inherit.
Once Galley Club members finished the book, we asked for their thoughts. One thing we all agreed on right away: we wanted doughnuts.
Anything else you want to say about Pretend We Are Lovely?
You can’t stuff down, hide, deny, purge, or control life. A finely crafted story of family, food, and growing up.
Pretend We Are Lovely is binge-worthy fiction.
Very engaging and horrifying, and just realistic enough to suspend my disbelief. Each character had depth and vulnerability that allows the reader to really engage in everyone’s internal struggles. Some really fantastic imagery.
Glad I picked it up. A slow, devastating disintegration.
Holly ended up being my favorite character. While choosing her married professor as a romantic interest seems almost cliché, I loved the way she interacted with the girls. She seemed more emotionally mature and responsible than either of the parents.
At the end of the day, go ahead and eat the doughnut.
Thanks to our wonderful Galley Club members for diving into Pretend We Are Lovely and for sharing their literary expertise! Interested in being part of Galley Club? We’ll announce the next title—and instructions for how to join—on our Facebook and Instagram accounts later this summer.
Infographics by Jakob Vala.