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Athena Books is thrilled to welcome author Avery Carpenter Forrey for the launch of her debut novel, Social Engagement, a bitingly sharp and darkly humorous story exploring millennial wedding culture, class, and relationships, all filtered through the ever-present lens of social media. Avery will be joined in conversation by bestselling author of Tell Me Lies, and friend of the store, Carola Lovering. You won’t want to miss this evening of laughter and inspiration! Your ticket to the event includes wine and light dessert.
About Avery Carpenter Forrey:
Avery Carpenter Forrey is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in The Cut, GQ, and elsewhere. As Managing Editor at theSkimm, she cowrote the #1 New York Times bestseller How to Skimm Your Life. She holds an MFA in fiction from NYU and lives in Connecticut with her husband and daughter. Social Engagement is her first novel.
About Carola Lovering:
Carola Lovering is the author of the novels Tell Me Lies, Too Good to Be True, Can’t Look Away, and the forthcoming Bye Baby. She is a graduate of Colorado College, and her work has appeared in New York Magazine (The Cut), Marie Claire, W Magazine, National Geographic, Outside, and Yoga Journal, among other publications. Her novel, Tell Me Lies, has been adapted into a television series for Hulu. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and two young children.
About Social Engagement (on sale May 23, 2023):
In an opulent honeymoon suite in Watch Hill, Rhode Island’s most desirable wedding venue, 29-year-old Callie Holt is spending her wedding night lying in a bathtub shoveling down a pizza; her expensive white dress now splattered with sauce and her groom passed out in the next room. With her seven-hour-old marriage already imploded, Callie turns to the place of record – her phone – sifting through the photographic evidence of the past year to pinpoint where it all went wrong.
Could it have started when Callie moved in with her best friend, Virginia Murphy, in the swanky Upper East Side pied-à-terre for which Virginia’s parents foot the bill? Or when Virginia’s irritatingly attractive cousin (and Callie’s secret ex) Ollie returned from pursuing his photography career abroad, throwing a wrench in Callie’s relationship with her kind (if a bit dim) finance bro boyfriend, Whit? Or was the true turning point when Callie stumbled upon a dark secret lurking in the Murphys’ well-heeled past, one with the potential to upend everything Callie knows about the people she considers her second family?
Over the course of one wedding-filled year, all these long-simmering secrets and resentments will come bubbling to the surface, leading to a reckoning that will strip Callie and everyone around her down to their most gruesomely real, filter-free selves. As Callie attends wedding after wedding, getting tagged in post after post, she begins to contemplate—and actualize through her own art—the gulf between the true selves of the people around her and the selves they present on their screens.