THE SWEET SPOT by Amy Poeppel

From the publisher:

Amy Poeppel brings her signature “big-hearted, charming” (The Washington Post) style to this wise and joyful novel that celebrates love, hate, and all of the glorious absurdity in between.

In the heart of Greenwich Village, three women form an accidental sorority when a baby—belonging to exactly none of them—lands on their collective doorstep.

Lauren and her family—lucky bastards—have been granted the use of a spectacular brownstone, teeming with history and dizzyingly unattractive 70s wallpaper. Adding to the home’s bohemian, grungy splendor is the bar occupying the basement, a (mostly) beloved dive called The Sweet Spot. Within days of moving in, Lauren discovers that she has already made an enemy in the neighborhood by inadvertently sparking the divorce of a couple she has never actually met.

Melinda’s husband of thirty years has dumped her for a young celebrity entrepreneur named Felicity, and, to Melinda’s horror, the lovebirds are soon to become parents. In her incandescent rage, Melinda wreaks havoc wherever she can, including in Felicity’s Soho boutique, where she has a fit of epic proportions, which happens to be caught on film.​

Olivia—the industrious twenty-something behind the counter, who has big dreams and bigger debt—gets caught in the crossfire. In an effort to diffuse Melinda’s temper, Olivia has a tantrum of her own and gets unceremoniously canned, thanks to TikTok.

When Melinda’s ex follows his lover across the country, leaving their squalling baby behind, the three women rise to the occasion in order to forgive, to forget, to Ferberize, and to track down the wayward parents. But can their little village find a way toward the happily ever afters they all desire? Welcome to The Sweet Spot.

Amy Poeppel (Musical Chairs) writes charming, humorous family stories, and this is a good one. Lauren is married with three kids and a rambunctious dog, living in a dilapidated brownstone in Greenwich Village with a bar, the Sweet Spot, in the basement. She is an artisan who has landed a contract with a high-end home accessories store, owned by an entrepreneur/TV home improvement star, Felicity. When Felicity casually mentions she is having an affair with a married man and is pregnant, Lauren blithely suggests she should chase her happiness. The next thing she knows, Meredith, the now ex-wife of the baby daddy, is on a rampage, spewing vitriol and swearing vengeance. Meredith goes down the rabbit hole, fulfilling every scorned woman’s fantasies until she finally realizes it isn’t helping her feel any better. Olivia, a bright young woman who works for Felicity, loses her job over this, and while she and Lauren become collateral damage here, somehow, the three women become friends. When Melinda’s ex leaves the baby with her to chase Felicity across the country. Melinda gets her new friends to help out in this Shakespearean comedy of errors.

Verdict: Quirky characters breathe life into this lighthearted family farce that should appeal to readers who enjoy Curtis Sittenfeld, Cathleen Schine, or Eleanor Brown

©Library Journal, 2023

1/2023 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THE SWEET SPOT by Amy Poeppel. Atria/Emily Bestler Books (January 31, 2023). ISBN:  978-1982176457. 400p.



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