The Sweet Spot
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.
In Poeppel's fizzy latest (after Musical Chairs), a large cast finds itself in a number of messy situations. Leo Aston and Lauren Shaw are given a Greenwich Village brownstone by Leo's father. With Lauren's charming yet grotesque ceramics gaining traction in a local boutique and finally having enough space for their three children in the brownstone, it seems their lives are coming together. Then, Felicity Wynn, the pregnant owner of the boutique that sells Lauren's ceramics, credits Lauren for convincing her to keep the baby and commit to his father, Russell, thus breaking up his marriage. Russell's ex, Melinda, is forced to take an administrative job at what ends up being the school for Lauren's children, which puts her in spitting distance of Lauren, whom she's convinced ruined her life. The Sweet Spot, a bar in the basement of the brownstone; the bar's hunky older bartender, Dan; and Dan's daughter, Olivia, who has been canceled on social media for mistreating Melinda at Felicity's store, all come to play roles in the delightful chaos that ensues. The author leans a bit too heavily on coincidences, but there's plenty of fun to be had in this chronicle of misunderstandings and new beginnings. Readers are in for a treat. Agent: Linda Chester, Linda Chester Literary.