Linda’s Book Obsession Reviews “The Sweet Spot” by Amy Poeppel, Atria, Emily Bestler Books, 1/31/23

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OMG ! Kudos to Amy Poeppel, the author of “The Sweet Spot,” for writing a unique, creative, captivating, witty, and spectacular novel. What started to be one of those days where everything was going wrong suddenly changed when I started reading Amy Poeppel’s book! This is such a laugh-out-loud book that I needed my inhalers because I was laughing so much. ( I have asthmatic bronchitis and cold, to clarify the need for the inhaler, but it certainly was worth it)

Where do I begin? The genres for this book are Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Chick Lit, Women’s Fiction, Adult Fiction, Romance, and Satire. The timeline for this story is set in the present and goes to the past regarding the characters and events. The story takes place in New York City, mostly in Greenwich Village, in an eclectic Brownstone that seems to be built for “love” and “family.” In the basement of the Brownstone is a bar called “The Sweet Spot,” which plays music and serves liquor, which reminds me of the historical “speak-easy” during prohibition. Dan has been the bartender for years. The author vividly describes her colorful and dramatic characters as complex, complicated, and quirky. I love that there is a practically untrainable dog and gerbils.

With her husband Leo and three young children, Lauren is lucky to live in this special Brownstone. Lauren is very creative and sells pottery in an upscale store. As they settle into the Brownstone, with the addition of a dog with a mind of his own, Lauren is bombarded to fulfill an order of her creations for Felicity, who owns several stores. Felicity shares with Lauren that she is pregnant, and the father is thrilled. He does leave his wife, Melinda.

Melinda is one character that reminds me of a line and idiom in William Congreve’s play, “The Mourning Bride” (1697) “Hell hath no fury as a woman scorned.” When her husband of 30 years divorces her for a younger woman, who is pregnant with his child, Melinda is determined to seek revenge. Her revenge is one of the novel’s catalysts, creating havoc and backfiring. One example is that Melinda is responsible for Olivia, Dan’s daughter, for losing her job at Felicity’s store.

Felicity’s new husband becomes responsible for the new baby until he disappears, and someone has to watch his baby boy. Can you imagine who will be watching the baby?

I appreciate that Amy Poeppel discusses the importance of family, friends, neighbors, community, and love. The author also describes the complexity of relationships, contrasts of love and hate, tolerance and acceptance of differences, second chances, and new beginnings. Amy Poeppel is an amazing storyteller and writer!

I highly recommend this outstanding book! I enjoyed this novel and was so entertained that I started re-reading “The Sweet Spot” a second time last night. Happy Reading!

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