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About The Book

'Shows the ways in which we are all, always, having to reimagine the story of our lives' Refinery29
'Really smart and exceptionally good' Curtis Sittenfeld
'A moving investigation of love, loss and parenthood' Esquire
'Mind-blowing . . . brilliant and fearless' Elif Batuman

The perfect song. The biggest dream. The love of her life.

It’s the early days of the new millennium, and Laura has arrived in New York City’s East Village in the hopes of recording her first album. A songwriter with a one-of-a-kind talent, she’s just beginning to book gigs with her beautiful best friend when she falls hard for a troubled but magnetic musician whose star is on the rise. Their time together is stormy and short-lived – but will reverberate for the rest of Laura’s life.

Fifteen years later, Laura’s teenage daughter is asking questions about her father, questions Laura does not want to answer. Laura has built a stable life in Brooklyn that bears little resemblance to the one she envisioned all those years ago, and she’s taken pains to close the door on what was and what might have been. When her best friend – now a famous musician – comes to town, opportunity knocks for Laura for a second time. Has growing older changed who she is and what she most wants? After all the sacrifices and compromises she’s made along the way, how much is she still that girl from Ohio, with big talent and big dreams?

Funny, wise and tender-hearted, Perfect Tunes explores the fault lines in our most important relationships, and asks whether dreams deferred can ever be reclaimed.

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Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio UK (August 6, 2020)
  • Runtime: 6 hours and 55 minutes
  • ISBN13: 9781471198441

Raves and Reviews

'A story of the challenges women face trying to nurture both their children and their own creativity. Generous and truthful – painfully so on occasion – it captures something of the elusive buoyancy of those "perfect tunes".' Observer

'I felt like I was inhaling the pages... really smart and exceptionally good.' Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Rodham

'... we meet Laura at flashpoints throughout the next few years, when she’s swapped Marshall amps for motherhood and finds her youthful dreams are incompatible with the reality of raising her daughter alone. I’m a sucker for a New York novel and a rock ‘n’ roll novel so Perfect Tunes hit my sweet spot and will also appeal to anyone who loved Daisy Jones & The Six.' Sarra Manning, Red August best books

'What did you dream of being when you were younger? And if you got the opportunity to fulfil that dream now, would you take it? ... Wise and tender, this novel will make you think about how you can reclaim your own forgotten dreams.' Hush, 6 new books to curl up with this autumn

'Gould poignantly and carefully explores what happens when plans go awry, expectations and priorities shift, and people adapt in their pursuit of love, meaning and fulfilment.' Buzzfeed

'Her writing is observant and unfussy, and she has a knack for addressing serious subjects, such as the hardships of parenting and the darkness of depression, while keeping things light… The pleasure of this book is in Gould’s astute details about everything from a hangover (which made Laura’s head feel like a “black banana”) to relationships.' Washington Post

Perfect Tunes has many of those big before-and-after moments and many of those rippling after-effects; it shows the ways in which we are all, always, having to reimagine the story of our lives… Gould's insights into what makes up the sometimes barely perceptible beats of our lives are sensitive and spot-on — as is her perfect description of what it's like to have sex in a too-close-to-the-ceiling loft bed.’ Refinery29

‘A heartfelt exploration of the mother-daughter relationship and what it means to let go of the life you once wanted for yourself.’ Bustle

‘The internet’s foremost chronicler of the millennial condition… looks back on the 21st century and draws a line through the decades-long series of little choices that make us who we are.’ Harper’s Bazaar

‘Fans of Daisy Jones & the Six will appreciate Emily Gould’s Perfect Tunes – a story about one mother’s journey to pursue her singing dreams and her daughter’s quest to find the answers she’s desperately searching for 15 years later.’ Marie Claire

‘This exploration of music, motherhood, identity, and the dividing line between love and lust feels like a time capsule of post-9/11 New York, and its time jump to present-day Brooklyn will feel familiar to many readers struggling to keep families intact under less-than-ideal circumstances.’ Vogue

‘It's as much a meditation on what it means to grow up as it is an ode to motherhood and love in its purest form.’ InStyle

'Perfect Tunes is an intoxicating blend of music, love, and family from one of the essential writers of the internet generation. From the obsessive spark of first love to the complexities of mother-daughter relationships, Emily Gould captures life’s ups, downs, and in-betweens with wisdom and wry humour, giving us one of the great New York coming-of-age stories.' Stephanie Danler, author of Sweetbitter

'Perfect Tunes is mind-blowing. I have yet to read any text longer than like one page by Emily Gould in which she doesn't articulate something I often thought, or felt, but never previously articulated or acknowledged. She is brilliant and fearless... full of unspeakable insights, or at least I thought they were unspeakable, but there they are.' Elif Batuman, author of The Possessed

'Perfect Tunes is a zippy and profound story of love, loss, heredity and parenthood. I gulped it down, as will all mothers, New Yorkers, music fans, and lovers of quick-moving novels that are both funny and deep. I loved every page.' Emma Straub, author of The Vacationers

'The author of Friendship returns with a second novel about the intricacies of relationships between women, this time centred on a mother and daughter searching for answers across the mysterious gulf of the mother's past... Brimming with gemlike insight and humour, Perfect Tunes is a moving investigation of love, loss and parenthood.' Esquire

'A subtle and complex meditation on motherhood and how it can throw all of our choices, and their costs, into sharp relief... pitch-perfect observations about life, youth and infatuation that sear with emotional accuracy.' Los Angeles Review

'Perfectly illustrates the message of how we can never truly escape our passion in life... a poignant read that showcases the love one woman has for motherhood and music that is sure to pull at both guitar and heartstrings.' Gotham magazine

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More books from this reader: Candace Thaxton