“Perfect Tunes is an intoxicating blend of music, love, and family from one of the essential writers of the internet generation.” —STEPHANIE DANLER
“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
“Perfect Tunes is mind-blowing….Full of unspeakable insights, or at least I thought they were unspeakable, but there they are. Now I want everyone I know to read this book and talk about it with me.” —ELIF BATUMAN
Have you ever wondered what your mother was like before she became your mother, and what she gave up in order to have you?
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, Marie, is asking questions about her father, questions that Laura does not want to answer. Laura has built a stable life in Brooklyn that bears little resemblance to the one she envisioned when she left Ohio all those years ago, and she’s taken pains to close the door on what was and what might have been. But neither her best friend, now a famous musician who relies on Laura’s songwriting skills, nor her depressed and searching daughter will let her give up on her dreams.
Funny, wise, and tenderhearted, Perfect Tunes explores the fault lines in our most important relationships, and asks whether dreams deferred can ever be reclaimed. It is a delightful and poignant tale of music and motherhood, ambition and compromise—of life, in all its dissonance and harmony.
Emily Gould is the author of the novel Friendship and the essay collection And the Heart Says Whatever. With Ruth Curry, she runs Emily Books, which publishes books by women as an imprint of Coffee House Press. She has written for the New York Times, New York, The New Yorker, Bookforum, and many other publications. She lives in New York City with her family.
“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 humor, giving us one of the great New York coming-of-age stories.” —Stephanie Danler
“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. Her take on mothers and daughters, and daughters’ boyfriends, and daughters’ boyfriends’ mothers, and daughters’ daughters boyfriends, is full of unspeakable insights, or at least I thought they were unspeakable, but there they are. Now I want everyone I know to read this book and talk about it with me.” —Elif Batuman
“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
“Sharply observant . . . Gould’s portrait of a would-be artist as a young woman offers fresh, poignant insights into the challenges faced by the city’s transplanted dreamers.” —Publishers Weekly
"Gould’s strength lies in her powers of observation, her ability to wrap words around a specific time and a place in the lives of these particular women. . . . Laura’s and Marie’s voices each stand out for their honesty and poignancy." —BookPage