“Limelight” (Emily Bestler Books), by Amy Poeppel
Author Amy Poeppel examines the allure of Broadway and New York City in her second novel, “Limelight.” The heartfelt story follows Texas transplant Allison Brinkley after moving with her husband and three children to the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. The Brinkley clan must navigate new jobs, different schools, a tiny apartment, adolescent mood swings and the anxiety that comes with change.
No one seems to be handling the transition well, but Allison is determined to make life in New York as fulfilling as it was in Dallas. Keeping that optimistic attitude proves to be a challenge when her job falls through. Luckily for Allison, fate decides to show up the exact same day.
Allison finds herself in the posh penthouse of pop megastar Carter Reid after a minor fender bender. The brooding teenager is entitled, hung over and unsupervised. In a comedy of errors, Allison’s maternal instincts kick in and she finds herself cooking meals and running errands for Carter. He may be a spoiled brat, but the fact that this kid is entirely on his own is unacceptable to Allison. Plus, it’s really good money and relatively easy work that she’s already used to doing for her own children. How bad can it be?
Carter is as rotten as they come because he’s never been taught basic etiquette and boundaries. After going on a bender and firing everyone in his life, Allison is the only one who refuses to let him act like a fool. Slowly but surely, she earns his respect.
The Broadway show “Limelight,” featuring Carter Reid, is slated to be a huge hit, thanks to an all-star cast. Unfortunately, Carter doesn’t want to put in the work. The director and the producers know it and it’s clear to Allison that Carter’s reputation is on the line. She makes it her personal responsibility to help him with his lines, make sure he gets to rehearsals and understands the thrill and power of live musical theater. The time for undisciplined behavior has passed. It’s time to take this megastar to the next level.
“Limelight” is a unique blend of the audacious celebrity lifestyle and the challenges of modern-day mothers. It’s clear that Poeppel is passionate about her love of Broadway and life in New York City, but above all, the story takes the spotlight off the stage and points to the importance of a strong family unit — no matter how that may look.