Colton Gentry's Third Act
by Jeff Zentner
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Pub Date 30 Apr 2024 | Archive Date Not set
Colton Gentry is riding high. His first hit in nearly a decade has caught fire, he’s opening for country megastar Brant Lucas, and he’s married to one of the hottest acts in the country. But he’s hurting. Only a few weeks earlier, his best friend, Duane, was murdered onstage by a mass shooter at a country music festival. One night, with his trauma festering and Jim Beam flowing through his veins, Colton stands before a sold-out arena crowd of country music fans and offers his unfiltered opinion on guns. It goes over poorly.
Immediately, his career and marriage implode. Left with few choices or funds, he retreats to his rural Kentucky hometown. He’s resigned himself to has-been-dom, until a chance encounter at his town’s new farm-to-table restaurant gives him a second shot at life: a job working in the kitchen with Luann, his first love, who has undergone her own reinvention. Told through perspectives alternating between his senior year of high school, his time coming up with Duane as hungry musicians in Nashville, and the present, COLTON GENTRY’S THIRD ACT is a story of coming home, undoing past heartbreaks, and navigating grief, and is a reminder that there are next acts in life, no matter how unlikely they may seem.
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Average rating from 42 members
"Colton Gentry's Third Act" by Jeff Zentner is a heartfelt and emotionally resonant story of love, healing, and second chances. This novel beautifully captures the complexities of grief, the power of music, and the enduring bonds of friendship and love.
The story follows Colton Gentry, a country musician who is experiencing both career success and personal tragedy. After a traumatic event at a country music festival, Colton's life takes a downward spiral. He loses his career and his marriage, and he's left with few options but to return to his rural Kentucky hometown, where he faces the ghosts of his past. However, a chance encounter at a local restaurant leads to a job opportunity in the kitchen and a reconnection with his high school sweetheart, Luann.
The narrative is skillfully structured, weaving together three timelines: Colton's senior year of high school, his early days as a musician in Nashville, and the present. This multi-layered approach allows readers to fully understand Colton's journey, his past mistakes, and the events that shaped him. It also adds depth to the characters, particularly his friend Duane, whose presence looms large over Colton's life.
Jeff Zentner's writing is poignant and evocative, creating a vivid sense of place and emotion. The exploration of grief and trauma is handled with sensitivity, and readers will empathize with Colton as he grapples with his pain and seeks a path to healing.
The novel's themes of redemption, forgiveness, and the possibility of starting anew are beautifully conveyed. It serves as a reminder that even in the darkest moments, there can be hope for a brighter future. Colton's journey to rebuild his life and rekindle his relationship with Luann is heartwarming and uplifting.
"Colton Gentry's Third Act" is a touching and authentic portrayal of the human experience. It celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the healing power of love and music. Jeff Zentner has crafted a moving and memorable story that will resonate with readers long after they've turned the final page.
Ah, that familiar sense of peace after sobbing through a Jeff Zentner book. Like all of Jeff’s books, I am left feeling more hopeful about humanity.
I hope booksellers sell the shit out of this and it gets turned into a movie because I want to watch all those sexy cooking scenes on the big screen!
This is my new favorite book. There's a poignancy and tenderness to Jeff Zentner's books that is unmatched by any other author. He finds the beauty in everything, even the painful parts so that to read him is to have your heart wrenched in the most exquisite way. Colton Gentry is a perfect potion of hope and love and sorrow and ache and beauty and humor and swoon that will leave your soul warm and full. I'm so excited to put this in readers' hands! Thank you to Netgalley and Grand Central for the ARC.
Jeff Zenter's first foray into adult fiction does not disappoint. After the death of his best friend, Duane, in a mass shooting event, Colton Gentry is not okay. Full of liquor and rage, Gentry speaks out in support of gun control from the stage and burns his career to the ground. After a stint in rehab, a parting gift from his soon to be ex-wife, Gentry finds himself back in his hometown in desperate need of a hand up. Finding a job at a new restaurant, working as a sous chef for his first love, Luann. Understanding the need for a new beginning more than anyone, Luann takes a pretty big chance on hiring Colton and on letting him back into her life. As the story unfolds, the chapters bounce back and forth between Colton's senior year of high school, his humble beginnings in Nashville and the story's present and we get insight into Colton and Luann's story and how it implodes as well as other scenes from his early days in Nashville with Duane, and his struggle to find his footing newly sober and back home in Kentucky.
Zentner's YA books always bring me to tears and his first adult novel, Colton Gentry's Third Act did the same. Zentner has a beautiful way with words and this story of grief, forgiveness, and starting over contains some beautiful turns of phrase. This slow-burn, second chance romance is full of realistic characters with flaws and who are struggling, learning, and growing.
Moments of humor and levity help keep this book from feeling too overwhelmingly grief-laden, and Zentner's footnote about the dog, Petey, was an added bonus to an already lovely story.
This book made me smile, laugh, cry, and left me incredibly hungry. Everything about this second chance is heartwarming and tender. Colton making changes and working through them was really incredible to read. I love that he took a chance and found a new passion. That’s a reminder we all need in life.
Luann and Colton’s love story is beyond! The flashbacks to high school were perfect. But the present day slow burn was perfection. Luann teaches us so much about forgiveness and stepping up for your friend and partner.
The writing was top notch! Especially all the food!! As a Kentucky girl I was left salivating at the pages. It reminded me of home and eating with my family.
Lastly, thank you for footnote about Petey. Can’t wait to read future titles by Zentner!