emmas-tableIn Emma’s Table by Philip Galanes, Emma Sutton – famous interior design and lifestyle guru – attends the prestigious FitzCoopers auction determined to purchase a unique antique table, no matter who stands in her way. Fresh from a stint in Federal Prison and feeling battered by the accompanying public scrutiny, Emma doesn’t realize she’s going to come away with much more than a table.

Still enjoying great success professionally, Emma’s personal life needs some work – her ex-husband has returned to try to work things out, her adult daughter is aimless and angry and Emma¬† goes through personal assistants at an alarming rate. Despite the public image of perfection, she has no idea where or how to make the needed changes.

Emma’s weekend-personal assistant Benjamin (one of the few that has hung on), struggles with his own issues – a social worker during the week, he is puzzled by the case of Grace, a troubled, overweight little girl and her mother, as well as demands from his girlfriend. And then there’s the Japanese diplomat whom Emma outmaneuvered for the table. Emma searches for a way to make things right, heal all the insults and wounds she’s inflicted and therefore somehow save herself.

These disparete characters slowly come together in a story that is both lighthearted and thoughtful, about second (and even third) chances, redemption and starting again. Because everyone deserves a second chance.