Colton Gentry's Third Act

A Novel


By Jeff Zentner

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$39.00 CAD

“A story of love, healing, and second chances ” (Emily Henry) following a down on his luck country musician who, in the throes of grief after a shocking loss, moves back home and rekindles a relationship with his high school sweetheart, from award-winning author Jeff Zentner.

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.


  • “Reading Colton Gentry's Third Act feels like sitting down with old friends to your favorite home-cooked meal, reminiscing late into the night and laughing giddily by the time the sun comes up. It's warm and comforting, and brimming with a heady nostalgia that will transport you right back to your own youthful summers and life-changing firsts. A story of love, healing, and second chances that's not to be missed.” —Emily Henry, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read and Book Lovers

  • “Country music was born to tell stories and so was Jeff Zentner. Colton Gentry's Third Act is fueled by a broken heart, and a determination to heal through hard work, forgiveness, and grit—just like the very best country songs. Keep this one on repeat.”—Steven Rowley, New York Times bestselling author of The Celebrants

  • "Readers are going to devour this bighearted story of redemption. Zentner takes on a timely, important issue without ever being didactic. He provides us with characters we can root for, a sexy love story that will keep the pages turning, and delicious prose, whether he's describing the smell of honeysuckle on a summer evening, a mouth-watering meal, or the power of music. Don't miss Colton Gentry's Third Act."—Silas House, author of Southernmost and Poet Laureate of Kentucky

  • "Like the best country love songs, Colton Gentry's Third Act breaks your heart, stitches it back together, and makes you want to hear the story over and over just to feel something. This is the book Jeff Zentner was born to write." 
     —Chandler Baker, New York Times bestselling author of Cutting Teeth

  • “I came out with my heart both shattered and full. Damn it, but this book has it all—an intensely likable character, a heartbreaking story, and achingly beautiful writing.”—Jesse Q. Sutanto, author of Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers

On Sale
Apr 30, 2024
Page Count
400 pages

Jeff Zentner

About the Author

Jeff Zentner is the author of New York Times Notable Books The Serpent King and In the Wild Light, as well as Goodbye Days and Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee. Among other honors, he has won the ALA’s William C. Morris Award, the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award twice, the Muriel Becker Award, and the International Literacy Association Award, been long-listed twice for the Carnegie Medal, and been a two-time Southern Book Prize finalist. Before becoming a writer, he was a musician who recorded with Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, and Debbie Harry. He lives in Nashville. 

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