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Publisher's Summary

“Poeppel has created a story that is well thought out, well plotted, well written, and fully developed. A delightful novel that celebrates the messiness and joy to be found in real life.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

“100 percent page-turning delight.... Pull out a lawn chair and prepare to read this gleefully entertaining novel.” (Stephen McCauley, author of My Ex-Life)

The “quick-witted and razor-sharp” (Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times best-selling author of Daisy Jones & The Six) author of Limelight and Small Admissions returns with a hilarious and heartfelt new novel about a perfectly imperfect summer of love, secrets, and second chances.

Bridget and Will have the kind of relationship that people envy: They’re loving, compatible, and completely devoted to each other. The fact that they’re strictly friends seems to get lost on nearly everyone. For three decades, they’ve nurtured their baby, the Forsyth Trio - a chamber group they created as students with their Juilliard classmate Gavin Glantz. In the intervening years, Gavin has gone on to become one of the classical music world’s reigning stars, while Bridget and Will have learned to embrace the warm reviews and smaller venues that accompany modest success.

Bridget has been dreaming of spending the summer at her well-worn Connecticut country home with her boyfriend, Sterling. But her plans are upended when Sterling breaks up with her over email, her twin 20-somethings arrive unexpectedly, and her elderly father announces he’s getting married. She concocts a plan to host her dad’s wedding on her ramshackle property, while putting the Forsyth Trio back into the spotlight. But to catch the attention of the music world, she and Will place their bets on luring back Gavin, whom they’ve both avoided ever since their stormy parting.

“In this funny, profound, and brilliantly alive novel about all the messy, wise, and wonderful chords that love can strike in our lives, Poeppel gathers together fathers and daughters, old flames and new sparks, music, writing and gardening, to explore what it really means to feel at home, and how life can open you up in ways you never saw coming.” (Caroline Leavitt, New York Times best-selling author)

©2020 Amy Poeppel (P)2020 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

What listeners say about Musical Chairs

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable, intriguing, well-crafted

I really enjoyed this book. The characters were well-developed and interesting, the plot moved well, and the structure of the musical chairs (with dual meanings) worked well. I also liked the use of synchronicity in the story, which gave the book more depth. I am going to recommend it to my book club.

7 people found this helpful

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Loved It!

I had read this book when it was first released last summer. Amy Poeppel writes such engaging books about real people doing their best to survive / thrive in life. She uses humor very effectively. The audio version was fabulous. I appreciated all the various actors’ voices used for each character. I am already scouting her next book. Keep them coming!

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Wonderfully uplifting and happy !

A great full cast performance of a wonderfully uplifting story !
Midlife crisis, adult kids coming back home, elderly parents, gentrification, the complexities of finding new love ... all packed into a wonderfully uplifting story about change not being failure !
Author Amy Poeppel gives readers a rare occurrence in fiction: a man-woman friendship that stays just that. Readers might be tempted to look for signals that Bridget and Will have begin to fall for one another, but that never happens. It’s a refreshing change from other novels in the genre.
With the absence of the pressure of a looming romance, Bridget and Will have the freedom to support one another and admonish one another as the situation demands. They’re protective of one another, no doubt, and elements of jealousy do creep in but it’s minimal at best. Will and Bridget really do just want the best for one another.
Poeppel has created a cast of characters that will make readers grin, laugh out loud, and shake their heads by turns. Bridget’s famous father is as indulgent of his daughters as he is pompous about his work. The other characters in the book—Jackie, the personal assistant; Marge, the housekeeper; and even Gavin—fill their roles to perfection. They all feel like real people.
Readers looking for a light, easy listen will definitely enjoy this book. I highly recommend the full cast audiobook version !

4 people found this helpful

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Most fun listen in a long time

I loved this story about interesting, likable characters intricately linked as they spend a summer looking at their existing lives and remaking their futures. Couldn’t wait to get back to their stories as I go about my own life.

3 people found this helpful

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really found this lacking any depth

tried to like it...really did NOT. tried to return, wasnt returnable. waste of a book

2 people found this helpful

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It’s a perfect little feast!

As in any truly good feast, at least in my opinion, there’s enough meat to nourish, enough laughter to cleanse, and a bunch of quirky, mostly lovely people to hang out with. The musical backdrop is a bit like hiring a trio to entertain! And when you finish, you are so glad you came! It is, to quote a very wonderful song by the Highwomen, a house with a crowded table! The very best kind there is!

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Charming tale

This is a little different from what I usually listen to, but I found it to be charming, engaging, and with many moments that made me laugh out loud. Very sweet story, light listening, and maybe a little too much like a “happy Hollywood ending,” but I didn’t mind. Overall I’m glad I took the time to listen.

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Really good!

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel about an interesting woman in midlife considering making life altering changes. She’s surrounded by clever and accomplished people with struggles of their own and the story is moving and fun. There are a number of narrators, a couple of them mildly annoying.

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fun and fabulous characters!

I enjoyed this book a lot! The storyline and characters made for a delightful read!

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A lovely book!

I absolutely loved this book! Will recommend for a lovely happy trip listen or just to relax and enjoy any time!