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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)

“A hilariously heartfelt, witty novel.” (Woman’s World)

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; after all, they’re as good as married in (almost) every way. 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, dutifully following his ex-wife’s advice, breaks up with her over email and her twin 20-somethings arrive unannounced, filling her empty nest with their big dogs, dirty laundry, and respective crises.

Bridget has problems of her own: Her elderly father announces he’s getting married, and the Forsyth Trio is once again missing its violinist. 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.

With her trademark humor, pitch-perfect voice, and sly perspective on the human heart, Amy Poeppel crafts a love letter to modern family life with all of its discord and harmony. In the tradition of novels by Maria Semple and Stephen McCauley, Musical Chairs is an irresistibly romantic story of role reversals, reinvention, and sweet synchronicity.

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

What listeners say about Musical Chairs

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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 !

1 person found this helpful

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    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.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Yes, definitely a good read!

You know a book is good when you start missing the characters after you finishing reading the book. Musical Chairs is like that for me. I am not sure if it is because it is an audio book where you get comfort from someone’s voice or because the story is that good. I think the story is that good! The only downside is that some of the characters either weren’t needed or they weren’t developed enough (Jackie for instance).

I am so used to reading serials that I can’t help wonder of all the characters who would be highlighted next. Come on Amy, do us a favor and have a sequel or two!

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    4 out of 5 stars

Wonderful cast of characters, living life!

I absolutely loved the cast of characters in this book who kept me engaged and entertained. I loved how the story shifted just like it’s title suggests. It was a wonderful escape from the stresses of the days!

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Walk down memory lane

The different narrators brought life to the characters and added to the interactions
The story was moving and a walk down memory lane of western Mass and Conn.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Fair

This book was okay. The narration was good. The story started slowly. It picked up midway.