Musical Chairs
The “quick-witted and razor-sharp” (Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling 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 twenty-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.

Musical Chairs Details

TitleMusical Chairs
Author
ReleaseJul 21st, 2020
PublisherAtria/Emily Bestler Books
ISBN-139781501176418
Rating
GenreFiction, Romance

Musical Chairs Review

  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    Do you know any book makes you uncontrollably cry and laugh at the same time? Your emotions are in everywhere: your smile keeps widen and your tears keep spilling, than you laugh out something till your abdomen hurts and later you start blowing your nose! This is one of those books help you awaken your soul! This is sentimental, entertaining, poignant, beautiful story with lots of lovely characters. But I have to warn you; it’s sometime hard to concentrate on your reading because too many charac Do you know any book makes you uncontrollably cry and laugh at the same time? Your emotions are in everywhere: your smile keeps widen and your tears keep spilling, than you laugh out something till your abdomen hurts and later you start blowing your nose! This is one of those books help you awaken your soul! This is sentimental, entertaining, poignant, beautiful story with lots of lovely characters. But I have to warn you; it’s sometime hard to concentrate on your reading because too many characters sit on the circle of musical chairs. You gotta pay attention each of the stories. They are memorable, likable and perfectly crafted characters. It takes place in old a little dilapidated place: most of the musicians, artists, creative people called it “home” in Connecticut. We’re firstly introduced with Bridget and Will (long- time friends since they were students at Julliard) Bridget plays cello as Will plays the piano. All those years they stuck together, became their confidantes and now things are changing, they’re getting older: Will is having hard time to find proper gigs to make ends meet and especially Bridget is worried about her life choices and she starts thinking maybe she has to be brave enough with her relationship Sterling who is novelist and think more seriously about him. Maybe he was her last chance. ( As for me the guy is scumbag who is looking for a new model of her mother and he was never a great candidate as a lover. I truly started booing at the parts his character appears) But as far as we can see her 20 something twins suddenly decide to spend their summer with their mommy and her scumbag, narcissistic lover decides that he doesn’t want to stay in relationship with her. And when she thinks she cannot take any more she finds out her 90 years old father decides to remarry! So we become observant of Bridget’s bumpy, entertaining, whirlwind summer adventure as if it’s a musical chairs play: participants start moving between chair to chair till the music stops so at this summer holiday so many different characters come into her life and leave again till her summer ends and her inner music stops. Interestingly Hudson was my hero. I adored his friendship with Will. Who am I kidding? I adore dogs and I confess most of the time I prefer sweet dogs over some people (they never makes you furious with their inappropriate and know-it-all comments, they’re always sweet, honest, loyal and ready to play, have so much fun!) But I think Isabelle, Nicholas ( because he is described as Colin Firth and throughout my reading I started daydreaming Mr. Darcy. Maybe I’m too superficial to like a character because of his description. Who knows!) and of course Marge were my favorites. (Marge is the key character, observing people’s lives and wanting the best for them: she is a person who can objectively see things about your life and when you ask for blunt, ugly truth, she may directly tell it to your face. She is definition of best honest friend you may ever meet.)Overall: It’s sweet, entertaining, emotional story about family dramas, relationships, friendship, loyalty and of course: there are lots of music!(I keep listening concertos during my reading to feel the rhythm of the characters and their interactions.)That’s the magical feel-good book you urgently need right now and I highly recommend it.Special thanks to NetGalley and Atria/Emily Bestler Books for sharing this lovely ARC with me in exchange my honest review.bloginstagramfacebooktwitter
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  • Elyse Walters
    January 1, 1970
    Summer was about to get complicated.... Hanging out in an old broken down estate in Connecticut....with no nonsense friends.....family.... musicians...artists... academic types...caretakers...dogs...cats...love...’love-nots’....egos....smooth talking types....chatter-mouth-neighbors...uncompromising characters.....each with a plate filled with struggles....is smart and charming > a combination of fierce and tender. Amy Poeppel takes us ( the readers), on a journey of complex relationships, letti Summer was about to get complicated.... Hanging out in an old broken down estate in Connecticut....with no nonsense friends.....family.... musicians...artists... academic types...caretakers...dogs...cats...love...’love-nots’....egos....smooth talking types....chatter-mouth-neighbors...uncompromising characters.....each with a plate filled with struggles....is smart and charming > a combination of fierce and tender. Amy Poeppel takes us ( the readers), on a journey of complex relationships, letting us see their shortcomings.Against daunting odds....everyone is tying to find their missing piece...a place they can call ‘home’. (with themselves). It’s filled with wonderful, captivating, imperfect characters.They made me laugh one moment - and almost cry other moments. Bridget wonders if she is too old to find her right people. “What if Sterling was ‘it’ for me, my last chance?”. Being serious a moment - I think this is a common thought for many people pass a certain age. Bridget has talents...( she also has challenges)...POOR GIRL....( I came to love her)...Bridget plays the cello. But with so many other concerns - I wondered how she could focus on anything other than her next glass of wine. Bridget was part of “The Forsyth Trio”. She’s was also part of her family’s history - no matter how much she wished she wasn’t. ( ie....her famous conductor/composer father Edward Stratton).Will was Bridget’s best guy friend, (since their school days at Juilliard). I loved Will too!He played piano - and had a great dog I came to adore named Hudson. As for the third person in ‘the trio’, .....ha, it’s just not a perfect science finding a replacement violin player. Like musical chairs....the position keeps changing seats. The number of other interesting characters rotate in chairs ALL SUMMER LONG! One of my favorites characters was Marge: Marge had superpowers. She took care of everyone’s needs. I soooo wanted her to come to my house - while we Californians are staying home - hoping to escape the coronavirus.( along with the rest of the world).Marge did the laundry, the mail, emptied bedroom trash cans, saw open laptops, but she had no need for snooping. She was a darn good cook too.It wasn’t as if Marge had psychic powers either, but knowledge did come to her. She was a woman I wanted to have my backside. “As for the Strattons, Marge had known before anyone else, for example, that Quinn would be a much happier, more satisfied person once she got rid of her jackass husband, Charles, and started focusing on her career. She’d known Isabelle would never last the year in Hong Kong. Just like she knew that Edward was up to something very, very big because there was an energy radiating off him she had never felt before. And that Bridget was grasping at straws‘s to give her midlife meaning, unaware that what she needed was change”. I agreed with what Marge thought about sterling ( the older man that Bridget fancied as her ‘it’ guy).... “Sterling was a weasel. He was one of those stupid men who thought he was smart. A weak man who thought he was tough. He had a fragile ego, and what he wanted was a mother, not an equal. His ex-wife, as far as Marge was concerned, could keep him”. Overall, I fell under the spell of Amy Poeppel’s writing charms, dialogue, and textured characters.I admit to taking a little longer to read this adorable delightful novel.The seriousness of our global crisis is always on my mind. I become more distracted when reading than before this crisis. Living in the hottest hit county in all of California is a little surreal to say the least. However....( and I mean this wholeheartedly), every time I did pick this book back up to read…it was engaging. I loved following along - getting to know these folks.Here is a little writing sample ... that I treasured: “Hudson ran out into the field, and Will walked with him in a big circle around the yard, stepping through tall grass with his hands in his pockets, sucking on a butterscotch candy. The moon was full, and it was hard not to be impressed by the ruckus coming from the thicket near the pond, cicadas or peepers or crickets or whatever critters carried on like this at night. And then there was the business with the stars overhead, scattered across the sky”. Thank you Amy....your charming book (first, but not last that I’ll read by you).Special thanks to my local friend - Lisa - my real friend - and reading buddy here in the Bay Area....( we lift each other up). It was our phone chat today that actually gave me enough refreshed circulation to even attempt writing a book report. Thanks Lisa - for helping me get off my ass! I hope I helped you today too - in other ways! I’m reading “David Copperfield” for my first time...but I’m slow.....( thinking about it when not reading it). Would love to hear from others who have read it. Any tips you have to offer about it....to finish or not...etc. I’m all ears.:With the OVERWHELMING thoughts about our current crisis —- [ literally I cry on a dime at any given second]....it’s just hard to experience any difference I can make writing a book review. I hope I’ve made a little difference. “Musical Chairs” is enjoyable ...( definitely it is).....but all I keep wanting to share with others is “BE SAFE”. DO NOT GET the coronavirus! Really...STAY HOME! Eat bonbons or something - play games - watch something silly on your TV screen....Read when you’re up for it - do something else if not. “Musical Chairs”, isn’t a MUST READ....but it’s good! With SO MANY REAL - FRIGHTENING STORIES - happening in my neighborhood- I’ve never wanted to reach out and hug complete strangers more than I do now!I admire every reader who can plough through a novel these days without focusing challenges. Blessings to my friends and family. Thank you Netgalley and Atria/Emily Bestler Books Kudos to Amy Poeppel. This book will be released in July of 2020.
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  • Theresa Alan
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars rounded up. I loved Poeppel’s book Small Admissions. This has many of the same charms and humor and fully drawn characters. Bridget comes from money but is never annoying about it. She met Will when they were students at Julliard. She plays the cello and he the piano. They’ve stuck together for years through relationships to other people and many violinists in their trio.This summer, Bridget is hopeful that by spending some weeks away from the city, she’ll take her relationship with no 4.5 stars rounded up. I loved Poeppel’s book Small Admissions. This has many of the same charms and humor and fully drawn characters. Bridget comes from money but is never annoying about it. She met Will when they were students at Julliard. She plays the cello and he the piano. They’ve stuck together for years through relationships to other people and many violinists in their trio.This summer, Bridget is hopeful that by spending some weeks away from the city, she’ll take her relationship with novelist Sterling to a new level before a new violinist joins the group. She and Will are hoping this bright young woman will get her and Will out of the struggling-to-get-gigs funk they’ve been in. Sterling backs out of visiting the falling apart family home in the country, and suddenly her twin 20-something children show up entirely unannounced with crises of their own. The first part of the book was a challenge for me to get into because there are a lot of characters to keep track of and backstory to piece together, but as soon as soon as I figured out who was who, I really got into it and enjoyed it. There are a few coincidences that strained credulity, but they worked, so I didn’t mind. Another wonderful accomplishment from Poeppel. Thanks so much to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this novel, which RELEASES July 21, 2020.
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  • Donna Davis
    January 1, 1970
    We need more writers like Amy Poeppel. Her previous novels, Admissions and Limelight, are whip-smart and hilarious; both involve well-developed characters stuck in odd but credible situations. Her new novel, Musical Chairs, shares these attributes, but it’s even funnier, and even more insightful. Lucky me, I read it free and early thanks to Atria Books and Net Galley. It’s available to the public August 1, 2020. Our protagonists are Bridget and Will; they are family to one another in the modern We need more writers like Amy Poeppel. Her previous novels, Admissions and Limelight, are whip-smart and hilarious; both involve well-developed characters stuck in odd but credible situations. Her new novel, Musical Chairs, shares these attributes, but it’s even funnier, and even more insightful. Lucky me, I read it free and early thanks to Atria Books and Net Galley. It’s available to the public August 1, 2020. Our protagonists are Bridget and Will; they are family to one another in the modern sense, the sense that sometimes we adopt our most important friends and declare them to be kin. They’ve been together as performers in the Forsyth Trio since college. Bridget has never married; Will is divorced. They have seen one another through thick and thin, and well meaning outsiders think they must surely harbor romantic feelings for one another. Will has no children, but has served as a father figure to Bridget’s twins, both grown. Summer is here, and Bridget is preparing to spend it in her summer house in Connecticut. Her boyfriend, Sterling, will be joining her; she thinks that he may be the one. But you know what they say about the best laid plans. Sterling dumps her on her ass without a moment’s hesitation, and both of her children descend on her unannounced. Her octogenarian father lands in the hospital. Nothing that happens is the way she had planned it. At the same time, Will has been looking forward to some time on his own in the city, but Bridget is in distress and so he drops his other plans for her. Not one thing goes as planned. I don’t usually enjoy books about rich people, and Bridget’s family is wealthy indeed. This one works for me because the disparity in wealth between Bridget and Will, who is an ordinary starving artist, is addressed in a natural, organic way throughout the narrative; but beyond that, I feel I know Bridget, and so she is not the rich woman, not the heiress, but instead she is Bridget, and she feels like a friend. We always forgive our dearest friends for things that are generally deal breakers with others. Finally, Poeppel has no tolerance for pretension, and more than anything, her honesty turns a good story into a terrific one. The pacing here never slackens; one crisis is nearing resolution when another one pops loose. At one point I am convinced that Poeppel is driving home a message about the destructive nature of secrecy, but by the ending I can see she’s done no such thing. Sometimes secrets are great. Sometimes they work out well. And sometimes they are only secrets for a while as their owner waits for an appropriate time to reveal them. The side characters here are brilliant as their perspective contrasts with that of the protagonists. The internal monologue involving Bridget and Will is personal, even intimate, and so we see everything as they do; but then Jackie, the ambitious young assistant that Edward has hired for the summer, looks these folks over and weighs in, and her observations make me laugh out loud. In fact, this book marks the first time since the pandemic began (at the beginning of March, here in Seattle) that anything I’ve read has made me laugh. It felt great! Then later, another side character’s pet parrot Ronaldo pipes up and it happens again. (My laughter woke my husband, and I was a little bit sorry, but also not.) The dialogue between Edward and Will near the end makes me shake my head in awe. At the outset, I am puzzling over the title. Musical Chairs turns out to be a website for job-searching musicians, but later I see a broader reason that this title was chosen. Throughout the chaos that unfolds for Bridget and Will this summer, the characters are constantly changing places, rotating, and assuming new positions, and it’s fine, because—and here’s our real message—change is not failure. The references to the musical “My Fair Lady” are icing on the cake. Highly recommended, and likely to be one of this year’s best books.
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  • Fiona Davis
    January 1, 1970
    Amy Poeppel does it again with a smart, hilarious story. I loved every page, every character. She sets a complex dance in motion where I never knew quite what was going to happen and the end was SO satisfying. Highly recommended.
  • Toni
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Stars What a fun read; a story of love in many levels and directions, complicated and simple, with family, friends, and pets! Three Juilliard graduates form a trio and travel the world; then life rears its formidable head. Nothing too serious, just some responsibilities and decisions to deal with; present and future. You’ll love every character!Review closer to publish date in July, 2020. Available by request, from Atria Publishers, on Netgalley.
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  • RoseMary Achey
    January 1, 1970
    Everyone has played Musical Chairs at some point in their lives-at a Birthday Party of Summer Camp. You know the concept-participants move from chair to chair until the music stops. Eventually someone is out or has to leave the game.In Amy Poeppel’s new novel Musical Chairs the title has a dual meaning. In addition to a game where people are moving about, musical chairs also refer to positions within an orchestra. Bridget Stratton our protagonist is a middle aged single mom of two adult twins. A Everyone has played Musical Chairs at some point in their lives-at a Birthday Party of Summer Camp. You know the concept-participants move from chair to chair until the music stops. Eventually someone is out or has to leave the game.In Amy Poeppel’s new novel Musical Chairs the title has a dual meaning. In addition to a game where people are moving about, musical chairs also refer to positions within an orchestra. Bridget Stratton our protagonist is a middle aged single mom of two adult twins. A classically trained cellist, Bridget is on a break from touring. Her summer plans are completely upended when both her children arrive on the doorstep of her crumbling Connecticut summer home just after her novelist partner decides he does not want to continue their relationship! To make matters worse Bridget’s eccentric 90 year old widowed father announces he is getting remarried. During this chaotic summer Bridget’s life is literally like a game of Musical Chairs...people come into her life and then out again. An easy read once you get the many characters/players straight I would characterize this book as light contemporary fiction that will cause you to laugh out loud. Musical Chairs will be published in late July-just in time for your summer break. Don’t miss this engaging, funny, and well developed novel.
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  • Nusrat Mahmood
    January 1, 1970
    Musical ChairsMost common party game for children – musical chairs. Music on -you go round and round to sit on a chair whenever the music stops. You do not choose but to survive you sit on whichever chair you get. A survival game of moving in and out constantly, giving your place to other to keep the game going on. Amy Poeppel writes a beautiful emotional story of family, friendship, motherhood and finding path. This is my very first book of hers and I cannot say enough thanks to Netgalley and A Musical ChairsMost common party game for children – musical chairs. Music on -you go round and round to sit on a chair whenever the music stops. You do not choose but to survive you sit on whichever chair you get. A survival game of moving in and out constantly, giving your place to other to keep the game going on. Amy Poeppel writes a beautiful emotional story of family, friendship, motherhood and finding path. This is my very first book of hers and I cannot say enough thanks to Netgalley and Atria/Emily Bestler books for sending me an ARC copy in exchange of an honest review. Review:There are so many characters in this book and considering the book size, the writer pulls out almost everybody’s individual tale of passion, messing up, emotions so perfectly. Bridget and Will are the main focus and reading about their friendship is a delight for all the readers I must say. Over the years, they have become each other’s confidence still they do not come in each other’s way. When a friend becomes family, a beautiful story emerges and same happens in this book. In spite of social differences their friendship blooms like flowers in spring. Extra point goes to Amy for not turning this relation to anything other than friendship, for not bringing the clichés in our life.This book is a beautifully depicted modern family life story which I already can see streaming on any digital service with a brilliant cast. I would give my money to see it on big screen even. The way Amy portrays the relations is so practical and heart warming also very much alive. The dilemmas, the anxiety, the jealousy – all come in this novel are written with such care which gives the picture a realistic touch. There are characters the writer has touched and let go but still they have so much to tell. Merge is one of them. The nanny and housekeeper was the person who is very observant, work very silently, knows everything about everything in the house and throw you in a clear space with ugly truth when you ask her something. There are beautiful and adorable animals that you want to hug and want them in your house. The dog named Henry makes the book fudgy enough to read it way past my bedtime.The subtle touch of humour in the writing works great for me. It keeps the story sharp and real. I laugh reading some situations, some character’s thinking process but the humour was just perfect there. It’s like the very delicious tea. Not too milky, not too sweet – delivered with right consistency and right amount of liquor. There are so many chances to explore the space of the relations and those are undoubtedly what keeps me going. It is a book that I do not want to finish early. I want to savour every chapter with warm delights.This well developed, warm plotted book will be released in late July. A warm book in warm time indeed.
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  • Susie Schnall
    January 1, 1970
    LOVED it. So well done. Loved how it all came together, the second half is so propulsive. Loved that the author called the epilogue the coda. Loved all the quotations and musical references (added such a nice layer) even though i was unfamiliar with them all ;) . I smiled through the whole second half and could see Nancy Meyers having a field day turning this book into a movie. Oh, how glorious that kitchen would be. I loved all the characters and will miss them. Well done!
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  • Natalie
    January 1, 1970
    I want to begin by thanking Netgalley for allowing me to read and review this absolutely delicious novel. During one summer in Connecticut, the family of the world famous maestro, Edward Stratton is completely upended, reconfigured and moved toward a perfectly lovely future. Poeppel has managed to create a novel full of delightful eccentrics. Though I generally don’t like novels with a great many characters, the author is pitch perfect in her depictions and leaves plenty of space to develop them I want to begin by thanking Netgalley for allowing me to read and review this absolutely delicious novel. During one summer in Connecticut, the family of the world famous maestro, Edward Stratton is completely upended, reconfigured and moved toward a perfectly lovely future. Poeppel has managed to create a novel full of delightful eccentrics. Though I generally don’t like novels with a great many characters, the author is pitch perfect in her depictions and leaves plenty of space to develop them, especially the main characters, Bridget and Will. Every part of this novel is richly drawn and easy to visualize. Though it can’t be classified as humor, I found myself laughing out loud at some of the moments. I must admit to liking the fact that the clearly middle aged heroine, Bridget, was moving towards new horizons. This is a bright, engaging and enjoyable novel. I’m smiling as I write this review and can’t wait to recommend it to all my book clubs.
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  • Pam
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 ⭐️ Thank you author and Atria for an ARC. I don’t know when a book last made me laugh out loud but this one did. It was adorable and fun, and just kept getting better and better. Lots of great characters. Highly recommend putting this on your TBR. Publishes late July. But in the mean time read Amy’s last book Limelight. Loved that as well. If you like music or performing arts it’s a plus.
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  • Akelly
    January 1, 1970
    Poeppel’s ensemble of voiceless, mundane and poorly written characters fall flat. Each chapter is a character’s perspective (at least 8) and they all sound the same, the characterization is so weak. The dialogue, OH DEAR, did not serve the plot momentum. I mean come on, I don’t want a chapter listing all the renovations you did to your house, the mundane family conversations or a list of what you had for breakfast. Why does it matter?!? I should have DNFed this book but I had been looking forwar Poeppel’s ensemble of voiceless, mundane and poorly written characters fall flat. Each chapter is a character’s perspective (at least 8) and they all sound the same, the characterization is so weak. The dialogue, OH DEAR, did not serve the plot momentum. I mean come on, I don’t want a chapter listing all the renovations you did to your house, the mundane family conversations or a list of what you had for breakfast. Why does it matter?!? I should have DNFed this book but I had been looking forward to it so I stayed along for this very bland ride. Like driving through the prairies and all you see is wheat for miles and miles, not much distinction or variation .
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    Amy Poeppel's sophomore novel, Limelight earned a spot on my favorites list a couple of years ago. So I was excited to check out Musical Chairs: A Novel. It easily follows on the heels of Limelight in terms of a well-developed novel. This was a fun story overall. People and settings were easy to visualize throughout. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and seeing them through different eyes. At first I wasn't sure I liked the extra perspectives (aside from Bridget and Will's), but then I st Amy Poeppel's sophomore novel, Limelight earned a spot on my favorites list a couple of years ago. So I was excited to check out Musical Chairs: A Novel. It easily follows on the heels of Limelight in terms of a well-developed novel. This was a fun story overall. People and settings were easy to visualize throughout. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and seeing them through different eyes. At first I wasn't sure I liked the extra perspectives (aside from Bridget and Will's), but then I started to look forward to finding out who was going to be featured next. New York City was almost its own character in a way, based on how much it was loved and revered by the main characters. I am big into music, so I liked that aspect too. (Oddly enough, I'm reviewing this after re-watching Mr. Holland's Opus.) The story kept me on my toes, as I had no idea what would happen from one moment to the next. It definitely was not predictable.What didn't work as well for me was that Bridget was financially well-off, but she seemed to complain about the cost of all her house repairs and maintenance after she was the one who neglected to take care of it in the first place. I would have felt more sympathetic to her about this if she wasn't easily able to take care of it. Overall, I enjoyed reading this novel and felt like I was right in the mix of everyone's drama, like I was part of their family or circle of close friends.Movie casting suggestions:Bridget: Pamela AdlonWill: Will SwensonGavin: Ethan HawkeGwen: Carla GuginoIsabelle: Taylor MisiakOscar: Graham PhillipsJackie: Ariel WinterEdward: Christopher PlummerNicholas: Colin Firth (he was described that way and then it was all I could think of)
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    4.5/ 5 starsMusical Chairs is my first book by this author. And I really enjoyed it.I'm not exactly sure what genre Musical Chairs falls into. To me it felt like a combination between Women's Fiction and Chick Lit.The story focuses on Bridget, her friends and family. She is 50+ and has come to a crossroads in her life. The book takes place over the summer. And it was charming and funny and really fun to read.The main narrator is Bridget (3rd person POV). The second main narrator is Will (3rd per 4.5/ 5 starsMusical Chairs is my first book by this author. And I really enjoyed it.I'm not exactly sure what genre Musical Chairs falls into. To me it felt like a combination between Women's Fiction and Chick Lit.The story focuses on Bridget, her friends and family. She is 50+ and has come to a crossroads in her life. The book takes place over the summer. And it was charming and funny and really fun to read.The main narrator is Bridget (3rd person POV). The second main narrator is Will (3rd person POV). He is Bridget's best friend. But there are also a lot of other narrators that narrate only 1 or 2 chapters.Bridget has two kids, Isabelle and Oscar. She plays the cello in a trio (Will plays the piano in the trio).She has a rundown house in Connecticut where she is spending the summer. This book takes place over June, July and August.This is basically a summer full of surprises with so many people coming and going from her house. I really liked her friendship with Will. And everything to do with her father. The story was funny and very entertaining. And this was such an enjoyable read!Thanks to netgalley and Atria Books for allowing me to read this book.
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  • Georgia Clark
    January 1, 1970
    In a word: Delightful. For three decades Bridget and Will have been two thirds of the Forsyth Trio, a famed musical group that exists in the shadows of Bridget’s world-famous maestro father, Edward Stratton. Now unstoppable Edward’s making a radical life change at age 90, which has ripple effects around the quirky friends and family who surround him and Bridget, all told over one unforgettable summer in Connecticut. This delicious story cleverly gives us one chapter in Bridget’s POV, one in Will In a word: Delightful. For three decades Bridget and Will have been two thirds of the Forsyth Trio, a famed musical group that exists in the shadows of Bridget’s world-famous maestro father, Edward Stratton. Now unstoppable Edward’s making a radical life change at age 90, which has ripple effects around the quirky friends and family who surround him and Bridget, all told over one unforgettable summer in Connecticut. This delicious story cleverly gives us one chapter in Bridget’s POV, one in Will’s, with the third going to a “guest”, mimicking the Forsyth Trio’s search for a third member—or maybe a different ending to the story Bridget and Will have been writing for decades. Like LIMELIGHT and SMALL ADMISSIONS, Amy’s impressive third novel displays her trademark wit, smart prose, delightful characters, and memorable setting. As charming and rollicking as a weekend away in the country with old friends, this novel is sure to make your summer a little more fun, and a lot more musical. Five stars.
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  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    When it is snowy and cold outside, superspeed readers like me can read 150 - 200+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book… and many more today. LOLI requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.Bridget and Will have the kind of relationship that people env When it is snowy and cold outside, superspeed readers like me can read 150 - 200+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book… and many more today. LOLI requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.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 twenty-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 humour, 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.Reading this book an entire eight months before it comes out will be like a pregnancy - I will tell people about it left, right and centre endlessly and when it pops out, I will continue to announce it to the world. Some people will think it's cute, some will not, so it really is like popping out a kid without the need for an epidural or a hospital bill. The characters are fascinating and the storyline expertly crafted to suck you in and make you want to read the book in one fell swoop - which I did but I am a super-speed reader. I laughed, I cried, I fully understood this family dynamic and how it builds and then explodes The release date makes it a perfect vacation or beach read with a tropical drink in hand while you try to forget your own family problems and delve into theirs. As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🎼 🎼 🎼 🎼 🎼
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  • Eva 🌻
    January 1, 1970
    Tapped out around 10%. Should never have requested this book, I think I was distracted by the lovely cover and didn't read the description well enough. It's just not for me, I read up until that point and nothing moved or grasped me, the writing isn't bad at all, I just have no interest in the story. When I start skimming and skipping at the second chapter I know it's time to give up. I hope others enjoy it more than I did! Thanks to NetGalley for the free preview in exchange for an honest revie Tapped out around 10%. Should never have requested this book, I think I was distracted by the lovely cover and didn't read the description well enough. It's just not for me, I read up until that point and nothing moved or grasped me, the writing isn't bad at all, I just have no interest in the story. When I start skimming and skipping at the second chapter I know it's time to give up. I hope others enjoy it more than I did! Thanks to NetGalley for the free preview in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Katelyn
    January 1, 1970
    I absolutely loved this book. It's going on my re-read list, alongside "Ensemble" by Aja Gabel. Apparently I love fiction about people in instrumental musical groups. Bridget and Will have been in a musical trio for three decades. The third person in their group has switched out over the years, and they're again looking for a replacement. During this lull, Bridget (single mom to grown up twins conceived via IVF) is looking forward to spending the summer at her Connecticut cabin with her boyfrien I absolutely loved this book. It's going on my re-read list, alongside "Ensemble" by Aja Gabel. Apparently I love fiction about people in instrumental musical groups. Bridget and Will have been in a musical trio for three decades. The third person in their group has switched out over the years, and they're again looking for a replacement. During this lull, Bridget (single mom to grown up twins conceived via IVF) is looking forward to spending the summer at her Connecticut cabin with her boyfriend and Will, also her best friend. Things don't go as planned, and the characters have to adapt. The characters include Bridget's famous composer father, her sister, her sister and a rather harried new assistant to her demanding father.The story is lovely and the characters feel like real people. Bridget is especially wonderful. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys good, character driven fiction and especially stories about womens' lives. A feel good book.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    Will and Bridget, two members of a decades-old musical trio, are longtime platonic friends. After a difficult breakup, Bridget spends the summer at her decaying country home near her famous father's mansion. Within days, it seems everyone in her life is in the midst of major transitions: her two adult children move in with her, her aging father announces his engagement, and Will falls in love with a local.Although the story moves quickly and feels light and frothy, I struggled with the sheer num Will and Bridget, two members of a decades-old musical trio, are longtime platonic friends. After a difficult breakup, Bridget spends the summer at her decaying country home near her famous father's mansion. Within days, it seems everyone in her life is in the midst of major transitions: her two adult children move in with her, her aging father announces his engagement, and Will falls in love with a local.Although the story moves quickly and feels light and frothy, I struggled with the sheer number of characters in this book. There were about twice as many characters with too many side plotlines to keep track of. Even by the end, I struggled to remember who everyone was (not to mention the SIX pets' names!) As a result, the main characters felt shallow and underdeveloped. I would have liked to see about half the peripheral characters cut out so that the main ones could be fleshed out more. However, it would still make a fun beach or poolside read.Thank you to NetGalley and Atria/Emily Bestler books for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Suzanne
    January 1, 1970
    Loved the chance to read this one early! Mark your calendars for its release in July! Like all of Amy Poeppel's books, this tale is told with personable wit and charm. A summer at Bridget's house in the country proves life-changing for the Stratton family and the circle of friends that orbits around them. In this regard, MUSICAL CHAIRS might put you in mind of recent bestsellers that paint a portrait of a quirky, semi-dysfunctional family on summer holiday, like Emma Straub's THE VACATIONERS. Ho Loved the chance to read this one early! Mark your calendars for its release in July! Like all of Amy Poeppel's books, this tale is told with personable wit and charm. A summer at Bridget's house in the country proves life-changing for the Stratton family and the circle of friends that orbits around them. In this regard, MUSICAL CHAIRS might put you in mind of recent bestsellers that paint a portrait of a quirky, semi-dysfunctional family on summer holiday, like Emma Straub's THE VACATIONERS. However, MUSICAL CHAIRS also offers a delicious rom-com plot, to boot -- with an original take on how it all shakes out, and a deep insight to how what we want later in life may differ from our younger years, even as we honor a kind of heartfelt nostalgia for the past.
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  • Elizabeth Plunkett
    January 1, 1970
    I love big extended families and country homes, which Musical Chairs by Amy Poeppel is full of! Set in the Connecticut countryside full of cats, dogs, horses, sheep and chickens Poeppel crafts a world of easy summer days. This novel contains a big cast of characters including Bridget and Will, two members of a long running musical trio and best friends since college, Bridget’s twin children: Oscar and Isabelle, Bridget’s sister Gwen and famous conductor and composer father. Bridget’s best laid p I love big extended families and country homes, which Musical Chairs by Amy Poeppel is full of! Set in the Connecticut countryside full of cats, dogs, horses, sheep and chickens Poeppel crafts a world of easy summer days. This novel contains a big cast of characters including Bridget and Will, two members of a long running musical trio and best friends since college, Bridget’s twin children: Oscar and Isabelle, Bridget’s sister Gwen and famous conductor and composer father. Bridget’s best laid plans for the summer fall apart when her boyfriend breaks up with her and her son and daughter announce they are coming to live with her. After a literal electric shock that lands her in the hospital and the shock of her father having a bad fall and learning he is getting married again, Bridget begins to repair the house and think about what she wants in her personal and professional life. The book switches narrators giving you a deeper view into the characters thoughts and motivations. Perfect summer read!
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  • Meredith Schorr
    January 1, 1970
    I loved everything about this book - the characters, plot, humor, writing style. It was a slow burn of a novel in that the tension remained at the same level throughout with no major highs and lows, but the pacing was perfect. I felt like a spectator in someone else's very entertaining family and really enjoyed all the side stories, romantic subplots, and multiple POVs. I was so sad to see it end and will miss these characters. I will read anything that Amy Poeppel writes because it is certain t I loved everything about this book - the characters, plot, humor, writing style. It was a slow burn of a novel in that the tension remained at the same level throughout with no major highs and lows, but the pacing was perfect. I felt like a spectator in someone else's very entertaining family and really enjoyed all the side stories, romantic subplots, and multiple POVs. I was so sad to see it end and will miss these characters. I will read anything that Amy Poeppel writes because it is certain to be delightful!Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for my complimentary arc. All opinions are my own.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    I loved Amy Poeppel’s Musical Chairs! This book is a fun and charming read. Bridget seeks solace at her country home up in Connecticut away from her troubled and busy life in New York City. Over the summer she unexpectedly gathers friends, family, and their animals around her and finds herself needing to fix not only her neglected home but also the many different relationships surrounding her. I loved spending time with these characters and so enjoyed this laugh out loud book! Thank you to Netga I loved Amy Poeppel’s Musical Chairs! This book is a fun and charming read. Bridget seeks solace at her country home up in Connecticut away from her troubled and busy life in New York City. Over the summer she unexpectedly gathers friends, family, and their animals around her and finds herself needing to fix not only her neglected home but also the many different relationships surrounding her. I loved spending time with these characters and so enjoyed this laugh out loud book! Thank you to Netgalley and Atria/Emily Bestler books.
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  • Jenni Walsh
    January 1, 1970
    I adore Amy Poeppel's writing. Time and time again, she flawlessly weaves together scenes that feels complex, compelling, and most importantly like real-life. At the book's conclusion, I felt like I knew this family and these people. I was rooting for them all and I finished MUSICAL CHAIRS with a very satisfied smile on my face. The only downside to finishing is I now must wait for another new book from Amy!
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  • Marla
    January 1, 1970
    Updated Review - 4 Stars as a Summer read, 3 Stars for my personal tastes - This book is outside my normal genre of reading but I do think it's a good book within it's genre. This book is a lighthearted family drama. It was a fun read with lots of characters and each had their own story plus drama. I did struggle remembering the names and details of some of the side characters towards the end. This book was my first by Amy Poeppel and it read as if it was written for the big screen. I found myse Updated Review - 4 Stars as a Summer read, 3 Stars for my personal tastes - This book is outside my normal genre of reading but I do think it's a good book within it's genre. This book is a lighthearted family drama. It was a fun read with lots of characters and each had their own story plus drama. I did struggle remembering the names and details of some of the side characters towards the end. This book was my first by Amy Poeppel and it read as if it was written for the big screen. I found myself often thinking of who would play each character. A good book for summer reading.
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  • Danielle
    January 1, 1970
    Loved the writing and story-telling in this fun, adorable, witty rom-com/family drama! I loved all the musical aspects and all the charm this book offered! A true page-turning, good time!
  • Carol (Reading Ladies)
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 stars
  • Jene
    January 1, 1970
    This book was wonderful! The characters were so rich and dimensional- they came to life on the page. The story was unique and creative. Something we haven’t read over and over. I highly recommend to anyone who likes a heartfelt family story.Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read and review this book.
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  • Nicole Varner
    January 1, 1970
    Amy Poeppel’s latest book was a thoroughly enjoyable read that I found difficult to put down. I enjoyed escaping to New England with the characters as they faced obstacles they were not expecting during their summer stay in the country, overcoming those difficulties with love, compassion and humor. The characters were both well developed and endearing and the writing was smart, witty and entertaining. Thank you to both the author and to NetGalley for the advanced readers copy- I really enjoyed t Amy Poeppel’s latest book was a thoroughly enjoyable read that I found difficult to put down. I enjoyed escaping to New England with the characters as they faced obstacles they were not expecting during their summer stay in the country, overcoming those difficulties with love, compassion and humor. The characters were both well developed and endearing and the writing was smart, witty and entertaining. Thank you to both the author and to NetGalley for the advanced readers copy- I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it!
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    I closed the book feeling like I just watched a telenovela. There were So.Many.Dramas. At first, it was funny that there were so many “problems encountered” . I’m a walking Murphy’s Law, so I could almost relate!! However, at some point it just got annoying and I wanted the book to end. The characters are ok, would have liked a bit more development or depth with Bridget. One thing that really bothered me... lots of “hints” that something was going on with Edward, but nothing ever came of it. (Ot I closed the book feeling like I just watched a telenovela. There were So.Many.Dramas. At first, it was funny that there were so many “problems encountered” . I’m a walking Murphy’s Law, so I could almost relate!! However, at some point it just got annoying and I wanted the book to end. The characters are ok, would have liked a bit more development or depth with Bridget. One thing that really bothered me... lots of “hints” that something was going on with Edward, but nothing ever came of it. (Other than it was a reason for Hans to be a jerk.)It’s a cute summer read, but that’s about it .. and there’s nothing wrong with that!
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