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Musical Chairs

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Musical Chairs

A Novel

Bookseller Recommendation

Musical Chairs

“I found Musical Chairs to be an utter delight. This is my first Amy Poppel novel and it certainly will not be my last. Bridget and Will have been best friends since they were students Julliard. They also play in a trio together. They are now in the trenches of middle age and have gone through all of life's ups and downs together. Bridget inherited an old broken-down cottage in Connecticut which is filled with memories. She had high hopes for a romantic Summer with the current love of her life, Sterling. Unfortunately, Sterling backs out and Will ends up visiting along with her two adult children. The cottage soon becomes full of activity as well as quirky characters. I found this story to be very entertaining. Poppel has a gift for creating colorful, likable characters. The narration was music to my ears. No pun intended.”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Melinda, Buttonwood Books and Toys


“A fiercely funny tale of family, friendship, and later-in-life love.” —People

“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 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.

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