Review: Musical Chairs by Amy Poeppel


Release date: July 21, 2020

Publisher: Atria

Genre: Contemporary Fiction


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 Chairsis an irresistibly romantic story of role reversals, reinvention, and sweet synchronicity. 


I became a super fan of the author after I read Limelight and totally fell in love with her writing style so Musical Chairs was definitely one of my most anticipated 2020 reads. I was hoping there would be the same humor, wit, charm, authentic characters and an entreating story and I was not disappointed, I adored this one too!

Bridget has big plans for her summer, she’s heading to her house in Connecticut with her boyfriend and she’s counting on lots of romance and some time spent with Will, her lifelong friend and musical partner. Shit hits the fan almost immediately when her boyfriend dumps her and her two grown children show up unannounced to spend the summer with her. There’s also more chaos and drama but I’ll stop there, suffice it to say it’s funny as hell and I sympathize with poor Bridget. I mean, who’s plan haven’t been ruined this summer? I loved the ensemble cast of characters, you get to hear from people from all walks of life and they all made me laugh. Definitely recommend this as a great summer escapist read!

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

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