Musical Chairs is a Beautiful Blast | Review: Musical Chairs by Amy Poeppel

6:00 AM

Did I request an ARC of Musical Chairs solely because OUR LORD AND SAVIOR one of my favourite authors, Taylor Jenkins Reid, blurbed it? Yes.

Musical Chairs
by Amy Poeppel

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 by Amy Poeppel 
Rating: ★★★★☆  

As always, a copy of this book was provided by the author or publisher in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.    

Before picking up Musical Chairs, I had a theory that this novel would consume me. There are very few authors who's blurbs automatically make me pick up something and Taylor Jenkins Reid, naturally, is one of those authors. Her praise for Amy Poeppel's novel was an immediate 'yes' moment, but the synopsis is what further sold me.

One glance and you know that this book will have some sort of effect on you, not just as a reader, as a human. The title, alone, is witty and brings forth the comedic calling of playing musical chairs.  So, I was more than ready to dive into Musical Chairs and be embraced by humor, emotion, and so much more. 

There's this subtly sweet, yet totally honest, quality to Poeppel's writing. Musical Chairs becomes all the more true-to-live and magical because of her prose. Her writing leaves behind this bubbly feeling of hope, love and life, and instantly puts readers in a good mood. From the beginning, I could feel the gentle tug of a smile.

That smile never truly leaves. Which makes Musical Chairs all the more striking and unforgettable. As the story progresses, and characters wander in and out of focus, you're left with this feeling of hope. In this world, we could use all the pick-me-ups we can manage and Musical Chairs is a definite bright-spot.

Ultimately, Musical Chairs lived up to my expectations but it did take me some time to get used to the sheer amount of characters that are featured within its pages. There are A LOT. (But, it works.) From its beautiful, engaging writing, to the characters that are the driving force of the story, Musical Chairs has a lot of soul to offer its readers and I cannot sing its praises enough.

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