“Wonderful. Levin has written a political novel as deft and cunning as any politician. As well as she knows that game, she’s even shrewder about love and lust, family and friendship, the faces we put on and the mysteries we remain. She reminds us of the suffering in every scandal, especially that of the hapless unfortunates who share their lives with the boldfaced names. Here the personal and the political truly are one.”
Bill Curry, Counselor to President Clinton
We all see negative ads in political campaigns but rarely consider how they affect the people involved — the targets and the attacker alike. This human drama takes the transaction off the air waves and integrates it into a flesh and blood story of two candidates battling their fears, worries about their past. and each other. It is not just behind the scenes in a campaign. The book takes you inside the heads of the candidates and their consultants to show you what these campaigns cost all the participants.
Author and Political Consultant
In this sexy, sensitive and observant novel, Levin, who knows politics, – and knows the motivations and hopes and fears that politicians often have, writes a mystery story against the background of two women competing for the Democratic primary for the Senate from New York. For a realistic, passionate and page turning experience, read Musical Chairs.
Managing Director, Global Strategy Group
5 Star Review Amazon – by NYJAZZMAN
Roberta Palmer is a gorgeous former high fashion model, married to David, a successful, wealthy US Senator. He has just now passed away, and Roberta is tapped by the Governor to finish out David’s term of office. She is now thrust into the world of high stakes politics and must cope with her radically changed life.
This is how Sheila Levin’s brilliant novel, Musical Chairs, begins. We are thus given a window into the maneuvering, plotting, and challenges of US politics.
But that is not the whole story.
We are also led into the complex and conflicted lives of the people that surround her. Everyone in this elegantly written drama is coping with themes of love, sex and infidelity, dysfunctional marriages and families, and navigating the sometimes treacherous passages through various stages of life.
This makes for a truly gripping, beautifully and smartly written story with something for everyone. The author describes these characters, and tells the story in such a compelling manner, that I was unable to put the book down. The writing is sometimes poetic but not in a cloying way. Rather, we are given vivid and clear portrayals of these people in crisis.
I can’t recommend Musical Chairs highly enough, and hope everyone enjoys reading this as much as I did.
4 Star Review – by Dean Anderson – Some good old fashioned Barabara Carland romanitc schmaltz
Imagine starting with the kinds of critical insights that characterized Theodore H. White’s “Making of the President” series from 1960 to 1972, and adding some fictional dramatics of the sort that Allen Drury employed in his political novels (especially the Pulitzer Prize winning “Advise and Consent), and then augment that mix with some post-Freudian internal monologues, some good old fashioned Barbara Cartland romantic schmaltz, and finally a pinch of Larry Flint for heat. That only begins to suggest the kind of novel Sheila Levin has written here. That the main story line pits two strong women, and their respective campaign teams, against each other, vying for nomination to run for high office, only adds to the interest and timeliness of “Musical Chairs.” Look for this one to get made into a fascinating motion picture, and have fun imagining which Hollywood stars would best match the book’s many well-drawn, true-to-life (and therefore often deeply flawed) characters.
Judge’s Commentary*: 4-5 rating
MUSICAL CHAIRS, by Sheila Levin, is a well-written, riveting novel about the scheming, lying and secrets of people involved in the Washington, D.C. political arena. The story focuses on two fascinating women who are on the same political side, and who face off with each other in the primary race for a U.S Senate seat. The character development is very well done with the description of the book’s characters minutely outlined, and the reader learns of their hopes and dreams, their disappointments and their lusts, and their multiple sexual encounters. The author has a background as a political consultant and member of the press corps and her writing ability demonstrates that experience. While the characterization was excellent, I had more difficulty with the plot development. Ms. Levin spent ample time explaining the history and characteristics of each person before the plot developed. As an interested reader eager to learn about Washington politics, etc., I thought that part progressed too slowly. However, that problem did not keep me from enjoying the book while learning about the lives of the characters as well as their sexual escapades. The book ended before the conclusion of the primary race, and we never learn who won or lost. Perhaps there is a sequel in the future when we will read more of the lives of these two women.