The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce

 

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce
Source: Goodreads

The Music Shop

Rachel Joyce

Hardcover, 306 pages
Published January 2nd 2018 (first published July 13th 2017)
 
It is 1988. On a dead-end street in a run-down suburb there is a music shop that stands small and brightly lit, jam-packed with records of every kind. Like a beacon, the shop attracts the lonely, the sleepless, and the adrift; Frank, the shop's owner, has a way of connecting his customers with just the piece of music they need. Then, one day, into his shop comes a beautiful young woman, Ilse Brauchmann, who asks Frank to teach her about music. Terrified of real closeness, Frank feels compelled to turn and run, yet he is drawn to this strangely still, mysterious woman with eyes as black as vinyl. But Ilse is not what she seems, and Frank has old wounds that threaten to reopen, as well as a past it seems he will never leave behind. Can a man who is so in tune with other people's needs be so incapable of connecting with the one person who might save him? The journey that these two quirky, wonderful characters make in order to overcome their emotional baggage speaks to the healing power of music--and love--in this poignant, ultimately joyful work of fiction.

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Carol's Rating: ★★★★

“Would you wait for the person you loved?”
“Yes,” he said. “Would you?”
“Yes,” she said. “I would.”
“And all the time they spoke, the rain fell, just like the Chopin prelude, hitting the window in beads that ran the length of the glass then disappeared.”

What a fun, heart-warming story filled with endearing characters and nostalgia of vinyl records and music. Rachel Joyce writes beautifully; the story smoothly flows along at just the right pace as you develop relationships with the imperfect, lovable characters that fit together like puzzle pieces in each other’s lives.

They characters are an unlikely bunch, but they care about each other and at times had me laughing out loud with their banter. Beginning in the 1988, their story carries us through the next 20+ years and many of the changes that occur in their lives, community, and trends in the music industry that leave vinyl behind. The story unfolds to show us how our past not only shapes who we, but also our perceptions, which at times can lead us to incorrect conclusions, fear, and lack of faith in ourselves, yet how love and faith in each other ultimately lifts us up in our most difficult times.

What I loved most about this story is the clever setting of the music shop and the owner, Frank, who staunchly sells only vinyl records. He helps people with his unique talent. Frank can sense the music inside people and knows the exact genre, artist, and piece of music they need. He knows music. He doesn’t just hear the music, he  it. As he helps his customers and internally reflects on his childhood memories with his mother, we learn about the music as he did - what to listen for, the background and experiences of the composer and musicians, and most of all how to feel the story in the music and allow it to become part of you.

If you like romantic comedies or dramadies, you’ll enjoy this book. And I’m willing to bet you’ll gain a greater appreciation of music to boot!

 

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Happy Reading!

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