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...Read More
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.
Rachel Joyce is the author of the Sunday Times and international bestsellers The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Perfect. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and has been translated into thirty-six languages. Joyce was named the Specsavers National Book Awards "New Writer of the Year" in 2012. She is also the author of The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy, The Music Shop, and the digital short story A Faraway Smell of Lemon and is the award-winning writer of more than thirty original afternoon plays and classic adaptations for BBC Radio 4. Rachel Joyce lives with her family in Gloucestershire.
"The Music Shop is an unabashedly sentimental tribute to the healing power of great songs, and Joyce is hip to greatness in any key. . . . [The novel] captures the sheer, transformative joy of romance--'a ballooning of happiness.' Joyce's understated humor . . . offers something like the pleasure of A. A. Milne for adults. She has a kind of sweetness that's never saccharine, a kind of simplicity that's never simplistic. . . . I wouldn't change a single note. Rachel Joyce, if music be the food of love, write on!" - Ron Charles, The Washington Post
"Rachel Joyce's charming and deceptively simple fourth novel chronicles an offbeat love story between a mystery woman and an ardent, if lonely, collector and gently explores the power of memory and music and the certainty of change. . . . Love, friendship, and especially the healing powers of music all rise together into a triumphant crescendo. . . . This lovely novel is as satisfying and enlightening as the music that suffuses its every page." - The Boston Globe
"Magnificent . . . If you love words, if you love music, if you love love, this [novel] will be without question one of the year's best." - BookPage
"An unforgettable story of music, loss and hope. Fans of High Fidelity, meet your next quirky love story. Vinyl fans, hold on to your turntables--Joyce's latest is a buoyant homage to the healing power of music well-played." - People
"Joyce has a knack for quickly sketching characters in a way that makes them stick. [ The Music Shop] will surprise you." - Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Inspiring . . . The Music Shop is a warm, familiar place where everybody knows your name." - Associated Press