A love story and a journey through music. The exquisite and perfectly pitched new novel from the bestselling author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Perfect and The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy.
It's 1988. The CD has arrived. Sales of the shiny new disks are soaring on high streets in cities across the England. Meanwhile, down a dead-end street, Frank's music shop stands small and brightly lit, jam-packed with records of every kind. It attracts the lonely, the sleepless, the adrift. There is room for everyone. Frank has a gift for finding his customers the music they need.
Into this shop arrives Ilse Brauchmann--practical, brave, well-heeled. Frank falls for this curious woman who always dresses in green. But Ilse's reasons for visiting the shop are not what they seem.
Frank's passion for Ilse seems as misguided as his determination to save vinyl. How can a man so in tune with other people's needs be so incapable of helping himself? And what will it take to show he loves her?
The Music Shop is a story about good, ordinary people who take on forces too big for them. It's about falling in love and how hard it can be. And it's about music--how it can bring us together when we are divided and save us when all seems lost.
Joyce (The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry) has a winner in this deceptively simple love story about Frank, owner of a London hole-in-the-wall music store selling vinyl records in 1988. Adamant about not selling cassette tapes or CDs, Frank is a loner raised by an eccentric but loving mother who taught him to cherish all kinds of music. His extraordinary gift is knowing the precise song people need to hear at a particular time in their lives, and his musical selections have miraculous results. Frank's small circle of friends own shops on this out-of-the-way street: Maud, who secretly pines for Frank, has a tattoo parlor; ex-priest Father Anthony sells religious artifacts; the twin Williams brothers run a family funeral business. Frank's life is upturned when a mysterious stranger, Ilse Brauchmann, appears outside his store and promptly faints. The magical trajectory of Frank and Ilse's relationship is nicely balanced against the thread about a threatening real estate company that wants to destroy Frank's tiny store. Joyce's odes to music from Aretha Franklin and J.S. Bach to Puccini and the Sex Pistols and the notion that the perfect song can transform one's life make this novel a triumph.