The Music Shop
Advanced Reader Copy
Publisher via First to Read
It's 1988. The CD has arrived. Sales of the shiny new disks are soaring on high streets in cities across the country. 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"--
This book has several things going for it that Rachel Joyce is so good at. Her ability to create quirky lovable characters is legendary. I loved the group of misfits that come together in this town that is slowly dying, as business after business closes down. Frank not only refuses to sell his record shop, he also refuses to sell anything other than vinyl records, in an age when CD's are becoming the norm. This part of the story was my favorite, but we are also introduced to a female protagonist who comes into Frank's shop one day. Unfortunately this story kind of takes over, and I never really warmed up to the relationship between these two characters. There was also a lot of extraneous music information (while Frank gives Ilse music lessons), that I would have appreciated more had I been more of a music aficionado. The writing was lovely, and it was obvious that Ms. Joyce has a great grasp of the effect music can have on any individual.
Definitely worth a read if you are into a wide range of music, and a great study of some lovable misfits coming together to save their town. Despite not being a big fan of the Frank/Ilse relationship, I still enjoyed the story as a whole.