Book Review – The Music Shop

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. ~via Goodreads


The Music Shop
Rachel Joyce
Random House
Published: January 2nd, 2018

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When I first read the synopsis for The Music Shop, my heart and mind immediately went straight to my love for every single John Cusack romcom movie. Pete Townshend’s Let My Love Open The Door played over and over in my memory. I couldn’t wait to dig in and meet the characters. I couldn’t wait to see where their story would take me. Did I set the bar high? …Yeah.

The Music Shop does not disappoint. Largely set in the late 1980’s, The Music Shop is everything I hoped it would be and maybe even a bit more. And while there are dribs and drabs of nostalgia tossed in, it never did get in the way of the heart of the story. I knew I had been roped in very early on. I found myself reading, rereading and marking sections just because – because were so profound in that moment they made my heart leap, because I had to share with others. Rachel Joyce’s writing style isn’t just entertaining, it penetrates the soul of the reader. Poetry.

“Her too-short fringe only accentuated the roundness of her eyes and mouth. How could so much irregular loveliness have been put together in one small frame? He was terrified.” ~ The Music Shop


Each character in this book is developed to perfection – flawed, different, special, quirky (obviously) and oddly like-able. Frank and Ilse will break your heart and mend it back together countless times. Their pasts, their hangups, the raw emotion is sometimes too much – you can’t help but feel connected to these two. But please don’t forget Kit, Maud, Father Anthony and the other shop owners and neighbors of Unity Street. They are the magic and bring so much life to this book. This tale is deep and there are layers.

Oh and this… Vinyl forever, CDs never! I’m with Frank. Everything sounds better on vinyl.

I gave The Music Shop 5/5 stars


*Special thank you to LibraryThing and Random House for providing me with a copy of The Music Shop. In return I have provided my feedback and an honest review.

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