The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce

The Music Shop

Rachel Joyce

A charming unconventional love story from the author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry about the owner of a record shop and the mysterious young woman who steals his heart.

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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 and The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy

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.

Advance praise for The Music Shop
“Magical . . . Joyce has a winner in this deceptively simple love story. . . . Joyce’s odes to music . . . and the notion that the perfect song can transform one’s life make this novel a triumph.”Publishers Weekly

“Whether on foot, as in her novel The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, or track by track, on this unlikely musical odyssey, Joyce excels in enveloping readers in epic journeys of lost connections and loving reunions.”Booklist
“Joyce sets up a charming cast of characters, and her spirals into the sonic landscapes of brilliant musicians are delightful, casting a vivid backdrop for the quietly desperate romance between Frank and Ilse. From nocturnes to punk, this musical romance is ripe for filming.”Kirkus Reviews


Advance Galley Reviews

I love a book that comes with a good soundtrack, and in the case of The Music Shop, the soundtrack is exquisite. I cannot recommend enough keeping your phone or computer or some listening decide nearby as you read, and listening to all the music. It makes the experience that much more enchanting. But the truth is, this wonderful story about love and loss and finding, would be wonderful even if you didn’t listen to all the songs. Frank’s unique ability to know what a person needs—he listens to them to discover what it is they are missing, and has the antidote in a song—keeps his little record shop open, with friends and regulars stopping in often just to listen. Frank’s most loyal relationship has been with music, and so it is unexpected when he meets Ilse. He’s not quite sure why it’s so hard to hear what she needs to listen to, but he is happy to spend time with her to find out. Frank’s descriptions of music are beautiful. I wanted to lay on the floor and close my eyes to listen all day. I also wished I had a record player. The other characters, Maud and Kit and Father Anthony, are the perfect people you want to read about. I admit, I got nervous when I hit the third part, but I was crying happy tears by the end. This novel doesn’t come out until January 2, 2018. I was fortunate to be given access to an advance reading copy, so thank you to Random House for the opportunity. I can’t wait to buy a copy for myself and all my friends.


More to Explore

  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
  • The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy
  • Perfect
  • A Faraway Smell of Lemon (Short Story)

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