The Music Shop: Book summary and reviews of The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce

The Music Shop

A Novel

by Rachel Joyce

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce X
The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2018
    320 pages
    Genre: Novels

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About this book

Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Joyce, a British actress and playwright, whose first novel, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, was longlisted for the Man Booker, continues to enchant and break hearts with her lovable misfits trying to survive in a modern world determined to pass them by. Irresistible. " - Library Journal

"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." - Kirkus Reviews

"Rachel Joyce has established a reputation for novels that celebrate the dignity and courage of ordinary people and the resilience of the human spirit. ... But what really elevates The Music Shop is Joyce's detailed knowledge of—and passion for—music." - The Guardian (UK)

"[A] beautiful ode to music, community and love." - The Sun

"Warmhearted, unusual and romantic, Rachel Joyce evokes the emotional power of your favorite record while underlining the importance of that forever-threatened little shop down a side street where music happens. ... Joyce's gift is in using simple language to convey profound observations on human nature." - The Times (UK)

"Joyce's charm and good-heartedness remain undiminished, as does her ability to create a highly appealing, semi-magical world ... and to make us root for her characters all the way." - The Daily Telegraph (UK)

"In [Joyce's] hands, ordinary lives are given dignity and triumph. She is a champion of humanity, and The Music Shop is no exception. It is a joyous love song that pulses with hope and benevolence and laughter." - Sarah Winman, author of When God Was a Rabbit

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Reader Reviews

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Deby

If you love...
If you enjoy music, cannot resist a magically love story, believe that life is full of kismets and serendipities, and good can be found in this world of ours, read THE MUSIC SHOP!!!!!! This life of mine took on a whole new positive meaning when I finished this jewel...I bet yours will too??

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Author Information

Rachel Joyce Author Biography

Rachel Joyce moved to writing after her twenty-year career in theatre and television, where she performed leading roles for the RSC, the Royal National Theatre, The Royal Court, and Cheek by Jowl, winning a Time Out Best Actress award, the Sony Silver, and an Olivier.

Joyce has written over twenty original afternoon plays for BBC Radio 4, and has created major adaptations for the Classic series and Woman's Hour, as well as a TV drama adaptation for BBC2. In 2007 she won the Tinniswood Award for Best Radio Play.

She currently lives in Gloucestershire with her family. Her latest novel is The Music Shop (2016).

Author Interview
Link to Rachel Joyce's Website

Other books by Rachel Joyce at BookBrowse
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry jacket
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