Rachel Joyce has mastered the art of writing fiction that is slightly quirky and is populated by characters about whom readers care. This was certainly true in the two books of this author that I previously read, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, and Miss Benson’s Beetle.
The Music Shop, which takes place in the late 80s, is another story that embraces characters with whom readers will enjoy spending time. Protagonist Frank’s music store has been a haven to those who are searching for just the right record. All seems to flow smoothly until one day Ilse comes in and asks Frank to teach her about music. But, Ilse is not like Frank’s other patrons. Where will their encounters lead? How will their encounters impact them? Readers will root for both as they find out.
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title. All opinions are my own.
“The Music Shop is an unabashedly sentimental tribute to the healing power of great songs, and Joyce is hip to greatness in any key. . . . [The novel] captures the sheer, transformative joy of romance—‘a ballooning of happiness.’ Joyce’s understated humor . . . offers something like the pleasure of A. A. Milne for adults. She has a kind of sweetness that’s never saccharine, a kind of simplicity that’s never simplistic. . . . I wouldn’t change a single note. Rachel Joyce, if music be the food of love, write on!”—Ron Charles, The Washington Post
“Rachel Joyce’s charming and deceptively simple fourth novel chronicles an offbeat love story between a mystery woman and an ardent, if lonely, collector and gently explores the power of memory and music and the certainty of change. . . . Love, friendship, and especially the healing powers of music all rise together into a triumphant crescendo. . . . This lovely novel is as satisfying and enlightening as the music that suffuses its every page.”—The Boston Globe
“Magnificent . . . If you love words, if you love music, if you love love, this [novel] will be without question one of the year’s best.”—BookPage (Top Pick in Fiction)