Warm Up With a Vintage Number

Looking for a book that wants to make you sing and dance? Pick up this oldie from “way back” in 2017.

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce begins in 1988 at a record store in a small English village, on Unity Street, dead-end strip of struggling shops, whose buildings have been in disrepair for decades.

Frank, forty and single, is the owner of the music shop, which sells only vinyl records (no CDs!). Frank knows absolutely everything about music and always manages to find the right album for the right person at the right time. Someone might come into his shop wanting Duran Duran and walk out with Mozart instead if Frank has a sense that a certain song or type of music will cure them of their blues.

If only Frank could make that kind of magic for himself. Unfortunately, Frank isn’t great at personal relationships as a result of an unorthodox upbringing. He is a poor communicator and finds it hard to stand his ground, even when a real estate developer starts to pressure Frank and his fellow shop owners to sell.

Everything changes on the day that Ilse Brauchmann, an attractive young woman wearing a pea-green coat, peers into Frank’s store window and immediately faints outside of his shop. Will Ilse, who mysteriously always wears gloves, be able to chip away at Frank’s tough exterior and help him come to terms with his past?

As with all of Rachel Joyce novels, this book will make you cry a little and laugh a lot. Pick up The Music Shop if you are looking for a satisfying, feel-good read with a sweet romance and a charming cast of supporting characters. Like that perfect song, it might just heal your soul.

-Carol

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