The Music Shop

The Music Shop

by Rachel Joyce

Overview: 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.

Deanna Boe (09/03/18) In THE MUSIC SHOP, Joyce has created a quirky shop found on an off street in London. There are several stores that seemed to have been there forever i.e. a bakery, a meat market, a retired priest who sold religious items, a tattoo artist, an undertake’s operation and several that are simply empty. Across the street there are a mixture of homes and apartments with people who have lived there for what seems like forever. It is to this street that a quiet man, Frank, stumbles upon one of the empty stores and knows immediately it is what he has been searching desperately to find to open his music shop. Now this isn’t just any music shop – it is a shop that will sell only vinyl records. There will be no CD’s or tapes – just vinyl! Frank cleans out this store, which appears to have been empty forever, and fills it with his vinyl records. It attracts all sorts of people: lonely, those who have problems sleeping, or simply those who don’t have anywhere else to go. They are drawn to Frank because he has a mysterious way of knowing just exactly what record they need even though they have come in to find something entirely different. What an unusual and wonderful talent this is. Along comes a mysterious lady by the name of Ilse. She asks Frank to teach her music and only under duress does he finally succumb to her request. Just what is Ilse’s background? Unfortunately a development company is slowly buying up shops on this street with a plan to make something fantastic. Will this very unique street go by the wayside? Will this amazing music shop give way to what some feel is progress? Just what happens to Frank and Ilse? I am not going to tell you since it will spoil the ending; it really isn’t quite what you will expect.
Rating: ****

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