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Book of the Week

Book of the Week: The Music Shop

July 19, 2017

Book of the Week: The Music Shop

From the author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry comes her new novel, a bittersweet story about love and the power of music.

“It was the way she had gazed up at him. Eyes closed and then bing. A look of such radiance and intensity he could not see how he would ever get away from it.”

Frank’s relationship with his mother was always a bit difficult, but she certainly instilled in him a love of music from a very young age. After she died, he bought the music shop so he could share that love of music with the world. Now it’s 1988 and Frank is 40 years old, and he refuses to stock CDs despite their growing popularity because he prefers the warmer sound of vinyl.

The parade of shops he works in is struggling financially, and a development company is offering to buy out the various businesses, including Father Anthony’s religious gift shop, Maud’s tattoo parlour, and Frank’s own music shop. But Frank is determined to hang on to his business, because he has a rare talent that he feels a need to share: he can tell exactly what music his customers need to hear, no matter the genre.

Frank has never allowed himself to get close to anyone or fall in love, but one day, a woman in a green coat faints outside his shop and from that day he finds himself drawn to her. Her name Ilse, and she’s engaged, so there’s no way he would stand a chance with her... is there?

LISTEN WHILE YOU READ! The Music Shop is BBC Radio 4's BOOK AT BEDTIME. And you can follow these links for specially collated The Music Shop playlists:

The Music Shop playlist:

Father Anthony:




  • The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce
    The Music Shop

    1988. Frank owns a music shop. It is jam-packed with records of every speed, size and genre. Classical, jazz, punk - as long as it's vinyl he sells it. Day after day Frank finds his customers the music they need. Then into his life walks Ilse Brauchmann. Ilse asks Frank to teach her about music...

    View Book

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