What a delightful and enjoyable read "The Music Shop" by Rachel Joyce is!
It doesn't demand constant attention or keep you awake at night, it's just a lovely nostalgic story that makes you feel so happy when reading it, it's almost like you're floating through the pages (though the ending did have me in emotional goosebumps).
"The Music Shop" is a very character driven novel. Set in 1988 the story is about Frank who owns a music shop selling only vinyl records - don't mention Cd's!! He knows everything about music and always finds the right album the customers need. One day a mysterious woman walks into his life - German Ilse Brauchmann - and from then on everything in his world changes.
There's some really wonderful characters in this fabulous story from the main protagonist Frank (everyone needs a Frank in their life) to Maud a tattooist who says so little but expresses so much. I loved the developing relationship between Frank and Ilse and with Kit the endearing naive shop assistant added into the mix, things don't always go to plan.
There's such a lovely community feel to Unity Street where the shop is located, with its multicultural residents and shop keepers living their simple and uncomplicated lives, where every event or change in routine is picked over and analysed in such a humorous and light hearted way. Customers would go into Frank's shop lost and come out found, having discovered the right music for their troubles and feeling healed.
I really enjoyed reading this book, there's nothing to not like about it - without a doubt it's made me feel differently about music and I will certainly be listening to it in a completely new way from now on.
Rachel Joyce is a very talented and established author and I look forward to reading more books by her.