When I finished reading Rachel Joyce’s The Music Shop on Good Friday, I wanted to hear Handel’s Messiah. With the same quirky style as The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Rachel Joyce delivers a love story with hidden notes of redemption and a nod to the healing power of music.
Spanning twenty years, the story revolves around Frank, who owns a music shop in England which stocks only vinyl records, and Ilse, a concert violinist who can no longer play. In his review for The Washington Post, Ron Charles says:
“If you’ve read Joyce’s best-selling debut novel, “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry,”you already know her irresistible tone. There’s suffering here, too, and a searching journey, but this is a lighter book than “Harold Fry.” It’s a story that captures the sheer, transformative joy of romance — “a ballooning of happiness.” Joyce’s understated humor around these odd folks 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. Yes, the ending is wildly improbable and hilariously predictable, but I wouldn’t change a single note.”
I made notes for listening – click here to see my playlists.
Related Review: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry