This is a really lovely book. The main character, Frank is a middle aged man who had an unconventional upbringing by his bohemian but mentally ill single mother who instilled in him a passionate love for music – telling him tales that brought to life pieces of music from classical to jazz, pop, rock etc… He runs a record shop in a small London street with a tight knit community of small business owners who are each others family and support group. Frank has an uncanny knack for knowing what music each person needs to listen to to help them get through whatever troubles they are experiencing and he uses this skill with compassion and largesse.
One day a German woman faints outside Frank’s shop, and he brings her in and helps her. This meeting starts what should be a beautiful relationship, but due to secrets and miscommunications it is beset with problems.
I don’t usually like soppy feel good books, but I loved this. The characters are flawed and funny and relatable and their relationships are inspiring and frustrating and heartwarming. I also loved the passion Frank has for music and some of his descriptions of pieces of music and the stories behind them made me want to instantly listen to them on Spotify!
I recommended this book to my book group friends, although I accidentally told them it was called The Record Shop instead of The Music shop, which I can’t help thinking should have been it’s title, since Frank was so religious about Vinyl being the only acceptable format for music!