This month’s Star English Library choice is a delightful love story based around a music shop in the 1980s. The protagonist, Frank, is a die-hard vinyl lover who refuses to get with the times and update his vast collection to CD. For Frank, music is more than just a profession, he is a type of musical therapist, helping his customers through difficult periods in their lives with a dose of Aretha Franklin or Beethoven. So when a property development company threatens to bulldoze the whole of Unity Street to make way for new housing, Frank and his fellow shopkeepers band together to try to stop them. Add to this a love interest, in the guise of Ilse Brauchmann, a mysterious German lady in a green coat and you’ve got an irresistible romantic comedy.
The plot is reminiscent of Joyce’s other three books which all celebrate the bravery of ordinary people and their powers of endurance when tough times come along. Although I did not enjoy this as much as her first novel, The Unliklely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, The Music Shop is still a great easy choice to curl up with at night.