Tag Archives: Friendship

Review: The Music Shop

The Music Shop

The Music Shop
By Rachel Joyce
Random House, 9780812996685, January 2018, 320pp.

The Short of It:

If you like sweet, quirky characters and have an appreciation for music, you’ll love this story.

The Rest of It:

Frank owns a music shop and stocks only vinyl, which causes him a great deal of trouble when the vendors refuse to keep him stocked unless he agrees to also carry CDs. But Frank is not just a record seller, he knows exactly what you need to hear and when you need to hear it. His music “prescriptions” have made him a well-loved member of the community but his inability to move with the times threatens to ruin everything he has. One day, a strange, beautiful woman faints right outside his shop and his safe, predictable life is turned upside down.

I really enjoyed The Music Shop. It has a fabulous cast of characters. Do you remember the movie Notting Hill? Well, this story has a very similar group of characters who are really more of a family to Frank that just fellow business owners. They are quirky and lovable and well-meaning. Delightful, really.

As Frank learns more about Ilse, the woman who faints outside his shop, we also learn about Frank’s relationship with his mother and how he came to love music so much. As I was reading this story I compiled a Spotify playlist of all the songs mentioned, only to find out that the publisher already did it for me!

This story is sweet and funny and a real feel-good book. If you enjoyed her other book, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, you will not be disappointed with this one.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher via Library Thing.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

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Review: Little Fires Everywhere

Little Fires Everywhere

Little Fires Everywhere
By Celeste Ng
Penguin Press, Hardcover, 9780735224292, September 12, 2017, 352pp.

The Short of It:

The essence of motherhood can be shown in so many ways, a photograph of a mother holding a child, a mother gazing through a window at a child who is no longer hers, a mother’s contempt for her own daughter. All these things come together in this beautifully told story.

The Rest of It:

The story opens with Izzy burning down her house. From the moment of conception, Mrs. Richardson knew that this child would be different from her other children and as Izzy grows into a young woman, Mrs. Richardson wonders if she will ever have a relationship with her that isn’t wrought with frustration and worry.

Izzy doesn’t get along with anyone in her family but does get along with Mia and her daughter, Pearl. Mia and Pearl are renters of a little apartment owned by Izzy’s family. Although they are renters, Pearl is more a part of the family than Izzy is, always hanging out at the main house with the other kids. Mia, a photographer by trade, makes ends meet by taking odd jobs and eating leftover takeout but she has a way with Izzy and even Izzy is surprised by this.

There are many stories within this novel as each character finds his or her way but ultimately, it’s a story about motherhood and what it means to be a family. As these characters interact with each other and their story lines begin to cross, secrets are revealed and they are forced to look closely at themselves in the mirror. We find out why Izzy burns the house down and somehow we can relate.

I really loved this beautifully written novel and it will most definitely be on my list of faves at the end of the year. Everything came together so beautifully. Not perfectly tied-up with a bow but realistically and with hope. I plowed through those final pages and then read the last page over and over again.

Have you read it? If not, I highly recommend it.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.