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A story about the triumph of a quiet hero. And how music can bring us back to life. The exquisite and perfectly-pitched new novel from the bestselling author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Perfect and The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy.

From the author of the world-wide bestseller, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, a new novel about learning how to listen and how to feel; and about second chances and choosing to be brave despite the odds. Because in the end, music can save us all ...

1988. Frank owns a music shop. It is jam-packed with records of every speed, size and genre. Classical, jazz, punk – as long as it’s vinyl he sells it. Day after day Frank finds his customers the music they need.

Then into his life walks Ilse Brauchmann.

Ilse asks Frank to teach her about music. His instinct is to turn and run. And yet he is drawn to this strangely still, mysterious woman with her pea-green coat and her eyes as black as vinyl. But Ilse is not what she seems. And Frank has old wounds that threaten to re-open and a past he will never leave behind ...

LISTEN WHILE YOU READ! Follow the following links for specially collated The Music Shop playlists:
The Music Shop playlist: bit.ly/TheMusicShopPlaylist
Father Anthony: bit.ly/FatherAnthonyPlaylist
Kit: bit.ly/KitsPlaylist
Maud: bit.ly/MaudsPlaylist
Hector: bit.ly/HectorsPlaylist


Rachel Joyce tells wonderful stories. In her hands, ordinary lives are given dignity and triumph. She is a champion of humanity, and The Music Shop is no exception. It is a joyous love song that pulses with hope and benevolence and laughter.

Sarah Winman, author of When God Was a Rabbit and Tin Man

A beautiful novel, a tonic for the soul and a complete joy to read.

Joanna Canon, author of The Trouble with Goats and Sheep

The Music Shop is wonderful - a tender and moving love story which captures brilliantly the healing, redemptive power of music and its ability to console, empower and reassure. I adored it.

Laura Barnett, author of The Versions of Us

Her speciality is writing with empathy on the quirkier aspects of life...[The Music Shop] has the feel of a summer hit: warm-hearted, unusual and romantic, with a sense of hope pervading all manner of misfortunes... Joyce's gift is in using simple language to convey profound observations on human nature.

Will Hodgkinson, The Times

Rachel Joyce hits all the right notes with her love letter to vinyl… This is the most beautiful ode to music, community and love, that overflows with charm and warmth.

Jane Craddock, The Sun

[Joyce] writes with unquestionable charm and and with her considerable heart never far from her sleeve. Joyce's charm and good-heartedness remain undiminished, as does her ability to create a highly appealing, semi-magical world... and to make us root for her characters all the way.

James Walton, The Daily Telegraph

The Music Shop tells us that our drum beats may well be different, but we can still dance to a harmonious and funky rhythm. Rachel Joyce is a genius with words and full of soul. This is another uplifting and utterly heart-enlarging novel.

Bel Mooney

Frank in The Music Shop has taken my love of vinyl to a much higher level. He introduced me to music I've never heard before and has given me a new way of listening to all music. Rachel paints her odd ball bunch of characters with a delicate deftness of touch. You cannot help but love them all.

Johnnie Walker, MBE

Nobody writes with quite that mixture of clear eyed humanity and downright authorial mischief that Rachel Joyce brings to The Music Shop

Patrick Gale, twitter

BEST SUMMER READS: I loved this moving story about the healing power of music.


Rachel Joyce deploys all her trademark charm… on a journey of redemption, of confronting the demons from the past and of healing.


A tender, funny compelling and hugely resonant story

Radio Times

Such a touching and gently didactic story - melts your heart.

Veronica Henry, twitter

A happy book

Jane Garvey, BBC Radio4 Woman's Hour

What joy. A big-hearted, beguiling story full of charm, gentleness and humour and peopled with glorious characters. A love song to beauty on the margins, friendship, and the intrinsic power of music.

Keggie Carew, author of DADLAND

I especially adored the music bits; fascinating snippets about everyone from Liszt to Led Zep.

Wendy Holden, Daily Mail

An uplifting read, full of humour and authentic characters.

Press Association

This nostalgia hit will lift your spirits.

Closer Magazine

Rachel Joyce has established a reputation for novels that celebrate the dignity and courage of ordinary people and the resilience of the human spirit.


A tender novel about heartache and redemption, full of humour and perceptive observations,

Daily Express

Delicately observed... this one both charms and stings... A romance about a lonely muso [and] a love letter to the power of vinyl.


Hits all the right notes ... There are resonances of Harold Fry’s walk across Britain, though here redemption comes in more nuanced guises. But what really elevates The Music Shop is Joyce’s detailed knowledge of – and passion for – music. A love story that's as much about the silences between words as what is said - the spaces between people that can be filled with mystery, confusion and misunderstanding as well as hope.


Book of the day

The Independent

A sensitive, sweetly melancholic story of music, connection and community

S Magazine

BOOK OF THE WEEK: An uplifting read…full of humour and authentic characters

Midweek Extra

Breezily written, heart-warming and unashamedly sentimental… [a] modern fairy tale

Mail on Sunday

Rachel Joyce returns to some of the themes in her bestselling debut The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: loss, the past and the bonds that can be forged with strangers. This time the pilgrimage is through music.

Press Association

A quirky, romantic fairy tale perfect for summer.

You Magazine

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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback


    July 17, 2017


    336 pages

    RRP $32.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    July 13, 2017

    Transworld Digital

    336 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Rachel Joyce

The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry
A Snow Garden and Other Stories
The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy
Faraway Smell of Lemon
In the Kingdom of Men


The Handmaid's Tale
To Kill A Mockingbird
Echo Burning
A Gentleman in Moscow
Best Laid Plans
Fool Me Once
The Golden House
The Girl on the Train
The Heart's Invisible Furies
Swing Time
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
The Girls
Cold Blood
Fifty Shades Darker
The Trip of a Lifetime
The Light Between Oceans
Ready Player One