It's 1988, and the buildings on Unity Street have seen better days. Some of the shopkeepers are giving up, leaving their dreams behind with the graffiti and crumbling storefronts. Frank is one of the small band of business owners determined to keep going, in spite of buyout offers from developers and his empty bank account. For Frank, music is life. Frank owns an independent music shop, selling vinyl records with an uncanny ability to find the one song that each person needs when they step through the door. But the vinyl format is on its way out, and Frank absolutely refuses to sell CDs. When an enigmatic woman faints on the sidewalk in front of the shop one day, Frank feels an instant connection to her. There's something unusual about the way she always wears gloves and how she instantly professes to know nothing about music. As the people of Unity Street become increasingly curious about this woman, even Frank is drawn out of his safe, solitary existence. As Frank's connection to the woman grows stronger, he's forced to face memories long buried - including why music has for many years been his only love.
This charming novel about the healing powers of music might provoke you to dig out your own vinyl records. Author Rachel Joyce has created a ragtag cast of quirky characters that readers will want to cheer for. The offbeat humor and tone of this heartwarming story might appeal to fans of book group favorites such as A Man Called Ove or to those who enjoyed the musical name-dropping of Nick Hornby's High Fidelity.
Reviewed by cs, 02/18. Other reviews by cs.