To add to your reading experience, there’s a Spotify playlist for this book. It’s really only a playlist of songs mentioned in the book, though. I was hoping for songs that inspired the author or songs the author associated with each character, etc. I suppose I shouldn’t be criticizing some free book reading enhancement, but it feels like a half-assed effort.
The book is set in the late 80’s, as CDs are becoming the performed platform for music. Frank owns a music shop on the dead end of a little avenue of eclectic neighbors and shopkeepers. Frank’s X-Men superpower is the ability to tell what song a person needs as soon as they walk in the door. Until one day, a woman in a green coat comes in and Frank can’t read her. Soon Frank is teaching her music and falling in love. Unfortunately, as things are looking up for Frank’s personal life, his business and the rest of those on the street are in jeopardy.
Probably my favorite aspect of the book was the subversion of the manic pixie dream girl trope. Ilse as seen as this mysterious figure, appearing from nowhere, disappearing without her purse. When she does reappear in the shop, she has a miraculous ability to fix broken things in the shop. When Frank alludes to her being supernatural, she calls him out on how dumb that sounds – she has much smaller hands than Frank so she can fix the pencil sharpener that he was having trouble with. If anything, Frank is the one with the supernatural power to determine someone’s musical needs.
All told, it’s a lovely book. I have a hard time writing reviews for the lovely ones. It’s not profound, it’s probably not going to change you life. But I can almost guarantee the book will put a smile on your face for at least a day.