When bullies chase Jonah Winfield to the front step of Avakian Music, owner Davoud Avakian intervenes and offers Jonah sanctuary among the lush chords of the Music Box’s Steinway Grand. Jonah’s sexuality isn’t a problem for Avakian, but it’s an issue the kids at school won’t allow Jonah to forget—whether he’s ready to deal with it or not. When the bullying escalates to violence, Jonah's favorite music teacher, Mr. Gaston, wants to take the bullies to the principal.
Speaking up for his favorite student may bring Paul Gaston’s own sexuality up for debate, and with budget cuts looming, he’s already on shaky ground. Forcing Jonah to do anything will only make matters worse. Getting Jonah’s cooperation requires earning his trust and helping to preserve the sanctuary of the Music Box. But the generations old music store handed down to Davoud is on the verge of bankruptcy. If Paul and Davoud can’t figure out how to turn the business around, everyone will feel the loss.
Wow, Not in a million years could I have anticipated the path this John C Houser book took. Music Box is amazing.
It's messy, it's ugly, and it's full of some twists that are heart-wrenching. This tale addresses some extremely relevant and important issues. We see absentee parenting, as it affects both the children and the other spouse. Bullying and the extreme effects that it results in is well explored. The bullying here is brutal and ugly. And family.
Family does not need to be related by blood. Family is made up of you loves you, cares for you, and will do anything for you. The family issues are just awful. I wanted to yell at Jonah's mother often. She's a vile woman, incapable of showing love.
Davoud and Paul are brought together due to Jonah's bullying. Their romance is developed, but it's definitely not the main focus of this story.
All in all, Music Box is a phenomenal story, of which I am thrilled to have discovered. I definitely recommend it when you're in the mood for something deep, and not necessarily romantic.