Place: Broken Wheel, Iowa
People: Sara Lindqvist, Swedish, pen pal to Amy. Tom Harris, Amy’s nephew. Grace, owner of the local diner/greasy spoon. George, recovering alcoholic. Caroline, small town spinster with a reputation for getting things done.
Plot: Sara and Amy are unlikely friends; pen pals who share books, recommendations, and letters, all while half a world away. When Amy invites Sara to come visit her in her small town of Broken Wheel, Iowa, Sara accepts, booking her trip to stay with Amy for a few months. Unfortunately, nothing is as Sara expected. Sara arrives in Broken Wheel on the day of Amy’s funeral, and soon finds herself staying in Amy’s house alone. Sara tries to make the best of a strange situation, as do the townspeople of Broken Wheel. Wanting to give something back to the people who have been so kind to her, Sara opens a storefront book shop in the dusty main street downtown, stocking the shelves with Amy’s vast collection of books. Unlikely as it all seems, the town falls in love with Sara – and Sara with the town.
Pacing: Steady, yet leisurely.
Perspective: This book is delightful. A love letter to readers – a book for those who love to surround themselves with books. The characters are quirky in a happy, memorable way and, thought the plot seems rather far-fetched and a little odd at times, the story itself is charming and endearing. This isn’t a book to be rushed through – it’s a book to savor and enjoy. And it’s a story that you’ll remember fondly after you’ve read the final scene.
About the Book
Once you let a book into your life, the most unexpected things can happen…
Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her pen pal, Amy. When she arrives, however, she finds that Amy’s funeral has just ended. Luckily, the townspeople are happy to look after their bewildered tourist—even if they don’t understand her peculiar need for books. Marooned in a farm town that’s almost beyond repair, Sara starts a bookstore in honor of her friend’s memory.
All she wants is to share the books she loves with the citizens of Broken Wheel and to convince them that reading is one of the great joys of life. But she makes some unconventional choices that could force a lot of secrets into the open and change things for everyone in town. Reminiscent of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, this is a warm, witty book about friendship, stories, and love.
About the Author
Katarina Bivald grew up working part-time in a bookshop. Today she lives outside of Stockholm, Sweden, with her sister and as many bookshelves she can get by her. She’s currently trying to persuade her sister that having a shelf for winter jackets and shoes is completely unnecessary. There should be enough space for a book shelf or two instead. Limited success so far. Apparently, her sister is also stubbornly refusing to even discuss using the bath room to store books.
Katarina Bivald sometimes claims that she still hasn’t decided whether she prefer books or people but, as we all know, people are a non-starter. Even if you do like them, they’re better in books. Only possible problem: reading a great book and having no one to recommend it to.
Läsarna i Broken Wheel rekommenderar/The Readers in Broken Wheel Recommend is her first novel.