I have been waiting to tell you about a book for a month to two. It is being released on Tuesday and I think you might really like it. I received a copy of this book as an advanced reader copy (ARC). I had this book on my kindle and had no idea what it was about before I started it. What a delightful surprise!
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
Sara has traveled to Iowa from Sweden to meet her pen pal, Amy. When Amy was not there to meet Sarah in the next big town, Hope, IA, a stranger gave her a ride to Broken Wheel. From the two people she meets from Hope, IA, she gets the impression that Broken Wheel is not just the name of the town but the condition of the town also. From Amy’s letters, she had imagined Broken Wheel and the people who lived there. When she arrived in Broken Wheel, the town did not seem to have the glow that it had in Amy’s writing. Sara’s ride drops her in the middle of the what seems to be the near empty downtown of Broken Wheel. There is a diner that is open and Sara goes in to find out where Amy lives so she can go to her house.
Sara had the definite feeling that Grace-who- wasn’t –to- be –called- Grace was enjoying the moment, drawing it out. Grace nodded three times to herself, took a deep drag of her cigarette, and let the smoke curl slowly upward from one corner of her mouth. She leaned over the counter.
“Amy’s dead,” she said.
Sara had arrived on the day of Amy’s funeral. Sara was then given a ride to Amy’s house where the was a post funeral gathering. The people there insisted that she stay at Amy’s house during the two months she was supposed to visit Amy. She starts to meet the real people that Amy had talked about in her letters. She finds some people welcome her and some are not that happy that she is there.
Over the time she is visiting, she makes friends and comes to adjust to and then love the town. She is not allowed to work because of her visa but after some time, she decides to open a free book store with all the books that Amy had left behind. Sara has a talent for finding a book that is a match for each person and she gets the town reading. The townspeople are revitalized through her presence and stop feeling like the town has been left behind.
This is one of those books that will surprise you. The story moves along and the characters become more real and understandable as you read through the book. Sara, while the lead character, is an unlikely catalyst of change for the town but her demeanor has quite an affect. Interspersed through the book are the letters that Amy sent to Sara about the books and the people in the town.
Reading this book was a complete delight. It was so much better than I expected – partially because I didn’t know what to expect. So many of the ARC books I get are fine but they are not great literature or even maybe literature. This is a well written, enjoyable story. For those of you with reading groups, there is a reading group guide at the end of the book.
Thanks for reading!