Title: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
Author: Katarina Bivald
Genre: Fiction – Chick Lit
Format: ARC from the publisher Sourcebooks through NetGalley
My rating: 3.5/5
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“Warning: once you let books into your life, the most unexpected things can happen…
This is a book about books. All sorts of books, from Little Women and Harry Potter to Jodi Picoult and Jane Austen, from to Stieg Larsson to Joyce Carol Oates to Proust. It’s about the joy and pleasure of books, about learning from and escaping into them, and possibly even hiding behind them. It’s about whether or not books are better than real life.
It’s also a book about a Swedish girl called Sara, her elderly American penfriend Amy and what happens when you land a very different kind of bookshop in the middle of a town so broken it’s almost beyond repair.
Or is it?
The Readers of Broken Wheel has touches of 84 Charing Cross Road, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Chocolat, but adds an off-beat originality and intelligence all its own. “
The real deal when it comes to small town America, or so I believe in my limited experience! I’ve always wondered what it would be like to live in a town, kind of like Broken Wheel – where everyone knows everyone and you have everything you need in the town square. All the residents and shops are within walking distance and most residents will treat visitors as their own personal guests! Bivald provides us with lovable, admirable, and relate-able characters who draw us in to small town drama. We find a slew of types of people in Broken Wheel – the recovering alcoholic, the strong-Christian woman, the male couple, the town gossip, and countless others! We see opinions and conversations from different angles and perspectives that are refreshing.
There is a beauty about two people like Sara and Amy who have such a strong connection over books miles away (one in Sweden and one in Iowa). It makes me believe in the power of books and how they bring people together – which is what we see when Sara decides to open the bookshop in Broken Wheel selling Amy’s stockpile of books. The way the whole town comes together through numerous challenges adds to that influence within a small town and what hundreds of magical stories can do for a community.
At times, there are predictable moments but even so, Bivald puts a charming, unique spin on them as to put her own personality and writing style into the story – creating laughable and endearing scenes for us readers. As I read through the story, several book references were made – some I caught and others I added to my TBR pile, so be prepared! That is what is great about a book about books, more inspiration for our minds to continue learning and living among fictional characters and worlds.
Read The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend if you like the themes of:
- Small-town living
- Books about books
- Multiple story-lines