While feeling down I find it imperative to read books with happy endings. Our lead character in The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend Sara, believes the same. I liked her from the start.
This book is predictable, and some may even call it cliché. I prefer to think that it knows exactly which tropes and expectations we the reader bring to the table and lays them out for us in a pleasingly familiar way. This is my way of saying that this book probably isn’t for you if you like daring creative works of literature. This is a love letter to books like itself, and the characters that we love along the way.
The main character, Sara, travels from Sweden to meet her pen pal, Amy, in a SMALL town, Broken Wheel, in Iowa. If you are unfamiliar with U.S. Geography, it’s in the middle-ish.
Anyway, Sara arrives in town in time for Amy’s funeral. Things are not going to plan and the already nervous Sara is pretty shaken and disappointed. The townspeople, in shades of actions to come, convince her to stay and she grows to love Broken Wheel and its way of life and pace, so different form the life she left. While the story starts off slowly (one of our main characters is dead, and we get to know her through her letters to Sara after all) the setting up of a new bookstore, a well-built love interest, some wacky small town characters (think Stars Hollow or Blue Bell) really had me swooning for the middle of this book. However, the end was full of… hijinks. Serious hijinks.
I decided to pick this one up based on NTE’s excellent review from earlier in the year, and like she said “Sara is a true bibliophile. Like calls to like – it’s how Sara and Amy initially bonded, over books – and it’s how the author hooked this book-loving reader/reviewer”. I really liked this one, but it isn’t the same as the love I feel for Tall Pine Polka by Lorna Landvik, and all the cozy feelings I get whenever I reread it. A solid four-star book for me.