Comments (24)Add a Comment
Utterly delightful. Sara travels from Sweden to meet her long-time pen pal in Iowa, only to find that Amy has died before she arrives. Sara and the town save each other. Full of references to other great books!
I'm three quarters of the way through this book and it has been a struggle to get that far. The story plods along so slowly and is not engaging enough for me to read more than a few pages at a time. I hate to give up that far into a book, but it's just soooo slow and not very interesting.
Things I liked about this book: the setting in Iowa (my home state), Sara and Amy's friendship which is the catalyst in bringing her to Iowa, all the books(!) and the ways a "bookstore" transforms Broken Wheel. It was gratifying to watch the lives of the citizens of Broken Wheel improve for the most part in the story arc.
Some of the relationships in the book -- I'll refrain from specifying to avoid spoilers rang false to me and/or were not respectful to my high view of marriage.
An unexpected gem of a find. The book unfolds quietly but rather joyously to me.
It is the story of two women exchanging letters and books. Vastly different ages and locations.
Sara, the younger, decides to visit Amy after her bookstore job in Sweden is eliminated. She arrives in Broken Wheel, Iowa to find herself in time for Amy's funeral/wake. She decides to stay and soon finds herself adopted by the townspeople as their "tourist".
With no one accepting payment for food or lodging, she decides to open a bookstore with Amy's personal library as a sort of community center and the project is adopted by all in varying ways.
The bookstore struggles to find its way even as Hope's wealthier residents arrive to peruse the shelves. Something that prompt BW's residents to show themselves as more cosmopolitan and cultured.
Little by little changes occur to the residents and none more so than prim and proper Caroline.
A lovely ode to books and their readers.
What a delightful book! Love the characters, love the story, and love seeing how many books referenced were also on my bookshelves. Fun, quirky characters in this tiny little town will steal your heart. Makes a great book group discussion selection.
For book lovers and those who want a great people story. I can see this book becoming a movie with its great characters.
4 stars for the story not necessarily for the literary style of writing. I'll take a good story over a fabulous writing style most of the time. Broken Wheel is a "blink and you'll miss it" town. The author took us down main street in a very slow yet detailed manor, rich in the inner lives of its inhabitants and those it affects. Life is what you make it!
Broken Wheel isn’t a quiet little town. It isn’t a greasy burger joint off Route 66. It’s somewhere in between, a town where people have lost interest, where businesses have been boarded up for years, a town abandoned by the young folk to seek their fortune in the nearest big city, Hope IA, and a place where the older people have settled to die of polite boredom. Enter Sara, a Swedish tourist who’s come to meet her pen pal—only to be informed that she died shortly before Sara arrived.
Sara isn’t one of those volatile personalities who arrive to shake up everybody with dancing, wild outfits or outré outlooks on life. She’s a book nerd who believes that books are better than people and has the shy, retiring nature to show for it. So I liked her at once.
This book takes a while to get going. Its glacial pacing means that you’re slowly immersed in the lives of Broken Wheel’s inhabitants: the town drunk Poor George with his on-again, off-again sobriety; the neighborhood religious pillar of righteousness Caroline and the town loose woman named Grace (although her real name is Madeleine), descended from a long line of Graces who pride themselves in their wrong decisions and outlaw ways, to name a few.
These people are far more interesting than Sara is at the start and that seemed wrong to me. Surely the protagonist is the one who should capture the attention! But Sara sees herself as a minor player in her own life, even as she slowly but surely acts as a catalyst for change.
This is a novel I would recommend for people who like to take their time to settle into a book. Far from being a novel you plunge into headfirst, the book, like Broken Wheel itself, creeps up on you with a steady pull. And, yes, it does promote the adoration of books, that grand passion that can seize even the wary.
A fun and light read with real warmth! Readers will feel a real sense of place in this novel, and enjoy it's wonderful cast of characters as they follow Sarah during her stay in Broken Wheel, Iowa. A great read for book lovers and for those who enjoy reading about small town life through multiple characters.
I highly recommend listening to the audio book - the narrator is fantastic with accents and bringing the characters to life!
a light summer read with some interesting plot twists, but sometimes twisted a little too far. good overall.
Outstanding. I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. What a great story teller. I look forward to more works by this author.
A lovely weekend/vacation read if you like feel-good stories and love books and bookshops in general. At times, I felt it was a little too sweet and too predictable, but in the end, I was satisfied, and I liked it a lot. A little like The Storied Life of AJ Fikry meets 800 Grapes.
How could you not enjoy a book where the main character is a bookworm? This is a feel good love story. Simple and completely enjoyable to read. Great summer reading.
You won't be able to put this one down. Love the characters in this book. I really wanted to see what would happen to them and their "tourist" in their small Iowa town.
This book is lovely! I loved the characters, and I loved all of the references to so many books, including many I have loved myself. This book is a fairy tale, but in a good way. If you love to read, and if you have any affection at all for small towns, you will enjoy this book. It is very satisfying.
This book is delightful. It reminds us of a simpler lifestyle among down to earth caring people. The author also brings up the joys and wonders of reading and why we love books. A must read. I hope this author writes another book.
I really loved this book. As an avid reader I could appreciate Sara's love of books. I usually find translations difficult to read but this book was translated beautifully. I have suggested this book to many people I know.
Mid winter, cold and dreary, demands that you curl up with a fuzzy blanket, a hot drink and a cozy story. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is absolutely the perfect choice for these conditions. Populated with quirky characters, it is deeply insightful in regards to the human condition, humorous and filled with books, many, many books. If you need a lift in spirits, and have a love of books, you will love this charming story.
I really loved this book. It was a tiny bit slow, but I really liked Sara's character, and the book is chock full of references to classic fiction through the centuries. A really sweet read.
A sweet story if you love books.
Sometimes you just need to take a break from the thrillers, mysteries, sci-fi, fantasy, and nonfiction books to just read a cozy, feel-good book. That is exactly what my plan was when I requested Katrina Bivald's Readers Of Broken Wheel Recommended: A Novel from Netgalley.
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 book-loving pen pal. When she arrives, however, she finds Amy's funeral guests just leaving. The residents of Broken Wheel are happy to look after their bewildered visitor -- not much else to do in a small town that's almost beyond repair. They just never imagined that she'd start a bookstore. Or that books could bring them together – and change everything.
There's a book for every person ... and a person for every book.
Sara is a spinster bookworm. She has taken a chance, shaken up her normal, mundane routine and all she has ever known to travel abroad to the United States. She arrives in Broken Wheel, Iowa from Sweden in hopes of meeting her pen pal and book exchanging friend. However, when she arrives she is shocked and confused to find out that her "friend" (she has only written and never actually met her) has passed away. Residents of Broken Wheel immediately take in Sara and try to make her at-home.
This book is a mix of narrative and letters exchanged between Sara and her (now diseased) friend Amy. Bivald does a phenomenal job describing the town with its quirky, big-hearted, but opinionated residents. The character descriptions in this book are so vivid that it made me feel like I was a resident of Broken Wheel also. It's so full of charming, lovable characters.
Broken Wheel is a town on it's last leg. It is a town that is holding on to all it has known to save it from dying. The residents have their issues and quirks, but Sara feels she must somehow contribute to this town full of residents who have, for some reason, welcomed her with open arms. They don't allow her to pay for anything. Rent, groceries, etc. are all offered up free of charge. She decides to give back with what she knows best- books! She opens a bookstore of sort.
Sara is on a visa so she is not allowed to make money. She decides to open an exchange bookstore- a library for the town. She is determined to find a book that is a perfect fit for everyone, yet at the same time introduce them to a genre that is a bit out of their comfort zone. She has a huge love of books and her contagious book love spills over to the residents.
There are a few twists and turns that were surprising and made it easy to keep reading. Any good book needs a bit of mystery, adventure and a plot twist! I don't want to give too much away. If you need a relaxing, easy to follow, feel good, quick read, you need to pick this book up!
Readers of Broken Wheel Recommended is set to be released January 19, 2016. Add it to you TBR list! It's a perfectly cozy winter read! I give it 4 stars!
Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark and Netgalley for allowing me this eARC!
A bit plodding and pedantic. Slow to develop. It's hard to write about a sleepy town that is barely on the map in an exciting sort of way.
Reviewed in the Stratford Gazette, Sept. 2015