As you know, I love to read and review books and other things (movies, plays…). Although I read and watch things in very different genres (and I have a penchant for the unclassifiable, I must admit, both in my work and in that of others), and I love horror, and don’t flinch at gore or hard scenes or topics, sometimes one just fancies something gentle, that will leave us with a smile on our face and our heart, and a sigh of contentment, rather than making our blood pressure go up and leave us thinking about how awful the world can be.
I’m lucky enough, through Net Galley, to catch glimpses of books before they go on sale to the general public, and that was the case with this book, that will be officially published on the 18th of June but is available for pre-order.
First, the blurb:
The readers of the Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
Sara is 28 and has never been outside Sweden – except in the (many) books she reads. When her elderly penfriend Amy invites her to come and visit her in Broken Wheel, Iowa, Sara decides it’s time. But when she arrives, there’s a twist waiting for her – Amy has died. Finding herself utterly alone in a dead woman’s house in the middle of nowhere was not the holiday Sara had in mind.
But Sara discovers she is not exactly alone. For here in this town so broken it’s almost beyond repair are all the people she’s come to know through Amy’s letters: poor George, fierce Grace, buttoned-up Caroline and Amy’s guarded nephew Tom.
Sara quickly realises that Broken Wheel is in desperate need of some adventure, a dose of self-help and perhaps a little romance, too. In short, this is a town in need of a bookshop.
Here, my review:
A dream of a book for all book lovers
Thanks to the publisher and to Net Galley for providing me with an advance copy of this book that was a bestseller in its original Swedish.
What a wonderful book! If like me, you love books, you find time spent reading always rewarding, and would love to live in a library or a bookshop, this is your book.
Sara, the protagonist, who has always found company, consolation, friendship and support in books, takes a leap of faith and when the bookshop where she works closes down, she accepts the invitation of her pen-pal and fellow book lover, Amy. She goes to spend two month with Amy in Broken Wheel, Iowa. Unfortunately, things don’t go according to plan, but when she is adopted by the whole village, she comes up with a scheme to repay them in kind, by sharing the magic and power of books.
The transformation of Sara and the town are what drives the narrative, and the assorted characters (some more recognisable than others) become humanised by their contact with Sara and her books. So much so that they can’t let her go and will do anything to keep her with them.
I enjoyed Amy’s epistles that help us imagine the missing character, the sad characters (like George and John), the riotous ones (Andy, Grace), wonderful Caroline, the love interest… Well, everybody.
This isn’t a book of mysteries and intrigues. There are no major surprises and the plot meanders along gently inviting us to share in the characters’ adventures, where nothing drastic or earth shattering happens, just life as usual.
I loved the bookshop, and Sara’s classification system, and I’d like to work there and move to Broken Wheel. Because a book about books can’t be wrong.
A delightful read.
Ah, let’s not forget the links:
Paperback: $ 13.05 http://www.amazon.com/Readers-Broken-Wheel-Recommend/dp/070118907X/
Hardback: $12. 92 http://www.amazon.com/The-Readers-Broken-Wheel-Recommend/dp/0701189061/
Through Amazon Prime I have access to movies, TV series, etc, directly streamed to the TV (if you have it connected to the internet, that is) or to the Kindle or wherever. And I found a movie from 2010 I hadn’t seen, by Rob Reiner, called Flipped that had a similar effect. A gentle movie, good for family viewers, set in the late 1950s. I haven’t read the original book, but now I’m quite curious about it. The critics didn’t seem to like it very much, although viewers were kinder. OK, it’s no Stand By Me, not many movies are, but it is a kind movie, for all the family, mostly about children, their families, and I particularly enjoyed watching John Mahoney (from Frasier fame) portrayal as the grandad, and thought Anthony Edwards played with considerable restraint a truly unsympathetic character.
Just in case you feel curious, here is the link to IMDB:
Two eighth-graders start to have feelings for each other despite being total opposites. Based on the novel “Flipped” by Wendelin Van Draanen.
Thank you all for reading, thanks to Net Galley and the publishers for the advance copy of The readers of Broken Wheel Recommend, and if you’ve enjoyed it, like, share, comment and CLICK!