The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend, by Katarina Bivald

Broken Wheel

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

By Katarina Bivald

Sourcebooks Landmark, 2016

400 pages

Sara Lindquist, a Swedish woman in her late 20s, travels to Broken Wheel, Iowa for a vacation and to visit Amy Harris. The two women began a correspondence after Sara bought a book from Amy on a secondhand book online marketplace. When Sara loses her job at her local bookstore, Amy invites her to visit. Sara’s stay in Iowa is transformative, but not in the way she expected…

Broken Wheel is a town of 637 people and during her few months there, Sara becomes part of the community.  There are some nice plot twists in the book that I don’t want to reveal, but the book begins as a story of Sara and Amy’s friendship, including Amy’s letters to Sara before the trip, but becomes a story about an ensemble of characters from Broken Wheel, ranging from George, a man who gives Sara rides around town, to Tom, Amy’s nephew and an array of shop and restaurant owners.

And while the book is about a woman’s journey to a new land, it is also about reading. Books are central to the story. Bivald explores the role of books in our lives and the extent to which books imitate life or life imitates books. As an avid reader, I much enjoyed that theme, and quickly devoured this book, which is a light fun read with a little romance, some small-town enterprise and a lot of reference to books. If you enjoyed other books about readers, this book is for you. I found the story ended a little more abruptly than I wanted it to, but that aside, this was an enjoyable read.

And because this book is about reading, and features a small town bookstore, the publisher is hosting a sweepstakes contest for readers to vote for their favorite bookstore to win a grant. If you have a local bookstore you love, check out the contest!

Bivald is Swedish and lives in Alta, Sweden. She was interviewed recently about her book and views on reading.

I received an e-book copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend, by Katarina Bivald

  1. Louise Crawford.

    must read for someone who has lived in Iowa. Also, I voted for Prairie Lights as the ‘best” bookstore and my favorite. Louise

  2. It is always fun to read about Iowa in a book!

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