Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

Man, it takes me ages to get through a book these days. I can't believe how long it took me to read this one. It was our book club selection for our meeting in the middle of October. I finished it today. Now I really need to get moving on November's book.

I loved the idea of this book. A book about books and the people who love them. It seems right up my alley. Maybe it was the fact that it was translated from its original Swedish, but it just didn't have the magic I was expecting.

The book tells the story of Sara, a young Swedish woman who comes to visit a Amy, literary pen pal in Broken Wheel, Iowa. The two women had been corresponding about books for a while and decided to meet. Amy was an elderly woman and by the time Sara arrives in Broken Wheel, Amy has passed away. So Sara is left living in Amy's house, and making her way in this small town on her own. She decides to use Amy's extensive book collection to start a book shop, something the town has been lacking prior to her arrival.

Broken Wheel is full of unique characters, many of whom Sara has read about in Amy's letters. Now she gets to know them in real life and she falls in love with the town. However, I feel this was one of the downfalls of the book. There were too many characters and it was hard to keep them all straight. I think a couple of side plots could have been done away with to make the book flow a bit better.

I do like the literary references throughout the book, and one of my favourite parts is when one of the townspeople starts referring to Idgie from Fried Green Tomatoes" as her friend. There are many references to Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, so that's automatically a plus in my mind!

It's a light, fun read, but wasn't as great as I was hoping.

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