The Internationally acclaimed Best-seller, written by Katarina Bivald. Never being outside Sweden before was not the only challenge for 28 year old Sara. Her only form of traveling was through the many books she read. Forming a relationship with pen pal, Amy, an elderly woman from Broken Wheel, Iowa, seemed to be the first chance to change her traveling history. Arriving at Broken Wheel proves to be filled with unexpected surprises, strange characters and a very broken town. She builds relationships with the townspeople and realizes that Amy knew what she was doing when she encouraged Sara to come to Broken Wheel for a visit. This book is full of self-help and romance and lots of humor, because Sara is going to open Broken Wheel’s first bookshop!
Once again, I decided to go outside my comfort zone and read this book. What attracted me to it, was the cover! It is bright and cheerful and shows a picture of a young lady sitting on a chair surrounded by books. Her nose is buried in a book.
When I opened the book and started the story, the author immediately introduced me to the Protagonist, Sara, who was prim and proper and reserved. She also seemed vulnerable to me with the way she waited for someone to pick her up and trusting she forced herself to be when Amy doesn’t arrive. When she learns about Amy, the way she reacts to how the town gobbles her up bringing her into their fold, is charming, and reminds me of times when things were not so busy and crazy in our world. Sara discovers the town is in sad shape and she’s determined to change this.
As the author moves me through time by referring to Amy’s letters to Sara and Sara’s to Amy’s, I begin to learn about the characters in town, and how life there used to be before big changes caused the town to become what it is today–broken. I learned a bit about Sara’s life back home, especially her relationship with her parents. With the use of a lovely story-telling technique, I began to relate to the characters in whimsical ways, liking their oddities and crazy antics. I even found myself forming attachments with a few, like poor George, fierce Grace, and Amy’s guarded nephew, Tom.
As the story progresses, the characters begin to form their own relationships with each other, strengthening the bonds between them that small town living often does. They seemed to have purpose again, thanks to Sara. Even Amy’s old house began to bond with Sara, bringing her closer to Amy and her love of books that Sara shares.
This is a great “feel good” book, one I’d recommend to anyone wanting an easy read for the summer, one with a flowing plot, a few sub-plot twists and great writing. You’ll find yourself smiling at times and may even laugh out loud, once or twice.
I give this book: