Summary from Goodreads:
“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 pen pal, Amy. When she arrives, however, she finds that Amy’s funeral has just ended. Luckily, the townspeople are happy to look after their bewildered tourist—even if they don’t understand her peculiar need for books. Marooned in a farm town that’s almost beyond repair, Sara starts a bookstore in honor of her friend’s memory.
All she wants is to share the books she loves with the citizens of Broken Wheel and to convince them that reading is one of the great joys of life. But she makes some unconventional choices that could force a lot of secrets into the open and change things for everyone in town. Reminiscent of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, this is a warm, witty book about friendship, stories, and love.”
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend was originally published in Sweden in 2013 as a debut novel by Swedish author Katarina Bivald. It has recently been published in English by Sourcebooks and I had the pleasure of receiving a review copy from NetGalley.
I have read more than a couple of books about books and The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend reminded me of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, both of which I enjoyed. The story was interesting enough to keep me hooked even though I discovered early enough that the plot or the characters may not be that new or different from other contemporary chick-lit that I already read. However, the constant mention of books, whether of those I’ve already read or those I’ve not heard yet, and the references to bookish characters I love, made me stick with the story because what book lover wouldn’t? Reading this book made me feel that the author is a kindred spirit. 🙂
The small community of Broken Wheel and the people who live there are also interesting to read about. I loved the quirkiness and the eccentricities of the characters and also the colorful history of the tow and although I felt slightly ambivalent towards Sara, I still got a lot of feels each time she and Tom interact. If I were to be frank, it was actually Tom who made me stick it out with the story. Hee. 🙂 The romance was both funny and kilig ((I’m so glad this word has already made its way to the English dictionary), and even though I felt that the later portions were a bit contrived, I loved how everything ended: smoothly and nicely and with a little bit of mystery.
I am unsure whether Sara’s book shop was indeed effective in fostering a bookish love with the residents of Broken Wheel but I am willing to overlook this complaint because I am happy with how the story made me feel good.
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend may be typical and cliche but it is also heartwarming, light, and fun. What is more, I was able to add more than a couple of books to my to-read shelf because of this book.
My Rating: 3/5 stars.