“There was something clearly insulting about a woman who so clearly preferred books to people.”
A woman from Sweden comes to visit an older pen pal in Broken Wheel, Iowa. Upon Sara’s arrival, she gets the surprising news that her friend, Amy, has passed away. The townspeople whisk her to her friend’s house just in time for her funeral reception and tell Sara she can stay in the house until she goes home. They assume she will leave in a day or so, but with non-refundable tickets and a visa that doesn’t expire for three months, Sara doesn’t want to leave America quite yet.
I added this book to my to-read list after seeing a full-page ad for it in Bookpages. The ad touted that readers who loved The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society would love this book, too. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is on my list of top ten favorite books. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is not.
I wanted to like this book as it has great characters and a great start to a storyline. However, the book moves slowly and it never focuses in-depth on one character, but travels from character to character as it tells the story. It was a good book, but it could have been a great book and that’s what made me sad at the end. I wish it had gone through one more editing round.
Sara decides to stay in Broken Wheel and after discovering Amy’s books (they wrote letters about books) and finds out she has a closed store. At this point, I expected Sara to start a book club (like the title alludes to) but instead she opens a bookstore. The bookstore draws the town into reading and brings their status closer up to the level of the next town over, Hope. Romance starts to blossom and Sara must decide to follow her heart or go back to Sweden, where she has no job or friends.
I would only recommend this book as a beach read. It will leave you wishing it was more developed as you fall in love with the characters.