Recommended books sit high on my to-be-read pile so when a dear friend insisted I read this one I plunged in with alacrity. For the most part I enjoyed The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend. It’s an intriguing book, and well written, with a solid cast of quirky characters. Its small American country town setting is also remarkably convincing given that the author, Katarina Bivald, had never visited America before writing the book. Her picture of Broken Wheel is reflective of a thousand other US towns hit by the recession. It’s barely hanging in there. As the title of the book suggests, the town is broken.
AN UNEXPECTED VISITOR
But Broken Wheel has a tiny population of determined residents who refuse to move on. Which is lucky because into their midst comes shy loner, Sara Lindqvist. She’s travelled all the way from Sweden to visit one of the town’s elder citizens, Amy Harris. Sara and Amy have been writing to each other for long enough to form a firm friendship. Their shared a love of books and Amy’s letters permeate the novel. Those letters mean that Sara already knows a lot about the townsfolk. What she doesn’t know when she arrives in Broken Wheel is that Amy has recently died.
A SERIOUS ADDICTION
Perhaps because having a stranger in their midst is so unusual the townspeople take Sara to their hearts. They insist she move into Amy’s house and spend her holiday in Broken Wheel getting to know them all. But Sara does more than that. She’s an addicted reader and, to the surprise of everyone in Broken Wheel and the rival town of Hope, she decides to open a bookstore right there in the middle of town. With the help of Amy’s books, Sara proceeds to change the lives of those around her. The novel is part romance, part small-town life and part homage to books and the joy of reading. I found a lot to like about The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend. A book for anyone who loves reading and a nice choice for the holidays.