About the book (by the publisher): Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her book-loving pen pal. When she arrives, however, she finds Amy’s funeral guests just leaving. The residents of Broken Wheel are happy to look after their bewildered visitor – not much else to do in a small town that’s almost beyond repair. They just never imagined that she’d start a bookstore. Or that books could bring them together and change everything.
There’s a book for every person…and person for every book.
My review: Charming. Heartwarming. Those are the words that immediately come to mind after reading this lovely story. Sara, who is out of work after the bookstore she worked in closes, finds herself at loose ends. Over the course of a few years, she has developed a correspondence with Amy, a fellow book lover who lives in Iowa. They send each other books, write letters to each other, and eventually Amy extends an invitation to Sara to come stay with her in Iowa for a while. Sara, somewhat lost and lonely at this point in her life, books a trip.
What happens after Sara arrives and discovers that Amy has died is the story. Befriended by the townspeople, never allowed to pay for anything, living temporarily in Amy’s house which is filled with books, Sara comes up with a plan for a bookstore as a way to repay the town for its kindness. And slowly, life in Broken Wheel is transformed through the magic and wonder of books.
Very much a glimpse into small town life, rich with wonderful and off-beat characters, this book will remind you of Jan Karon’s Mitford series. Through the vehicle of a bookstore filled with Amy’s books, the lives of the citizens of Broken Wheel and Sara herself are transformed.
The author has written a lovely story, one that will leave you smiling at the end. Anyone who believes in the power of words on a page, in the beauty of a book you can hold in your hand, will be enthralled by this story.
About the author (from Goodreads): Katarina Bivald grew up working part-time in a bookshop. Today she lives outside Stockholm, Sweden, with her sister and as many bookshelves as she can get by her. She’s currently trying to convince her sister that having a shelf for winter jackets and shoes is completely unnecessary.
This book is available for pre-order and will be published here in the States on January 19, 2016.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for an eGalley of this book.