The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
After lengthy pen-pal relationship, a Swedish bookseller embarks on a lengthy stay in a small town in Iowa only to discover her friend had passed. Left adrift in a tight knit community, The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend chronicles her journey from outcast to oddity to beloved member.
Sara arrives in the dusty town of Broken Wheel just as her friend’s funeral is coming to a close. Without a clear goal, she delves back into the one constant in her life, her deep abiding love of books. Slowly the town warms up to the tourist in their midst. More importantly, Sara begins to spread her roots, first by opening a book store hesitantly stocked with her friend’s treasured books, and then by connecting with each of the colorful members of the town. However, a countdown slowly creeps in. Sara’s visa will run out eventually and, without one, she will be forced to return to the cold embrace of Sweden.
To be blunt, this is a stellar novel that demands to be experienced and inhabited. Bivald lovingly crafted her characters and it shows. The book hums with life, inviting readers in, and like Sara, leaving them with a burning desire to stay. Seemingly about books and an introverted stranger, The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is more about the connections between us. What binds a community together through difficult and joyous times is often the unexpected. In the case of Broken Wheel, Sara and her love of books spread through them like wildfire. Like fire, that infectious love of reading highlights the very human bonds shared between fathers, daughters, lovers, and society. Quite simply, read this book, share this book, and enjoy time spent in the sweet town of Broken Wheel.