Author: Katarina Bivald
Publisher: Sourcebook Landmarks
Series: Stand Alone
Published: January 19th 2016
Warning: once you let books into your life, the most unexpected things can
This is a book about books. All sorts of books, from Little Women and Harry Potter to Jodi Picoult and Jane Austen, from to Stieg Larsson to Joyce Carol Oates to Proust. It’s about the joy and pleasure of books, about learning from and escaping into them, and possibly even hiding behind them. It’s about whether or not books are better than real life.
It’s also a book about a Swedish girl called Sara, her elderly American penfriend Amy and what happens when you land a very different kind of bookshop in the middle of a town so broken it’s almost beyond repair.
Or is it?
The Readers of Broken Wheel has touches of 84 Charing Cross Road, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Chocolat, but adds an off-beat originality and intelligence all its own.
This book is 100% for anyone who loves book, which I presume is everyone? From the first chapter I was hooked on this book with its beautifully thought out characters who are all different in their own special way but are all equally as lovable, in addition to the lovely story-line about a quiet girl with a passion for books and a pen pal from half way across the world.
This girl is Sara – a quiet girl from Sweden who has spent her entire lift with her head in a book, engrossed in their story-lines and the feelings that fill her with joy. I’m pretty positive that any person who loves books and finds it a comfort and an escape to be buried in a book once in a while will relate to Sara in one way or another.
She gets invited to the small town of Broken Wheel by her pen pal Amy, whom Sara had grown quite fond of through their many letters discussing their favourite books. Throughout the book we get to see some of the letters that were sent by Amy describing her little home town of Broken Wheel and some of the peculiar, yet completely brilliant residents of town. Despite never actually meeting Amy in the book, we form a bond with her through her passion for books and the stories from her past which show us how much of lovely character she is.
In addition to Sara’s story, we also get taken on a journey of the other members of Broken Wheel. There is George – one of the loveliest characters you will ever meet. An ex-alcoholic who had lost almost all purpose of living after his wife left him and took with her their daughter Sophie, until Sara came and they formed such a beautiful friendship as she helped him do stuff with his day. He is also a fan of Bridget Jones’ Dairies.
Then Caroline. Although she is a very controlling, bossy and in some aspects quite a miserable woman, she is still an excellent character who also goes through extensive character development, as Sara challenges her through defiance and she becomes involved with an unexpected lover.
A favourite character of mine has got to be Tom. He again, can be perceived as being somewhat miserable and bit of a meanie in the first instance but as the story progresses we get to know more about him and understand why he is the way he is.
Just like every good novel, this one has a romance. This romance, in addition to Caroline and her mystery man, is between Tom and Sara. They’re relationship is the loveliest thing I have ever read, its so complicated and confusing but beautiful and heart-warming at the same time. Neither of them know how they truly feel about one another and there are sparks of passion throughout that just leaves you craving for more.
The town of Broken Wheel itself is everything you can imagine from a small town. It has a hardware/grocery store, a diner, a bar and a church. Although it is very minimalist and doesn’t really have anything spectacular, you can’t help but just think of it has something extraordinary. The bond between all the town folks and the fight to make it the striving place it once was gives it that little extra something.
In addition to lovely characters, there are also physically beautiful characters also such as Andy and Carl. Despite Carl being gay everyone in the town, even the straight men believe Carl to be a beautiful specimen of a human being. He is physically beautiful with lovely dark hair and a sculptured body as well as being a lovely man who despite being a little harsh on Sara the begin with but is really a sweetheart deep down.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and filled me with joy every time I began reading it. It has such a lovely plot line with so many events that fill you with warmth and leave you praying for things to work out for certain characters. 100% recommend this to everyone, especially those in book clubs.