An international bestseller The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend * *, first novel by Katarina Bivald (translated from Swedish by Alice Menzies) is a sleepy charmer you would not be able to put down.
Broken Wheel, IA, pop. 637. Bookseller Sara Lindqvist travels from her native Sweden, against her parent's warning and her own inhibition, to visit Amy Harris, her longtime American pen pan, only to arrive on the day of Amy's funeral. Not having seen a tourist for years, the town folks are eager to get to know Sara. They insist that Sara stays in Amy's house, and refuse Sara's effort to pay for her groceries and meals. They even assign her a chauffeur.
Feeling entangled and with a need to repay all their kindnesses, Sara happens upon the idea of opening a bookstore in an abandoned storefront, using Amy's eclectic collection. Amazingly, it is an absolute success and before long, a tourist attraction, turning Broken Wheel into a hotbed of romance and progressive ideas. Now, can the town folks work more of their magic in getting Sara to stay? For good?
"This gentle, intelligent Midwestern tale will captivate fans of Antoine Laurain's The Red Notebook; Nina George's The Little Paris Bookshop; and Gabrielle Zevin's The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. An ideal book group selection, it reminds us why we are book lovers and why it's nice to read a few happy endings."
* * = 2 starred reviews