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domenica, giugno 04, 2017

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

I wished to read The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald published by Sourcebooks Landmark and translated impressively well by Alice Menzies from Swedish from an age.

I loved the cover and the story sounded very intriguing.

I recently requested a copy at the publisher and I obtained it thanks to  NetGalley. I admit that I haven't been deluded at all.

It's a book written with sentiment, "feeling the story" in profundity, and giving to each protagonist a proper and strong character.  The various chapters end always with a letter written by one of the two main protagonists: Sara and Amy.

It's a story of old-fashioned correspondents this one between two book lovers with their own messy lives, one living in a town in Sweden and working in a bookstore and another one living in a very tiny corner of Iowa: Broken Wheel.

There is, in this correspondence, real, sincere friendship, the possibility of sharing good thoughts, good reading, and good stories and tales about their respective lives.
Amy will introduce Sara, without maybe  wanting it, or thinking that who knows? one day she would have loved that place, her own world and people: the ones of Broken Wheels. Special people with each of them a story behind, their troubles, their weakness.

The picture taken with words of Broken Wheel , its community and the various characters, George, John, Tom, Caroline, Grace (everyone was named Grace, they called her Madeleine but her destiny was this one, to be a bar owner to her and so she is Grace as her ancestors for everyone) outlined with precision and surely the ones you can meet in  a little community more dead than alive.
I can tell that because I live in a little rural countryside.

The story starts when Sara, unemployed because the bookstore in Sweden closed decides, why not? to afford for some months, two exactly, in the USA for a visit at her beloved friend Amy with which she exchanges letters, many books and great letters about their life.
Amy answers enthusiastically at this idea and so it's all done.
Sara arrives just when Amy was buried. Dead? Amy is dead? 

When? How? What happened exactly? She is not just devastated. She doesn't know where to go, what to do, while she is in Amy's house.
The answer from the people of the town: she must stay at Amy's house. She will stay at Amy's house. No rent at all. It's just a word: hospitality.
The following days as it happens in all little communities people invites her out for a coffee or a beer or for eating something and they offer always lunches, dinners, beverages.
This story keeps Sara tormented. She can pay. They are so nice.
What can she does to these people, Tom John, George, Grace, for thanking them all for being so kind and for let her feel at home?

One day she enters in Amy's house. There weren't books in the other rooms of Amy's house. Maybe she would have found them there.

Yes it was true. All her beloved books stayed close to her since at the moment of her departure.

Maybe the only thing to do is this one: to open thanks to an old store owned by Amy's husband, dead many years ago, a bookstore.

Not any person in Broken Wheel thinks that this one is a winning idea, because no one read.

There are not in any Broken Wheel's houses books.

Books doesn't mean anything to the people of Broken Wheel. Why reading, they think?

They all help Sara to opening the store, someone discomforted for the choice of Sara, thinking that this one is for sure a terrible idea and no one buy any books when Sara opens the bookstore.

She stays per hours closed in her store, reading and reading, lost who knows? in the tormented love stories of Bridget Jones with her Mr Darcy and Daniel Clever, both fascinating men or feeling the atmosphere of the Profound South of the USA, with Idgie, Ruth and yum! such a delicious barbecue, in Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café, or who knows maybe re-reading The Redbird Christmas, a great lesson of a life that can re-born psychologically and physically thanks to the love of other people.
You know: Fannie Flagg is enchanting.
You could find her devastating while she was reading Jane Eyre a moving book one of the best classic around, written with pathos, feeling, sentiment and with great and beautiful words. 

Sara created a special place where she put all the books exchanged and favorite by Amy and called it: Broken Wheel Recommend.

The Oak Tree Bookstore, as Sara called the store  started to receive appreciation from the citizens of Hope the closest town, this one with a different life, many readers, different cultural level.

The arrival of the citizens of Hope will create the occasion for bringing to the bookstore as you will see also the other reluctant readers of Broken Wheel for a story of pride, involving also the local pastor of the city.

In the while Sara discovers something else: that since she in the USA she is not just a reader of many interesting books. She has a life.

And people needs her at different levels. She has been in grade to create unthinkable situations 'till recent past. She is an element of eruption and at the same time unity between the community, an element of discovery and novelty for the citizens of Broken Wheel. Someone able to make the difference, to singing another song, to bring new life in their discomforted place where no one knows because live there.

I guess Sara had a life also in Sweden with a job that could become crazy during the Christmas Time when in Nordic countries there is the tradition, in particular in Sweden to present many books for Christmas! During this period of the year everyone are ready for massive visits of customers all interested to present many books to their dear ones. Voracious readers? Yes, Swedish are surely voracious readers.

In general more than a million of books sold in Sweden for the occasion. Swedish are famous for presenting clothes, books during the festivities and they don't renounce at the old-fashioned Christmas greeting cards, so post offices are very visited during this Christmas-Time as well.

Sara finds a family in Broken Wheel, and it makes to her the difference.
Not only: Sara build bridges between the community and people close to them. Now thanks to her bookstore people arrives from closest town and it means tourism. Not only: they start to organize a market.


Her parents appears to be pretty rude with her when she tell them that Amy is dead. Her sister doesn't mind if she is alive or not.
What kind of life she can have in Sweden?
She analyzes her new life. More exciting, with her new friends, in another Continent and these new friends all so happy and joyous to see her around and all absolutely at a certain point involved for not let her return home!

Yes because a person can stay in the USA to work (and so the person is requested) only if there is a peculiarity still missing in an American. Selling books doesn't give to Sara all of it.

But love is just there, waiting for her...Will this one be the answer to all her problems and the book, yes this one in this case closing with a lot of happy endings or Sara will return after all in Sweden?

I can't tell you this final part, I just can tell you that if you want to read a book plenty of warmth, friendship,  great sentiments, real values, a gem of the genre and the mirror of a little community, goes for it, because your money are very well spent.

I surely thank NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for this eBook. 

 

Anna Maria Polidori

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