Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her pen pal, Amy. When she arrives, however, she finds that Amy's funeral has just ended. Luckily, the townspeople are happy to look after their bewildered tourist—even if they don't understand her peculiar need for books. Marooned in a farm town that's almost beyond repair, Sara starts a bookstore in honor of her friend's memory. All she wants is to share the books she loves with the citizens of Broken Wheel and to convince them that reading is one of the great joys of life. But she makes some unconventional choices that could force a lot of secrets into the open and change things for everyone in town.
My take: 3 looks
Sara travels from Sweden to meet her bibliophile penpal Annie, only to make it to town just after Annie's funeral. Everyone just assumes that Sara will stay in Annie's home, and allows her to pay for nothing at all. Sara becomes uncomfortable with all of the attention, and soon comes up with a plan that will forever change the town.
A bit predictable in what happens throughout the book, but I don't think Bivald set out to change the world with this one. I'll admit that I had a bit more of a nefarious idea about the town and why they brought Sara there, in much the same vein as this video.
Perhaps Annie never existed, but the town was looking for a book lover. Perhaps to replace one that had just passed. The members of the town assumed a persona and corresponded with various people until the perfect person was found in Sara. Then they enticed her to visit.
I think it may have been a more engaging book, if it were to go according to my thoughts. However, it was entertaining and easy to read. It was a nice, light, summer read.
Many thanks to NetGalley for providing an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for my honest review.