It all began with a correspondence between two quite different women: 28-year-old Sara from Haninge, Sweden, and 65-year-old Amy from the small town of Broken Wheel, Iowa. After years of exchanging books, letters, and thoughts on the meaning of literature and life, Sara, mousy, disheveled, who has never been anywhere in her life - has really lived only for her work in a beloved bookshop, which has just closed its doors for the last time - bravely decides to accept her unknown friend's invitation to visit. But when she arrives, she finds her house empty, the funeral guests just heading home....
Sara finds herself alone. And what choice do the inhabitants of Broken Wheel have but to take care of their bewildered tourist? And what choice does Sara have, faced with a town where nobody reads and her desire to honour her friend, but to set up the perfect bookshop with all the books she and Amy shared - from Yann Martel's Life of Pi to Iris Murdoch and Jo Nesbo, to Bridget Jones and Doug Coupland's All Families Are Psychotic to Little House on the Prairie? And then watch as the townsfolk are, one by one, transformed in unexpected ways....
In the glorious tradition of 84 Charing Cross Road, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café, Will Schwalbe's The End of Your Life Book Club, Jane Austen, and movies such as You've Got Mail and Love Actually, The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is a big-hearted, witty book about books, friendship, love - and always being open to the unexpected.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Kelly on 28-01-2016
Disappointed - no depth & poor narration
I was disappointed in this book. While the characters were generally likable, they had no depth and the story was predictable. I love to read books which explore a characters love of books. Generally these types of stories make me feel "at home". I find myself in the characters. But this book didn't give me that lovely feeling. And I never fell in love with any of the characters. I always wanted the author to let me know them more. Sometimes when I am left wanting more it is a good thing, because I am anxious for a sequel. Not here - in this book. Here, I simply wanted more in this book.
Additionally, I found the narration confusing. The characters are Midwesterners and Swedish. The accents used seem to be British. Why?
17 of 22 people found this review helpful
By Carole T. on 21-01-2016
Not Quite of Its Time
This book is, I think, quite intentionally very, very similar in theme and style to "84 Charing Cross Road" and "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society." There's a literary correspondence and eccentric characters in a small town. Love of reading and sharing that enthusiasm bring people of different backgrounds and inclinations together.
I jumped into the action assuming it was taking place several decades ago. To my surprise, early on a cell phone is used. We're contemporary, in other words, and it doesn't quite make sense. Cell phones but no email? Old fashioned pen pals who have never shared photos or skyped one another? An educated and apparently well-off Swedish woman who has never traveled or gotten a driver's license? Like the other books mentioned above, "The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend" brings to mind an earlier era, yet it claims to be happening in the 21st century.
It's also just too long with a few too many characters with a few too many problems. Although these people are sympathetic and varied, their stories begin to pall. and keeping them sorted out in the 12+ hour listen becomes trying. And making each tale end successfully and happily requires some contrivance.
There's promise here in the appeal of the characters and the depiction of a small, Midwestern town in economic crisis. It's interesting that a book so devoted to fly-over territory in America is translated from the Swedish!
16 of 21 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By amanda short on 03-09-2017
So enjoyed this booky book
Would you listen to The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend again? Why?
Yes. Love all the reference to books - many I have read. As a children's librarian love the notion of trying to find the right book for the right person.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Sara - for her love of books and trying to find a book for everyone.
Which scene did you most enjoy?
Setting up her bookstore.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes but tend to listen in car so took me about a week.
By Lol on 30-05-2017
a totally lovely tale
Not one I would've picked but went on a . what a story showing how the human spirit & change can turn a bad situation around, with a gentle smattering of romance for good measure