Thanks to the publisher and to Net Galley for providing me with an advance copy of this book that was a bestseller in its original Swedish.
What a wonderful book! If like me, you love books, you find time spent reading always rewarding, and would love to live in a library or a bookshop, this is your book.
Sara, the protagonist, who has always found company, consolation, friendship and support in books, takes a leap of faith and when the bookshop where she works closes down, she accepts the invitation of her pen-pal and fellow book lover, Amy. She goes to spend two month with Amy in Broken Wheel, Iowa. Unfortunately, things don’t go according to plan, but when she is adopted by the whole village, she comes up with a scheme to repay them in kind, by sharing the magic and power of books.
The transformation of Sara and the town are what drives the narrative, and the assorted characters (some more recognisable than others) become humanised by their contact with Sara and her books. So much so that they can’t let her go and will do anything to keep her with them.
I enjoyed Amy’s epistles that help us imagine the missing character, the sad characters (like George and John), the riotous ones (Andy, Grace), wonderful Caroline, the love interest… Well, everybody.
This isn’t a book of mysteries and intrigues. There are no major surprises and the plot meanders along gently inviting us to share in the characters’ adventures, where nothing drastic or earth shattering happens, just life as usual.
I loved the bookshop, and Sara’s classification system, and I’d like towork there and move to Broken Wheel. Because a book about books can’t be wrong.
A delightful read.