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The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

 

Author: Katarina Bivald
Published: 01 January 2016
Reviewed: 06 January 2016
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24

Copy kindly supplied by Sourcebooks Landmark in return for an honest review.

  4 out of 5 stars  

 

Once you let a book into your life, the most unexpected things can happen…
 
Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who travelled 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 honour 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. 

Reminiscent of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, this is a warm, witty book about friendship, stories, and love.

Pen pals Amy and Sara hatch on a plan for Sara to take a holiday to rural Iowa and they will meet up, share their love of book in person and have a wonderful time getting to know the person behind the letters.  But when Sara finally arrives in Broken Wheel she is met by the townspeople attending Amy’s funeral.  Amy passed away whilst Sara was travelling and no one knew how to get in touch with her to tell her not to continue her journey. 
The well meaning folk soon take Sara under their collective wing and look after her in the only way they know, making her feel like part of the town.  

Wanting to give something back to the town, Sara decides to use the books that she and Amy have to open a book store in the village, desperately trying to convince the residents that reading isn’t just for leisure, it can be for pleasure too and she’s determined to find the right book for each person that comes in.  
 

As with any small town, there is the ubiquitous town busybody, recovering alcoholic, religious figure (in this case uptight Christian woman) but they all make sense, the story works well with them and their own tales add something to the overall story of the town – not one of them could be left out.  
 
The romantic sub plot did spoil things a little for me at times, it just felt a little silly and grated on me a bit.  Yes, people who are attracted to one another play silly beggars at times and revert back to juvenile type, but the whole ‘does he like her, does she like him, wait now they don’t like each other…..’ got a bit boring in places and I will admit to being tempted to skipping some narrative (I didn’t, but I was sorely tempted!).
 
The writing is generally good, the pace of the story flows pretty well, a couple of times I did have to recheck something (usually with the back stories for the many townsfolk), but that’s more to satisfy my need of making sure I’d not missed something.    The physical descriptions of location and characters are good, you get a great sense of Amy the missing character who plays such a huge part.  
 
A lovely book to read, and I do agree with other reviewers out there, this could easily make a good film one day, the quirkiness of the book would make for some excellent screen time.  

I would recommend this to fans of Contemporary Fiction, Romance and Women’s Fiction genres. 

I would like to thank Sourcebooks Landmark for the copy of this book in return for an honest review and if you would like to buy a copy, this book was published on 1st January 2016, a copy can be purchased here The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend (UK Kindle Version)

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