Published by Chatto & Windus on June 18th 2015
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Received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
The book begins when Sara, a young woman from Sweden, arrives in the United States to visit Amy, a fellow book lover and her pen pal. After Amy does not arrive at their predetermined meeting place, Sara makes her way to Broken Wheel, Iowa where she and we, the readers, are introduced to the interesting and quirky residents of the town. As Sara learns why Amy did not arrive to personally meet her, she is thrust into the towns community and accepted as a new member.
The cast of characters were delightful and I immediately thought of Fannie Flagg while reading this book and then, the Author mentions Fannie Flagg. The Author mentions several books and their Authors and I have to say, I will now pick up Terry Patchett, deemed a reliable Author, by Sara, and whom I have never read.
This is a book about a woman who loves books, and often hid behind them, favoring the stories in the books over people. As she comes out of her shell, she forms bonds with the townspeople who are hellbent on making her a member of their community. The story is light and entertaining. I liken the two older women who meet at Graces to the two old men who sit in the balcony heckling others during the Muppets shows. The cast of characters each have their own story and back stories which are told beautifully in the letters which Amy has sent to Sara. Through the letters we learn about the Amy we never meet and the towns inhabitants.
The ending was sweet and predictable. This is a nice light, entertaining read. I loved the book references. This is a book about the love of books, but it is also a book about people who love people who love books, and about community.