This was my last in the FINDS challenge hosted by AnnaBookBel and aiming at reading Nordic literature. I am not familiar with the author, but she writes what we call 'feel good' novels and has written quite a few other ones. It is a wonderfully, charming account of a lonely girl who does not get along with the rest of the world. However, she love books.
"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. Reminiscent of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, this is a warm, witty book about friendship, stories, and love."
When there are close knit societies people tend to act as they always have. Nothing much changes, most probable because there is nothing to initiate any change. This is exactly what happens when Sara arrives in Broken Wheel. Her own, rather peculiar way of interacting with people around her, feels rather strange to the town folks. She was a friend of Amy's and that is why she is accepted. Her way of looking at books, and her aim to find a book that is suitable and interesting to everyone in the town, slowly changes people's mind sets.
The novel makes you happy to read, especially if you are loving books. It is about friendships and finding your way in the world. How one person, rather discreet, somewhat odd, still can affect people the way she does. I think we can all recognise this in real life. Something happens, somebody says something and all of a sudden you start thinking in another way.
Although at odds with the world Sara has the ability to change it, to attach to people, and to find her own happiness, at the same time as she is making other people happy. A sunshine story, much needed in this troublesome world. I don't have to mention the big influence of books to make the world a better place.