Bookworm Sara, who prefers fiction to real life, and Amy have corresponded and exchanged books via international mail for years, even though they have never met. After the bookshop where she worked in Sweden closes, Sara takes Amy up on her invitation to visit her in the pathetic, small town of Broken Wheel, Iowa.
When Sara arrives all the way from Sweden, Amy never shows to pick her up. She learns that Amy had actually just passed away, so Sara is driven to the funeral gathering at Amy’s house. The townspeople encourage her stay there for two months like was originally planned and was what Amy intended. Everyone treats her with kindness: George, once the local drunk, gives her rides when she needs them; Grace treats her to coffee at her dinner; John waives any fees for groceries at his hardware store; Andy says the beers are on him.
The frustrating part for Sara is none of them will let her pay them back. So she comes up with an idea to repay the people of Broken Wheel: she opens a bookstore in town using Amy’s books and bookshelves Amy’s nephew Tom had found for her. However, the problem in Broken Wheel is no one reads or cares about books. Sara thinks she can change that. Eventually she does get the right books to the right people, but the time of her VISA is running out and the townspeople go to crazy lengths to get her to stay.
If you find a small town environment with quirky characters appealing, then this book is definitely for you. Featuring a little bit of romance and endearing, yet crazy, characters, readers will quickly warm to Broken Wheel, Iowa.