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  • wonderful story by talented author

    I really don’t know where to start with this review. This was a wonderful book, one of the best I have read in some time. It was hard for me to review, as I am not sure I have the words to do it justice. Ms. Bivald’s talent is obvious as you read this story; you will feel come to love this town and the residents. Sara Lindqvist from Sweden has corresponded with Amy Harris of Broken Wheel, Iowa for two years. A wonderful friendship sprang from an Internet sale of a book. They are book lovers of the first order, exchanging books and Amy gave Sara the history of Broke Wheel and its residents through her letters which you will get to read. Amy has extended an invitation to Sara for a two-month visit. Sara a repressed shy young woman is out of step with the world and lives through her books. Her books are safe, life can be wonderful, exciting, and fulfilling in her books. Ms. Bivald expertly created an insecure, out of step character in Sara. As she and Amy have a similar heart for books and Sara feels she knows everyone in Broken Wheel from Amy’s letters. Sara accepts the invitation to visit only to find Amy has died; she arrived on the day of her funeral. While staying at Amy’s house, Sarah discovers a library of possibly thousands of books in Amy’s bedroom. This find was an inspiration for Sara and the setting for this wonderful story. This small town bands together around Sara trying to decide what to do with her. Ms. Bivald created a town is full of characters with loving and giving hearts and her characters have the best of human traits, if a little flawed. She shows now a dying town can come together to recreate its self in a wonderful way. Poor George who’s wife left him, Grace a strong woman who carries around a shotgun at times owns the only diner in town, Jen the resident blogger and newsletter author, Caroline Rohde the resident take charge person, Andy and Carl the town’s gay couple run the local bar, John the only black person in town runs the grocery combination hardware store, Tom nominated as Sara's boyfriend. Ms. Bivald wove a wonderful story of a dying town, with few people and little money using the barter system, all have big hearts and stuck in their ways, all have history together; there are still a few secrets in this small town. Ms. Bivald shows how one person can make a huge difference in the lives of the residents of Broken Wheel and inspire each one. Ms. Bivald brings romance with the character Tom, showing his wonder of Sara’s personality and wondering what it is about Sara that intrigues him. There is a hilarious episode with Carl, just a hint, it was so funny, and then there was the problem of Sara’s visa running out, never fear Broken Wheel’s citizens have it all under control; this is a wonderful book of a town coming alive and its people. At times I chuckled, I smiled, felt infinitely sad, I cried, I sighed, I laughed out loud, and just thoroughly enjoyed the town of Broken Wheel. I almost felt I was a member of the town by the end of the book. Ms. Bivald has the ability to transport you into the story. She shows how we can come out of our shells and become a living breathing person with purpose. There is lot going on in Broken Wheel, did someone say this was a dying town? It has a winner of an ending and I loved it, the government doesn’t always win, especially against Broken Wheel, a town united! Don't miss this book. Ms. Bivald’s character development was spot on and the pacing was perfect. I highly recommend this book to any lover of a wonderful story. I received this book from the publisher and Netgalley in return for an honest review.

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