Thursday, 9 February 2017

"The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend" by Katarina Bivald - February 2017

We had a unanimous view of the book: It would make a very nice, light-hearted, feel-good comedy movie or TV series. It was a pleasant read, similar to Gill Hornby’s “All Together Now” (the book about a community choir we read in September 2015). Several of our group members were reminded of Bridget Jones. It was light-hearted, but well thought out and well written, and the general view was that it was a lovely book – if you were in the mood for a light and lovely book. If you needed more nourishing literature, maybe don’t pick up this one – it’s too long to commit to if you aren’t in the mood for “light”! Having said that, we did praise the book for how spot on it was in many ways; in the characterisation of the townspeople of Broken Wheel (and the neighbouring city, Hope) and in the book recommendations specific to each character. Also, the main character Sarah was working with people who were only being introduced to a book club and to reading, so it wouldn’t have been feasible to start them off with high literature. We admired how she could see the specific goodness in each of the townspeople when she made her recommendations to them, for example giving George, who has a secret soft spot for women, the book “Bridget Jones” to read – this might explain why everybody thought this book would make a good Bridget-Jones-y movie. We wondered whether we might be missing exactly how many homages to other books the author might have hidden in her text, and also if we might be missing some nuance due to this being a translated work, but we still found it a clever and lovely book, with vivid characters and language. The main focus seemed to be to strengthen the community, bring everybody together, accept the stranger in their midst. Sometimes you just want a soothing, life-enhancing read, and this book gives you exactly that.
By Cordula

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