Sara flies from her home in Sweden to nowhereville, Iowa to visit a pen pal and fellow book lover, but when she arrives, nothing is as she expected. The people surprise her, the town isn’t much of a town at all, and her old standby — books — are hard to come by. So she makes a plan and makes some friends and puts the pieces of her life back together.
In the course of telling the story, Bivald writes in some contrivances that just made certain aspects of the plot too obviously fake to me. I also noticed that as I read I kept asking myself, “is that supposed to mean something?” Maybe Bivald wanted to integrate symbolism in places? But those were just two bumps in the road.
Most of the book went along quite smoothly, introducing the reader to some stereotypically exaggerated characters (the old maid, the gay guy, the town drunk) which, to me, made Sara seem all the more plain and subdued. But she surprises people and makes waves in her own way. 🙂
I really loved that Sara shared her love for reading in the best, most apt way possible. She shared herself through those books, and I could feel the other characters’ gratefulness.
The best part of the book was the happily ever after because it gave me that “sigh, everything is as it should be now” feeling. Settled. Which is something Sara only felt at the very end as well.