The story begins with Alice-Ann as a 16-year old and the US just entering WWII. The town in which the story is set sends a significant number of young men into the service on account of the war. This has impact on everyone in town. Alice-Ann takes time to make sure her long-time crush, Mack, knows she’ll be waiting for him.
Good letter correspondents at first, Mack’s letters eventually end and there is news of his demise during a fierce battle. Alice-Ann, whose crush was known only to a few, must endure this quietly.
A friend’s brother, Carlton, returns early from the war due to an injury. He and Alice-Ann form a new friendship as young adults as they bond through the war time.
Alice-Ann must reshape her vision of “true love” and decide the best path for her future.
Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for providing me an ARC for a review in my own words.
A cross-country RV trip for three grieving women and a moody teen set the scene for this story. Bernie, Jenny, and Bernie’s mom are all trying to come to terms with the unexpected death of Jenny’s husband (Bernie’s brother). For healing, they decide to tackle his bucket list of places to visit across the US. Borrowing a friend’s RV, the three women find unexpected strength and resilience as they make their way from place to place.
I thought the author did a great job of incorporating the stages of grief and the numerous emotions that each of the women was facing. You could appreciate what she was trying to relay in her character development.
Thanks to Lake Union Publishing for providing me an ARC for a review in my own words.
Sara, from Sweden, arrives just in time for the reception after Amy’s funeral. Amy is Sara’s penpal and fellow booklover. Amy invited Sara to come to visit her in Broken Wheel to enjoy small town America life for an extended vacation. Sara, who is between jobs, takes her up on the offer. She doesn’t realize that Amy is gone, though, until she is not met at the station on arrival to the area. Never fear because the townspeople take care of things and make sure Sara is ensconced in Amy’s house, just as Amy would have wanted. Sara goes ahead with her two month vacation and works hard to repay the townspeople for their generosity.
The story is quirky and unlike any other that I’ve read. There is a lot of information in there about the power of books and references to hundreds of books, both classics and contemporary stories. Once I got into the rhythm of the story, with Amy’s letters prefacing each chapter, I found that I enjoyed the characters and wanted to learn more about Broken Wheel, myself.
Thanks to Sourcebooks Landmark for providing me an advance copy to read and review in my own words.