The Lager Queen of Minnesota

This was a book club pick and read like one.  Some interesting characters and situations that led to a fairly good discussion about our thoughts.  I liked the overall story and the writing and would recommend this book to someone looking for a light, family drama.

From Goodreads: Two sisters, one farm. A family is split when their father leaves their shared inheritance entirely to Helen, his younger daughter. Despite baking award-winning pies at the local nursing home, her older sister, Edith, struggles to make what most people would call a living. So she can’t help wondering what her life would have been like with even a portion of the farm money her sister kept for herself. With the proceeds from the farm, Helen builds one of the most successful light breweries in the country, and makes their company motto ubiquitous: “Drink lots. It’s Blotz.” Where Edith has a heart as big as Minnesota, Helen’s is as rigid as a steel keg. Yet one day, Helen will find she needs some help herself, and she could find a potential savior close to home. . . if it’s not too late.

Things I Liked:

The more books I read, the more I’ve realized I enjoy stories that have several characters whose lives are entwined but the reader doesn’t know exactly how.  This book was a perfect example of this.   Even when the relationships were revealed, there were intricacies that I didn’t expect and that kept me interested until the very end. The humor was used effectively and there were a few laugh out loud moments.  And in the end, I found myself liking and disliking all three women in this book; this isn’t a bad thing, rather a compliment that Stradal was able to make me invested in them enough that I cared about what happened to them.   The characters felt real to me and the family dynamics were true to life.  Some in my book club had a problem with the ending but I found it to be realistic and a good way to end the story.

Things I didn’t Like:

This book started off slow for me and I found myself not identifying with Edith and not caring about her.  I don’t know if it was the way the book was written or how the characters were introduced but I struggled to get through the first 30 pages or so.  However, my rule of reading 50 pages before deciding to quit came in handy with this book because the more I read, the more I liked and I am really glad I finished.

Conclusion:

I’m glad I finished  this book because I ended up changing my initial thoughts a lot and liked it more than I initially thought I would.  It’s a drama, but there is nothing overly wrought or depressing about it so I think it’s a good pick for a book club.

Favorite Quote: “Her mother told her once that the nicest thing you can do for someone is be happy to see them.”

Author:   J. Ryan Stradal

Published:  July 23, 2019

Rating:   4 Stars

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