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Archive: Other Books > The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J Ryan Stradal, 4 stars

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message 1: by Holly R W (last edited Sep 07, 2019 05:25AM) (new)

Holly R W | 1106 comments Having just read the author's first book and appreciating its originality and style, I was eager to read Stradal's second book, "The Lager Queen". In reading it, I was quickly drawn in to the lives of three strong women and the world of brewing beer.

The book focuses most on Edith and her granddaughter Diana. Edith's sister Helen plays a lesser role. Each personality is distinct and well thought out. My favorite is Diana, as I admired her gumption (as we say here in the mid west).

Brewing beer is a big part of the story. Each woman gets involved in the business, although in a different way. As someone who does not like beer, I couldn't help but be interested, due to the author's writing. Edith's contribution was creating Rhubarb Pie in a Bottle Ale, when she was eighty years old. She had spent a lifetime baking delicious pies.

The book is quirky, creative and fun.

Personal Note: I spent the summer reading books that were either too serious to be summer reading or too light to hold my interest. Here at last, is a book that appealed to me.

message 2: by Nicole R (new)

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7643 comments I also recently read this one and enjoyed it! Like you, I was pulled in by Diana’s story, but I also loved how much Edith loved Diana even though she was not effusive with her emotions.

I have to give Kitchens of the Great Midwest the slight edge though; I though the structure of that one was so unique!

message 3: by Holly R W (last edited Sep 07, 2019 10:16AM) (new)

Holly R W | 1106 comments I am so glad that I read both books. Stradal must love food, since it's a major theme in both books.

Yes, I thought that "Kitchens" was more unique and stylized. I found myself thinking a lot about the book afterwards. My only complaint is that I would have liked more info about certain characters who were just featured in a chapter and then never heard about again, ie. Eva's father.

In "The Lager Queen", Edith was very self sacrificing and had a heart of gold. I couldn't help but care for her. Now, her sister Helen was another story... I loved Diana's evolution from a young kid who suffered heartbreak and got into trouble, whose PSAT test score was so astonishing, to a young woman with hard won self confidence.

Yes, both books were very satisfying.

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