I picked up The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal from WPL because of its striking cover and it had a beer in its title. You see, I have become a craft beer lover over the past few years and based on that alone, this book sounded perfect for me. But one cannot live on beer references alone. What kept me reading was the story’s depth and its focus on the complex and fractured bonds between three women.
If you’re thinking “But I don’t even like beer, Laurie!”, don’t worry! Grab a glass of pinot or a Coke and a smile and relax. You don’t need to know the differences between a stout, a Saison and a cream ale to enjoy this book (that said, beer lovers will especially enjoy getting a peek at the brewing process). This story is about two sisters, Edith and Helen and Edith’s granddaughter, Diana and their decades long family issues. Readers witness how these women address their familial struggles and rise to meet their professional challenges, through strength, determination and grit, as they break into the male-dominated craft beer industry on their own terms.
If this book were a beer, I’d describe it as having a complex, robust flavour with appealing warm undertones and a wonderful finish and will appeal to many readers’ palates. You’ll find this book here at WPL in hardcover, digital eBook, eAudio, large print and audiobook CD formats as well as copies of Stradal’s debut novel, Kitchens of the Great Midwest (also available in multiple formats).
— Laurie P.