Title: The Lager Queen of Minnesota
Author: J. Ryan Stradal
Thoughts: I read this all on a Sunday afternoon and it’s all kinds of endearing. Books set in or otherwise about Minnesota have a special place in my heart and I can’t believe it took me this long to read The Lager Queen! It has a little bit of everything: joy, grief, strong female leads, family drama, and baking. How can I not like a book set in Minnesota with strong female leads who likes baking? It’s the main narrative arc of my future autobiography.
“Edith was only sixty-four years old, but if she died right then, she would’ve felt the most important things a Minnesotan, woman or man, can feel at the end of their lives. She’d done what she could, and she was of use. She helped.” (p. 2)
“Her grief was a forest with no trails, and she couldn’t guess how long her heart would walk through it, as her body walked other places.” (p. 83)
“When Edith was feeling low like this, baking a pie had never failed to make her happy. Like how some people talk about yoga or mountain climbing or music, it was how she lost herself and touched something else. It was her church away from church. It wouldn’t solve any problems, but it might make her and a few other people forget them for a while, and that was something.” (p. 229)
“This place wasn’t just a job to her, it was a forge, and it had bent her into a shape that had one function, and done it so aggressively that she’d never even conceived of working anywhere else. This place was who she was now.” (p. 235)