The Lager Queen of Minnesota: A Novel Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
A National Best Seller!
“The perfect pick-me-up on a hot summer day.” (Washington Post)
“[A] charmer of a tale... Warm, witty and - like any good craft beer - complex, the saga delivers a subtly feminist and wholly life-affirming message.” (People)
A novel of family, Midwestern values, hard work, fate and the secrets of making a world-class beer, from the best-selling author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest
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.
Meanwhile, Edith's granddaughter, Diana, grows up knowing that the real world requires a tougher constitution than her grandmother possesses. She earns a shot at learning the IPA business from the ground up - will that change their fortunes forever, and perhaps reunite her splintered family?
Here we meet a cast of lovable, funny, quintessentially American characters eager to make their mark in a world that's often stacked against them. In this deeply affecting family saga, resolution can take generations, but when it finally comes, we're surprised, moved, and delighted.
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|Listening Length||11 hours and 13 minutes|
|Author||J. Ryan Stradal|
|Audible.in Release Date||23 July 2019|
|Best Sellers Rank||
#25,966 in Audible Audiobooks & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Audiobooks & Originals)
#549 in Women's Fiction
#1,206 in Literary Fiction
#49,008 in Contemporary Fiction (Books)
Top review from India
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Rolling the narrative back to 1959 and shifting to Helen’s point of view, Stradal draws a sharp contrast. Helen has just had her first taste of beer at 15, and all she wants is to get out of her small Minnesota hometown and brew beer. While Edith struggles to make a living, despite baking award-winning pies, Helen builds one of the most successful light breweries in the country. Yet one day, Helen will find she needs some help herself, from someone she has known all her life. . . But is it too late?
The story is narrated using flashbacks and multiple points of view. Stradal expertly develops his story in a nonlinear fashion, moving back and forth from 2003, in chapters seen through the eyes of Edith and her granddaughter Diana, with intermingling episodes from Helen’s spectacular rise in the light beer business in the 1970s.
Though revolving around the beer business, At the heart of it, it’s a story of three resilient women – Helen, Edith, and Diana. There is lots of humor to keep things on the lighter side but the book slips in many emotional moments when you are least expecting them. The small-town setting and the historical background of brewing from the 1950s show the commendable amount of research the author has undertaken. The first half was a bit slow but enjoyable. The second half is where the story catches steam. Full marks for the warm satisfying conclusion which made it a strong finish for me. .
Stradal creates some strong and memorable characters. It was easy to get invested in these characters right from the start—From the all sacrificing Edith who always put other’s needs above her own to Helen, a ruthless, somewhat manipulative business tycoon to Diana, a teenager who kept getting into trouble until she was caught and had to work her way out of trouble, all of them expertly crafted. Apart from the characters, the book has many bright moments which will keep you invested in the storyline.
While the story has many resilient women, their storylines never combined together except towards the end. So it felt like reading different parallel stories in isolation, rather than the story of 3 generations. All the information about brewing beers and all the different kinds of beers was just so overwhelming, especially for someone who doesn’t drink at all. So a lot of it I didn’t understand but I found the process interesting nonetheless.
Overall, The Lager Queen of Minnesota is an emotional family drama with some strong and empowering female characters. With a cast of lovable characters, sharp writing, a touch of humor, and a heartwarming finish, this is a delightful read. If you love reading family dramas with strong female characters, this is a must-read book for you.
Top reviews from other countries
This book was fun to read, and hard to put down. The characters are very well developed and you feel their joys and pains as they do. They become real, not just words on a page. My only complaint is that the book ended. I want to know what happens to these characters next.
What a fun, endearing and interesting book that attests to the Midwest ethics. In a nutshell it is a family saga with microbrews and rhubarb pie.
Very entertaining by J. Ryan Stradal. I definitely look forward to more books from Mr. Stradal and will order his previous „Kitchens of the Midwest“ now.