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The Resource The lager queen of Minnesota, J. Ryan Stradal

The lager queen of Minnesota, J. Ryan Stradal

Label
The lager queen of Minnesota
Title
The lager queen of Minnesota
Statement of responsibility
J. Ryan Stradal
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"A novel of family, Midwestern values, hard work, fate, and the secrets of making a world-class beer, from the author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest"--
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
LibraryReads Favorites, 2019.
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ Edith Magnusson never thought she’d be figuring out how to translate the flavors of her award-winning pies into beer, but she’s had plenty of practice being adaptable. Ever since her father left the family farm to her sister, Helen, Edith has learned to make do on her own. She and her husband raised their children comfortably, but not extravagantly, and no job was ever too small for Edith. When her granddaughter, Diana, turns a severance package into ownership of a fledgling craft brewery, she’s surprised to find that brewing is in the family bloodline. A chance to mend decades-old resentment resurfaces, and Edith, Helen, and Diana have to decide how to best navigate the tricky waters of reconciliation. A love story to Minnesota, craft beer, and the power of second chances, Stradal's (Kitchens of the Great Midwest, 2015) second novel goes down easy. Perspective shifts among Helen, Edith, and Diana, letting each woman speak for herself and allowing their narratives to build off one another, despite the non-linear timeline. Imbued with Midwestern references and the importance of a “can-do” attitude, this warm, witty novel will appeal to fans of Curtis Sittenfeld and Meg Wolitzer. -- Stephanie Turza (Reviewed 6/1/2019) (Booklist, vol 115, number 19, p35)
  • A heartwarming and witty novel with a distinctly Minnesotan feel, the author follows two sisters and their grandmother who become involved in the brewing industry. For readers who loved Where'd You Go Bernadette. -- Katelyn Boyer, Fergus Falls Public Library, Fergus Falls, MN. (LibraryReads, July 2019)
  • Stradal follows up Kitchens of the Great Midwest with a refreshing story about women who know how to take charge in a family that becomes involved in the brewing industry. Edith and her sister, Helen, are young Minnesotans in the 1950s, and though the unassuming Edith gains temporary fame for her scrumptious pies, Helen becomes obsessed with making beer after her very first sip. Both women marry, and while Edith and Stanley Magnusson struggle to make ends meet, Helen manipulates her ailing, beer-loving father by selling him on her capacity to make a beer of her own. After he dies, she takes Edith’s inheritance along with her own. Helen’s husband, Orval Blotz, is heir to his family’s failing brewing empire, and while Helen uses her inheritance and persistence to bring Blotz Beer back to popularity, Edith has difficulty forgiving Helen for her betrayal. The sisters lose track of one another for decades, but Edith’s teenage granddaughter, Diana, is drawn, seemingly by fate, into the brewing business. This is not a story of drinkers and drinking, but is rather a testament to the setbacks and achievements that come with following one’s passion. This story about how a family business succeeds with generations of strong and determined women at the helm makes for a sometimes sad, sometimes funny, but always winning novel. (July)
			 --Staff (Reviewed 05/20/2019) (Publishers Weekly, vol 266, issue 20, p)
  • Sisters Helen and Edith are polar opposites, and owing to a dispute over an inheritance have been estranged for decades. Good girl Edith marries young and supplements her husband's truck-driving income by baking at a nursing home, where her delicious pies make her briefly famous. Rebellious Helen develops a taste for beer early and marries college classmate Orval Blotz, partly because he's heir to a brewery fortune. Together, they revive the Blotz beer brand as a successful cheap American lager. Two generations later, Edith's granddaughter Diana survives a troubled adolescence by learning the craft beer trade, eventually opening her own brewery. Stradal covers a lot of ground, which sometimes makes the prose feel like plot summary. He does best when focusing on Diana's journey and the ins and outs of the beer trade. Without ever using the word, the book is decidedly feminist and offers pointed commentary about class differences and income inequality without feeling preachy. VERDICT Stradal's follow up to Kitchens of the Great Midwest wins you over with its good-heartedness, despite its flirtation with cloying folksiness at times. For regional collections and where beer is popular. [See Prepub Alert, 1/7/19.] --Christine DeZelar-Tiedman (Reviewed 06/01/2019) (Library Journal, vol 144, issue 5, p108)
  • /* Starred Review */ A family inheritance tears two Minnesota sisters apart—but years later, they might get a chance to reunite. Edith Magnusson never expected to be famous for anything, let alone her pies. But the pies she makes at her humble nursing-home job put the place on the map, and soon people are traveling from all over to try a slice. At 64 years old, it seems she's starting a new life...but Edith doesn't know what's in store for her future. Although she remains a talented baker, the years to come leave her widowed, underemployed, and taking care of her teenage granddaughter, Diana. The two of them manage to barely scrape by, but Edith often wonders how her life would have been different if she'd received her portion of the inheritance from her family's farm after her father died. Instead, Edith's younger sister, Helen, convinced their father to give her the entire inheritance so she could build a successful brewery with her husband. Helen made good on her promise, turning Blotz beer into one of the country's most prominent brands, but it comes at a cost. Edith stops speaking to Helen, and Helen doesn't reach out to fix the rift. Many years later, by coincidence, Diana ends up working in a brewery. She shows both an interest and skill in making beer, and soon she's a rising star in the world of brewing. As Diana's career takes off, she needs all the help from her family she can get—which just might mean a chance for Edith and Helen to reconnect. Stradal's (Kitchens of the Great Midwest, 2015) writing is sharp and funny while still managing to treat each character with warmth and respect. His women are complicated and interesting people who find fulfillment in hard work—and, perhaps most refreshingly, he never mocks the career hopes of older women. Although the characters' lives are full of loss—Edith of her husband, Diana of her parents, all of them of various unfulfilled dreams—the story doesn't wallow in grief or indulge in despair. Instead, this is an ultimately hopeful and heartwarming story that never feels sentimental or trite. Readers will love watching these truly original characters overcome their challenges and take care of each other. An absolutely delightful read, perfect for a summer day with a good beer and a piece of pie. (Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2019)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10785431
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Stradal, J. Ryan
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Brewing
  • Beer
  • Beer industry
  • Family-owned business enterprises
  • Sisters
  • Women brewers
  • Inheritance and succession
  • Families
  • Middle West
  • Minnesota
Target audience
adult
Label
The lager queen of Minnesota, J. Ryan Stradal
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
000065906879
Dimensions
24 cm.
Edition
First edition.
Extent
353 pages
Isbn
9780399563058
Isbn Type
(hardback)
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)1077962337
Label
The lager queen of Minnesota, J. Ryan Stradal
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
000065906879
Dimensions
24 cm.
Edition
First edition.
Extent
353 pages
Isbn
9780399563058
Isbn Type
(hardback)
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)1077962337

Library Locations

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