Monday, October 14, 2019

The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal

4.5 Stars

“I want to die doing this.”

“Me too. I want to be found in a pool of my own beer.”

I would have not even heard of this book if it weren’t for the glowing reviews by JanB and Marialyce, so I’m going to channel my inner Golden Girl and tell them “thank you for being a friend.” I’m not going to say a whole lot here, but encourage you all to go to their pages because they are way better at words than I am.

What I will say is if some random bookseller had tried to push a story told by two sisters and one granddaughter that timehopped sporadically from the 1950s to the present the odds of me actually leaving the store with said book would have been slim to nill. And if that bookseller added on the fact that the focus was going to be about brewing craft beers??? Well . . . .

There’s definitely a lot of beer talk in this too. From the various types hops to measurements to brew times and temps. But I’m telling you it didn’t bog me down at all. And if a girl who cut her teeth on $.75 ‘Stones (in a jelly jar rather than a can for the classy set) didn’t give a rip about all this hipster nonsense regarding stouts and IPAs, well then I highly doubt the rest of you will either . . . .

I can’t really pinpoint exactly why this one worked so well for me. Maybe because I was raised by salt of the earth types of women like these (one who ran a local fruit and vegetable market – one who rose before dawn to run the local donut shop). Maybe because I can relate to family members who can go years without speaking. Maybe because I’ve always had to provide an honest day’s work to earn an honest day’s dollar. Maybe because in a world where feminists are often labeled as “feminazis” it was refreshing to see a group of gals who simply fought the good fight and truly did break the glass ceiling without that even being their main intention. Maybe even more so that a man wrote these characters so there’s hope that everyone will eventually just “get it.” Maybe because it made me have feelings without making me feel like I was being manipulated into having them. Maybe because it made me grateful for finding folks like the ones mentioned above who bring books like this into my life. Whatever the case, I loved it . . . . .

I still don’t like IPAs though.

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