The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
I love bookstores – the smaller and quirkier the better – I love roaming the aisles and finding treasures, I love seeing and feeling the personalities of the bookstore owners within the “pages” of the store. What I liked best about this story was the setting, “Island Books,” A. J. Fikry bookstore and the way the story unfolded within its doors, the characters that grew within its walls.
A.J. Fikry owns Island Books on a summer destination island off Massachusetts. He’s widowed at the age of 39, his wife killed in an auto accident. Fikry drinks as his bookstore drifts toward bankruptcy. Then, within a span of days, his rare copy of Poe’s Tamerlane is stolen, and 2-year-old little girl is deposited at his bookstore. However, the story does not dwell in the darkness of Fikry’s existence. Rather, it’s about the power of life to surprise, about how plans – and lives – change in the barest of moments.
The Characters are well developed, my favorite is Police Chief Lambiase who wasn’t an avid reader but liked the occasional Detective book, while using prose of purchasing new books to check on A.J. he gradually grows into more literary novels and becomes an avid reader. Eventually, Lambiase starts a book club for police officers at the store. I think I am drawn to him because of his growth as a reader!
The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is an unforgettable tale of transformation and second chances, a likable literary love story about selling books and finding love.