Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

A. J. Fikry is the owner of the sole bookstore on Alice Island, Island Books, and he is not a very likeable fellow. Just ask Amelia Loman, publishing rep and perpetual optimist, who finds out exactly how unpleasant A. J. is during her first meeting with him. Oh, he's got his reasons, chief among them being he's still grieving the loss of his beloved wife, Nicole, nearly two years after her death. Frankly, A. J. has checked out of life and cares very little for the company of people like Amelia, whom he quickly sends packing after half-listening to her sales pitch. Business as usual as far as A. J.'s concerned, but he has no idea how drastically his life is about to change. To begin with, his first-edition copy of Tamerlane, a poetry collection by Edgar Allan Poe worth thousands of dollars, mysteriously goes missing. And then, just before Christmas, he receives an unexpected delivery in the form of an abandoned two-year-old named Maya. However, it's what A. J. does next that makes all the difference in his life and in the lives of those around him.

Gabrielle Zevin has done an amazing thing in The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry in that she's written a book that has a little something for everyone. You'll find within its pages mystery, romance, tragedy, and humor. Life, in other words. And if you love stories about books and bookstores and the people who love them, you won't go wrong with this one. But most importantly, this is a book about second chances and how they often show up in our lives in ways we would have never imagined--lifelines in disguise, if you will. Do we throw them back and keep on drifting through life, or do we take hold of them and turn things around? While you're thinking about that, give The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry a try. I loved it, and I really think you will, too.  

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