Nov 192015


The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

 On the faded Island Books sign hanging over the porch of the Victorian cottage is the motto “No Man Is an Island; Every Book Is a World.” A. J. Fikry, the irascible owner, is about to discover just what that truly means.

A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island-from Lambiase, the well-intentioned police officer who’s always felt kindly toward Fikry; from Ismay, his sister-in-law who is hell-bent on saving him from his dreary self; from Amelia, the lovely and idealistic (if eccentric) Knightley Press sales rep who keeps on taking the ferry over to Alice Island, refusing to be deterred by A.J.’s bad attitude. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, A.J. can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly.

And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It’s a small package, but large in weight. It’s that unexpected arrival that gives A. J. Fikry the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew. It doesn’t take long for the locals to notice the change overcoming A.J.; or for that determined sales rep, Amelia, to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light; or for the wisdom of all those books to become again the lifeblood of A.J.’s world; or for everything to twist again into a version of his life that he didn’t see coming. As surprising as it is moving, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is an unforgettable tale of transformation and second chances, an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love.

I absolutely loved this book! It will definitely be on of my favorites from 2015.

I loved following Filkry as he slowly became less grumpy and more open to being happy, and to loving and being loved. His relationship with Maya was, in my opinion, the best part of the book. I would have never imagined that he would accept her the way he did and it gave me the warm fuzzies.

A. J.’s relationship with Amelia surprised me too, and I got caught up in the unlikey romance of these two. All the other characters were ineresting also, and I wanted the story to go on and on. I was a bit sad with the way it ended, but it still was one of the most interesting books I’ve read in a long time.

  10 Responses to “The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin”

  1. Thanks for reminding me what a lovely story it was! I read it soon after it came out and had expectations for something different based off a handful of reviews I had read. I think it impacted my real enjoyment of the book. I need to reread it with a clear mind as I loved the relationships with Maya and Amelia as well.

  2. It was a delightful book, I agree, so many tragedies though. Of course it came at a good time in my reading line up. So enjoyed it. Take care my friend.

  3. My sister read this and loved it but she never passed the book on to me. I need to have a talk with her.

  4. Vicki, I’m glad you enjoyed this book so much. It does sound quite interesting.

  5. I enjoyed your review Vicki. I enjoyed this book too.

  6. I loved this as well Vicki.

  7. I love books about books and bookish people. Based upon your description this one exudes bookishness.

    When such books have strong characters and good stories it really makes them something special.

  8. This made it on my favorite list as well! Glad you enjoyed the book.

  9. I haven’t heard it of this one before you reviewed it. It’s probably going on my long list for 2016.

  10. Loved this one when I read it! I think I mentioned that it would make a great tv show – minus the ending, of course!

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