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

storiedlifeIf you liked The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society or The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, you will probably like this new book by Gabrielle Zevin – The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry.

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 Chief Lambiase, the well-intentioned police officer who’s always felt kindly toward him; from Ismay, his sister-in-law, who is hell-bent on saving A.J. from his dreary self,  from Amelia, the lovely and idealistic book rep who persists in taking the ferry 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, he 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, though large in weight – an unexpected arrival that gives A.J. 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., for the determined sales rep Amelia to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light, 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.

Admittedly, we are slightly biased about a book that takes place in a bookstore but both Bev and Paula give this one a definite thumbs up.

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