“The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry” is a sweet, funny story about one man’s redemption through books and unexpected relationships.
When we meet him, A.J. Fikry is a 39-year-old bookstore owner who is in a deep funk following his wife’s death. A transplant to the island where he lives, he has very few friends and has lost interest in his business and his beloved books. Then, through a random series of events, he adopts a little girl who cracks open his heart and allows him to find love, friendship and fulfillment again.
I enjoyed this book. Ms. Zevin peppers her story with amusing lines like, “A.J. has never changed a diaper in his life, though he is a modestly skilled gift wrapper.” She also creates characters who clearly love literature but aren’t afraid to admit they hate “Moby Dick” or make comments like, “In reading Twain, I often suspect he is having more fun than I am.” Lines like these kept me smiling throughout, until the very end when (spoiler alert) I cried a little.
This book is also a quick read and, let’s be honest, that is sometimes an important quality in a book. It’s the perfect read if you’ve just finished a long/dark/complicated book and want to recharge your batteries before committing to the next long/dark/complicated book on your reading list. And that comment isn’t intended to demean the quality or importance of this novel, because it’s a good, nicely written story.
What books have recharged your reading batteries? What authors do you turn to when you need something uplifting and light?