The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry (2006)

by Gabrielle Zevin

A two-year-old is A. J. Fikryís rescuer. Owner of a declining bookstore on an island off the Massachusetts coast, A. J. has become despondent and curmudgeonly since his wifeís accidental death. A toddler, Maya, is abandoned in the bookstore with a note from the mother. A. J. decides to foster and then adopt the girl. We see a more likable A. J. as he brings up Maya, although he can still be opinionated, especially when it comes to books and reading.

Vivid characters populate The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry. Besides A. J. and Maya, they include the quirky publisherís representative who becomes A. J.ís second wife; a good-natured policeman who A. J. turns into a reader of a certain sort of novel; A. J.ís solicitous sister-in-law; her philandering husband, a writer; and the bookstore itself and its resort location. The novel is an entertaining read, although A. J.ís transformation from curmudgeonly to loving happens awfully quickly. The novel isnít the deepest, but itís a good choice for a quick, feel-good read.


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