The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

A beautifully moving tale, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is an unforgettable look at what calls us to read and to open our hearts. It’s a tender and hopeful look at life, love, change, and second chances.

They had only ever discussed books but what, in this life,
is more personal than books?

— Gabrielle Zevin

A.J. Fikry is not ok. His personable wife died a year and a half ago, leaving him alone and in charge of the bookstore on an island in Massachusetts they once managed together. A.J. is sinking in his despair – drinking too much, eating poorly if at all, and pushing everyone away. He’s holding out for his last idea – to sell an expensive first edition of Poe, so he can retire in isolation. But a series of events dashes that dream…and sets him on a path to make new ones.

We are not quite novels.
We are not quite short stories.
In the end, we are collected works.

— Gabrielle Zevin

Review:

Oh, goodness, how I loved this book! A story about love and family and loss and books. A story about books bringing everything together. About our lives feeling like a collection of stories. Oh, be still my heart!

We read to know we’re not alone. We read because we are alone.
We read and we are not alone. We are not alone.

— Gabrielle Zevin

I feel like so much of the plot is a mystery, and to talk about characters I love – and why – would give away some of the most precious secrets. And having read this book without knowing spoilers, and knowing how hard those bits of information slammed into me each time they were revealed…well, I’m just going to leave most of it unsaid.

Zavin created an irresistible world I could feel, and a family of characters that I grew to love and with whom I deeply empathized. My heart broke with them, I laughed with them, and I cried snot-faced tears over their lives. The way she tied everything back to books and reading also spoke to my nerdy heart. There’s humor and pain, wit and hope. This was such a surprising and delightful find, and I can’t recommend it enough!

Why is any one book different from any other book? They are different, A.J. decides, because they are. We have to look inside many. We have to believe.
We agree to be disappointed sometimes so that we can be exhilarated
every now and again.

— Gabrielle Zevin

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin
Hardcover, 260 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by Algonquin Books

Summary

A beautifully moving tale, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is an unforgettable look at what calls us to read and to open our hearts. It's a tender and hopeful look at life, love, change, and second chances. A new favorite! Go read this now!

— Cassie
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