The Storied Life of AJ Fikry

This was one of my favorite books of the year. It’s about a bookstore owner, his adopted daughter, a publishing sales representative, and an assorted cast of characters. AJ Fikry owns a bookstore on an island off the Massachusetts. A young sales rep from a publishing house calls on him and he is extremely rude to her. She leaves the store and does not think anything will come of the visit.

AJ has lost his wife in an accident and is slowly drinking himself to death. He has a copy of Edgar Allen Poe’s Tamerlaine which he intends to sell one day as it is very rare. After a night of drinking, he wakes up to find his apartment (above the bookstore) to find it clean and his book gone. He goes to the police where he meets the chief. They do not have a grand beginning, but slowly become friends. A baby is then abandoned in a bookstore with a note the mother cannot take care of her. AJ decides to take in the child and his sister-in-law (whose husband is a philandering writer) helps out. The story is one of these people, and books. And love. And life. And loss.

While there is somewhat of a plot twist near the end, the book is not about suspense or plot twists. It’s about a love of literature and books and people. It is the story of the evolution of AJ from drunk widower to father to husband. It is a story that shows what can happen when you open up to people and let them care about you as you care about them in return. It is a story of kindness.

There are not words enough to describe how much I adored this book. It is so well-written and such a wonderful story. I highly recommend it.


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