Review of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Joe, owner of Yellow Dog Bookshop.
This book was sad and funny, heartbreaking and hopeful; it starts out as a light read but develops into a deep story.
Gabrielle Zevin tells the story of A.J., the lonely, widowed, curmudgeonly owner of Island Books, and Amelia, an ambitious publisher rep who is determined to sell him a load of books. A valuable book disappears, an infant is left in the shop, and A.J. and Amelia find their lives completely transformed.
Each section of the book begins with an epigraph from a short story, which we eventually learn are the stories chosen by A.J. for Maya, the baby he raised in the bookshop. As the book draws to its tearful yet triumphant close, you will find yourself wanting to read it all over again. Even if you’re not a bookstore owner like me, this story will touch you deeply and, I hope, encourage you to pass on your own love of books to others.