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The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

A Novel

by Gabrielle Zevin

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
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    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Apr 2014, 272 pages
    Paperback:
    Dec 2014, 288 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

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Reviews

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There are currently 12 reader reviews for The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
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Lyn Geib (02/11/16)

The Storied Life of AJ Fikry
Great book for book lovers, people who love book stores, and people in book clubs. There was a small book store in a beach town that I always visited when at the beach, and I absolutely loved this store. The women who owned the store read each book and had a small pencil written review inside the cover. Many of my favorite books were purchased as a result of their reviews. A little mystery, a little love story and absolutely wonderful characters in this book.
Judy Lathrop (06/16/15)

Life of J K Fikrey
This book has a great storyline. Lots of unexpected twists and turns! It reflects life on many small New England Islands. A great read!
Linda Kamin (08/26/14)

My New Favorite Book
A delightful novel filled with talk about literature and reference to books and short stories. The characters are quirky and charming. The story touches one's heart. Readers will love the literary allusions.
Cloggie Downunder (08/26/14)

delightful read
The Collected Works of A.J.Fikry (aka The Storied Life of A.J.Fikry) is the fifth stand-alone novel by American author, Gabrielle Zevin. Alice Island, a New England summer destination requiring bus and ferry travel, boasts a main street book store. Island Books is owned by recent widower, A.J.Fikry, an opinionated, often cranky man in his late thirties with a (self-described) porcupine heart. Since the unfortunate accidental death of his beloved wife, his plan has been to drink himself to death and drive his business to ruin. This plan is derailed by three occurrences: thirty-six-year-old sales representative for Knightley Press, Amelia Loman makes her first visit to Island Books to present the publisher’s Winter List (and is treated rather shabbily by A.J.); A.J.’s escape valve, a rare and valuable edition of Tamerlane, a collection of poems by Edgar Allan Poe, is stolen; and a bright two-year-old girl named Maya is left in his bookstore. Against all odds, A.J. finds himself (with frequent help from Google and occasional input from the Island’s residents) bringing up a young girl. Zevin has given the reader characters who are appealing despite their flaws, or perhaps because of them. The story has an element of mystery and the plot has a few unexpected twists. Each chapter is prefaced with a paragraph of A.J.’s comments for Maya about a certain literary work: advice for writing and advice for life. It contains many words of wisdom, making it, as others have said, a very quotable book: “Sometimes books don’t find us until the right time” and “We are not quite novels. We are not quite short stories. In the end, we are collected works” will resonate with many readers. This book is filled with lightness and dark, with laugh-out-loud moments and lines that will have the most cynical reader choking up. It is a book for anyone who loves to read or loves book stores, and lovers of fine literature will be especially captivated. This delightful read is one of those books that is almost impossible to put down and most readers will be sorry to reach the end. A keeper.
Linda Bach (04/25/14)

Fascinating
I read this book in two sessions and only was able to put it down to get some sleep. I found the characters fascinating and became very vested in their welfare; I cared what happened to them as if they were real.
Carmen Kirschling (04/23/14)

Readers will rejoice
A lovely little story that reconfirms why we read, and why we love when others read, too!
Roe P (04/16/14)

IF YOU LOVE BOOKS.....
I totally loved this book.. It takes place in a small bookstore in an out of the way town. It is a little bit of everything, love story, family saga. The characters come alive and the story is such a sweet story. I recommend this book to every one who loves books or just wants a good book to settle down with.
Lola Michaels (04/14/14)

Sweet Read!
This book was, hands down, a gem. From page one Zevin had me involved in a whirlwind of full bodied characters and I couldn't put the book down until I finished. There were nice surprises along the way and I learned to look out of the small clues she left like bread crumbs. AJ was quite a sharp personality, but I found myself cheering him as he moved from utter desolation to opening himself to the possibility of a good life. The distinct personalities of the book company rep (bigger than life), the town cop (ever so subtle with AJ), the sister-in-law (harsh ... but really not in the end). I don't want to give even a little bit of this story away so I leave it at that. There's the heart of a small town here, but never in a way I would expect.
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