A book for book lovers

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin is a touching story about people who love books and about the people they love. A.J. is a middle-aged widower who owns Island Books on Alice Island, MA. He is quirky and prickly and still grieving for his wife Nic who died in a car accident. Things are not going well for A.J. His meeting with Amelia Loman, the new representative for Knightly Press, ends badly with A.J. ranting about the current state of publishing. Then A.J.’s prized copy of Tamerlane by Edgar Allen Poe is stolen. Nic’s sister Ismay and local police chief Lambiase try to help and console A.J. Soon after that, a toddler named Maya is abandoned in his store with a note that says: I want her to grow up to be a reader. I want her to grow up in a place with books and among people who care about those kinds of things. Maya wins A.J.’s heart. After a year A.J. adopts Maya, and she becomes Maya Tamerlane Fikry. This leisurely-paced humorous story follows Maya, A.J., Ismay, Ismay’s philandering husband Daniel, Amelia, and Lambiase as the bookstore prospers again and as Maya grows to be a teen. The book ends on a bittersweet note when tragedy strikes, but the heartwarming and hopeful feeling of the book lingers.

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