The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

Thoughts tsloajfbygz by Gabrielle Zevin, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill 2014, 258 pages

Genre: Dunno…   “Book Lover Lit”?
Type/Source: Tradeback, Purchased from local indie bookstore
 Why I read this now: Neighborhood Book Club

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  An owner of a bookstore on small New England island is grieving his dead wife when a stranger leaves a baby among the bookshelves. He somehow is allowed to adopt her and the little girl saves his life. He eventually marries and lives happily ever after. NOT! A sweet unlikely tale that actually brings up dark issues like suicide, infidelity, and cancer and yet all is just lovely because we get to “talk” books.

WHAT’s GOOD: OK, I loved it. I loved the New England setting and of course, I loved all the books. I had read most of the ones mentioned, I think.

What’s NOT so good: Full of cliches and could be accused of just being a checklist of what should be in a book about people who love books and yet SO WHAT!?

FINAL THOUGHTS: I enjoyed it. A fast read. Good palate changer when you need something light and quick. I really did not mind –SPOILER ALERT!– I did not mind that wham-bam the guy gets brain cancer and oh well, book over. [Wow, that doesn’t read quite right. What exactly am I trying to say?] That the author didn’t melodramatize anything even if throwing the guy into the situation could be considered melodramatic?

And I liked the police captain. He was cool.

RATING:  Four slices of cherry pie.

p.255 “The waitress asks if they want dessert. Ismay says she doesn’t want anything, but Lambiase knows she’ll always share a little of his. He orders a slice of cherry pie, two forks.”




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18 thoughts on “The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

  1. Deepika Ramesh

    I loved this one too, Care. And, I loved the Cop Mystery Book Club. That was amazing. Cancer was such a cliche. Sigh!

  2. Great review, and I totally agree about the cliches. I knew I was being a tiny bit manipulated emotionally but dammit, I didn’t care, because it was so heartfelt and sweet. Hope the neighborhood book club is going well.

    1. It’s always an interesting conversation about how an author manipulates (or not) because it is so subjective and some readers LOVE it! So… whatever. Works for some and not for others. This one worked well enough for me.

  3. I realized on reading your review that I didn’t remember the plot of this one at all! Does this book start with a publicist coming to town to talk about various new releases with Fikry? Or was it another book?

  4. litandlife

    You can never go wrong with a good palate changer! They so often seem to be just the right thing at the right time.

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