Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction
A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island—from Lambiase, the well-intentioned police officer; from Ismay, his sister-in-law; from Amelia, the lovely and idealistic (if eccentric) Knightley Press sales rep who keeps on taking the ferry over to Alice Island, refusing to be deterred by A.J.’s bad attitude. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him.
And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It’s a small package, but large in weight. It’s that unexpected arrival that gives A. J. Fikry the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew. It doesn’t take long for the locals to notice the change overcoming A.J.; or for that determined sales rep, Amelia, to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light; or for the wisdom of all those books to become again the lifeblood of A.J.’s world; or for everything to twist again into a version of his life that he didn’t see coming.
Rating: 🌑 🌑 🌑 🌑 🌓
Oh wow, this book got me feeling all sorts of giddy and emotional. I will try not to say too much about this wonderful, moving and hilarious little gem of a book that is about love, loss, heartbreaks, second chances and so much more because part of loving it comes from knowing practically nothing about it. Plus, because I simply cannot do it justice.
Once in a while, a book comes along that captures your heart and soul – its characters become like friends and family. A book where its underlying message stays with you long after you’ve read it. It warms and breaks your heart at the same time.
Our lead character, A.J. Fikry is one of those characters that you root for through and through. He’s cynical and grumpy, but simultaneously witty, clever, funny and lovable. Oh, and did I mention the literary references?? If you’re a lover of literature, it’s another reason to go ahead and read it! need I say more??
…That was anything BUT graceful but I tried!