“You know everything you need to know about a person from the answer to the question, What is your favorite book?”
Gabrielle Zevin’s The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry tells the story of a bookseller who has recently lost his wife to a car crash. He miserably wastes away his days, until one day he leaves his store unlocked and comes back to find an abandoned toddler. The novel depicts his journey as he adopts the child and learns to become a father.
If I were to describe this book in one word, it would be charming. The plot spans many years, but nothing extraordinary really happens following Maya’s appearance in A.J.’s life. The story depicts the day to day life of someone learning to be a father and reclaiming his life. Normally, this kind of pacing would bother me. But the way Zevin pieces this tale together makes it easy to fly through, even with time jumps.
The characters make this book special, and I adore that they all are involved in the literary world in some way or another. This book is truly a love letter to the book community.
My only complaint about The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry is that it isn’t exactly an original concept. And I don’t usually base judgments on that, because let’s face it, original stories are hard to come by. But I do feel like Zevin could have done more to make this story stand out, I guess. It was a delightful read, but it wasn’t life altering by any means.
I gave The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry a 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys reading slice of life pieces, or anyone searching for a warm & fuzzy story.
Have you read this novel? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!