A.J. Fikry is a middle aged widower who owns a bookstore on a tiny island; his bookstore is failing and he spends his nights drinking himself to oblivion. On one such evening he wakes up to discover his “retirement plan,” a priceless copy of Edgar Allen Poe’s Tamerlane, has been stolen. Then a baby turns up on Fikry’s doorstep with a note indicating the mother’s hope that her intellectual toddler would be better in his hands. Despite his lack of experience with children, Fikry takes a shine to the little girl.
I do not believe in God. I have no religion. But this to me is as close to a church as I have known in this life. It is a holy place. With bookstores like this, I feel confident in saying thatthere will be a book business for a very long time.
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry is short but expansive; it’s less than 300 pages long but Maya, the baby, is in high school at the ending. There are some twists and turns but mostly it’s just a sweet novel about a man softening over the years and allowing some happiness into his life. It’s been a while since I read a “fluffy” piece of fiction- I needed a bit of sappiness to lighten up my summer reading. It’s also a great book for nerds; literary references and mini book reviews are sprinkled throughout.