|The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin|
I found this book utterly charming. Bookseller in a small town, A.J. Fikry is down on his luck. A recent widower, to begin with A.J. seems truly set in his ways, telling a publisher’s rep that he knows what he likes and he won’t be swayed.
How then, will he react to the arrival of a baby in his bookshop? Surely this is not the beginning of a lengthy relationship, is it? A.J. seems to surprise everyone, not least himself, with his decision to look after the baby who has been left in his care. Maya’s arrival seems to be just what he needs and not only does it help A.J. to get his life in order, but it seems to bring the whole town closer together.
Each chapter begins with a short book review, with A.J.’s thoughts on the book itself with the reason he has chosen to include it. Before long, it becomes apparent that the works he is collecting are for Maya.
As the story moves on, facts fall into place about Maya’s history and also about the mystery of the missing book. One plot twist came as a total surprise to me, but I was rather glad it had happened. I found myself fully invested in the lives of A.J. and Maya throughout the book and without wanting to give anything away, I challenge anyone who reads this get to the end without feeling emotional.
I absolutely couldn’t fault this and have been recommending it to everyone I’ve spoken to since closing the back cover. If you only read one book this month, make it this one.