Saturday, October 4, 2014

"The Storied Life of A.J. Firky," by Gabrielle Zevin

"The Storied Life of A.J. Firky," by Gabrielle Zevin

Hanging over the porch of the tiny New England bookstore called Island Books is a faded sign with the motto “No Man Is an Island; Every Book Is a World.” A.J. Fikry, the irascible owner, is about to discover just what that truly means.

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. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, A.J. can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly.

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. 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 him or for a determined sales rep named Amelia to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light. The wisdom of all those books again become the lifeblood of A.J.’s world and everything twists into a version of his life that he didn’t see coming.

As books go this wasn't the worst book I have ever read, nor was it the best.  It was entertaining and relatable.  Poor A.J. has probably hit about rock bottom, when there are a couple of changes in his life.  Neither of his doing, but they make A.J.'s life do a u-turn and things start getting better in his life.

I did love the way the author described the life on the Island and in particular the book store.  By the end of the book I was thinking I wouldn't mind owning and running a book store.  This book is a pretty easy read, I read it over a couple of days.  Maya is an exceptional character and the way the author described her, made her so real.  There were a couple of details that I didn't figure out right away, but they made sense when revealed.  Part of the ending of this story is sad, but another part brings to mind the words: "to come full circle."

Stars out of 5 : 4 Well worth reading.  This book is the selection for our November book club meeting.  Due to the price $15+ depending on where you purchase it, I borrowed it from the library and there was only the one copy, so had to get it while it was on the shelf.

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