I discovered this wonderful book when someone described it as being similar to Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society and The unlikely pilgrimage of Harold Fry. I don’t think I would compare it to those books (which I’d highly recommend) but I’m also not sure how I would describe it. Is it a love story? Is it a coming of age story? Is it a mystery? Is it a book with strong characters? Does it have a strong sense of place? I could answer yes to all of the above.
A quick look at the subject headings reveals these entries:
|Booksellers and bookselling — Fiction.|
|Bookstores — Fiction.|
|Widowers — Fiction.|
|Abandoned children — Fiction.|
|Man-woman relationships — Fiction.|
Indeed, this is a book about all of these things. But it is also so much more. A.J. Fikry owns a book store and he loves books. He’s not just any bookseller, though. He is picky, contrite, a wee bit arrogant, and has poor customer service skills. Despite all these faults, he has a passion for books. A.J. Fikry also has a capacity to love. When his life takes turns he never imagined, and A.J. Fikry finds himself in the depths of despair, his redemption is his capacity to love. And love is what makes this book so wonderful. A love for people, community, literature, and most of all, a love of family.
If you are looking for a great summer read, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry is recommended.