Friday, June 6, 2014
As the years pass, A.J. teaches Maya about books and literature while Maya teaches A.J. about life, love and belonging. As Maya moves gracefully into adulthood, A.J. is able to re-connect with community members and rebuild his broken life. The bookstore again becomes the vibrant center of the town it was originally intended to be.
This could have been a very trite book. Instead, Zevin has developed the tale around a series of "stories" about Fikry's life, each framed as a short essay or excerpt from various literary classics, such as The Luck of Roaring Camp, A Diamond as Big as the Ritz, The Tell Tale Heart, etc. The technique is stunning. The story is heartwarming, the characters are charming. It is a very positive love story but it is not saccharin. Life and reality often intrude. There are episodes of great anxiety, loss, grief, and despair. But there are equal episodes of hope, joy, love and affirmation.
This is definitely going to be on my list as one of my favorites of the year.
Title: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Publisher: Algonquin Books (2014), e galley, 272 pages
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Subject: bookstores, adoption
Source: Review copy from publisher via Net Galley
Posted by Tina at 1:57 PM