After the last abysmal review I wrote (I’m looking at you, Steven Evans), I decided to post for the second time today with one of the best books I’ve read in a while: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. I have nothing but praise for this novel, which is not only a fantastic novel, but a novel that centers around a small bookstore (if you ask me, there’s nothing better than books about books).
The characters are marvelous, the plot is beautifully constructed, the literary references are on point. Some of the writing may be cutesy, and the coincidences that occur in the plot may not be wholly believable, but even so the story is heartwarming. It’s clearly fiction, but well written fiction, and you feel real emotions as A.J. Fikry endures suffering and happiness. The ending wraps up surprisingly, with every character receiving a satisfactory conclusion that still leaves you with the impression that their stories aren’t over.
I believe that certain books find you at just the right time; for me this is one of those books. I laughed, I cried, and I plan on rereading this one at least of couple of times.
In lieu of spoilers (and in the hopes that you’ll pick up your own copy and tell me what you think) I’ll leave you with my favorite quote from the book:
“We are not quite novels. We are not quite short stories. In the end, we are collected works.”