If you love an uncomplicated plot and a story that flows lucidly, this book – The Collected Works of A.J. Fikry – should be the next book you ought to be reading. If you love the smell of books in a bookstore and have been whiling your time away in the local book shop for a long time now, you will thoroughly enjoy reading of A.J. Fikry. This novel has Mr. Fikry shown as the owner of a small bookstore, whose wife has recently died in a tragic accident. A.J. gets buried in deep sorrow and turns to alcohol and aloofness over his wife’s death and becomes the reason for ruining his own book business. The bookstore is experiencing the lowest of sales, and a rare collection of Poe poems, Fikry’s most prized possession, gets stolen. Depression and bad attitude creep up, and he finds himself isolating from all helpful people of Alice Island. This is when Maya, a 2-year-old girl enters his life. Abandoned in his store, the little girl’s entry marks for a complete turnaround in Fikry’s life.
Throughout the book, you will find no drama or anything unrealistic or pompous. It has collected the years in the life of A.J. Fikry and presented it in a plain story about everyday happening in a comforting yet compelling read. If you have a passion for reading or books, you will notice how the author – Gabrielle Zevin, has woven the importance of books felt by every character in different parts of the story.
The novel is one of those quiet books that has nothing much to say, but everything there to make you feel good. It is important to note that this book is particularly rich with discussions about contemporary literature. So, if you are a regular at the book clubs, you might find that delightful too. I am pleased to say that Gabrielle Zevin has done a remarkable job in penning an endearing and moving tale of the good transformation that will remain with you as a tingling aftertaste. This one is definitely one of those mood uplifting novels that come around once in a while.
Aptly hailed as ‘a tribute to book shops, to authors, to books’, The Collected Works of A.J. Fikry is the classic tale of how love and understanding have the power to mend a broken heart. Read it without any expectations and build your own liking for it, which I’m pretty sure you will.