“Marvelously optimistic about the future of books and bookstores and the people who love both.”—The Washington Post
A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over--and see everything anew.
“This novel has humor, romance, a touch of suspense, but most of all love--love of books and bookish people and, really, all of humanity in its imperfect glory.” —Eowyn Ivey, author of The Snow Child
“You won’t want it to end.” —Family Circle
“A natural for book groups.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch
“A reader’s paradise of the first order.” —The Buffalo News
“A fun, page-turning delight.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Captures the joy of connecting people and books . . . Irresistible.” —Booklist
“A wonderful, moving, endearing story of redemption and transformation that will sing in your heart for a very, very long time.” —Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain
“Readers who delighted in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, and Letters from Skye will be equally captivated by this novel.” —*Library Journal, starred review
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
A crotchety bookstore owner on a windblown island off the Massachusetts coast plans to drink himself to oblivion after losing his wife, but a shocking delivery alters his life forever. Author Gabrielle Zevin has concocted a marvelous love letter to reading—and a supremely fun and moving story about connection and community that will appeal to fans of The Rosie Project and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. Drawn in bright colors and hilarious detail, Zevin’s characters are perfect company.
The only thing that's "storied" in the life of A.J. Fikry, a curmudgeonly independent bookseller, in this funny, sad novel from Zevin (The Hole We're In), is his obvious love of literature particularly short stories. Fikry runs Island Books, located on Alice Island, a fictional version of Martha's Vineyard. It's a "persnickety little bookstore," in the words of Amelia Loman, the new sales rep for Knightley Press. Her first meeting with Fikry does not go well. He's disgruntled by the state of publishing, and bereft because his beloved wife, Nic, recently died in a car accident. Soon after the meeting, he suffers another loss: a rare first edition of Edgar Allan Poe's poem Tamerlane (Fikry's primary retirement asset) goes missing. But then Fikry finds an abandoned toddler in his bookstore with a note saying, "This is Maya. She is twenty-five months old." Somewhat unbelievably, Maya ends up in his care and, predictably enough, opens the irascible bookseller's heart. The surprisingly expansive story includes a romance between Fikry and Amelia, and follows Maya to the age of 18 before arriving at a bittersweet denouement. Zevin is a deft writer, clever and witty, and her affection for the book business is obvious.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Good book but irritating lapses in time.
I really enjoyed reading this book and for the most part, I would recommend it to other readers. However, I feel that by the author skipping years at a time in between chapters, the storyline is hard to follow at times. I feel like if the author would have gone the route of telling the whole story with even the small details in more of a chronological order, then it could have made a great series rather than just one book about the topic.
What a Beautiful Book...
I cannot recommend this book highly enough - there is something very special about this book, as it describes a way of life, and love and books, in only the way someone who has lived it, pulls back the veil and asks you to come on in - it is a mood of the moment, which meets you half way, and walks you across the threshold as you are invited in the slice of life through the intersection of so many, who laugh, and cry, and hold, and turn away and rekindle those special moments and people, all at just the right time, as well as just the wrong time - you must get this book, and curl into your favorite reading corner, with a Do Not Disturb sign, as you savor each page, and each passage....there is just something very special about this book, and I know I will come back to passages again and again....thank you....