Things have been going downhill for A.J. Fikry ever since his wife died unexpectedly in a car accident. They ran Island Books together, the sole bookstore on Alice Island. Since her death, A.J. has taken to drinking too much (though he insists he’s not an alcoholic) and not being particularly nice to Island Books’ customers or his friends and family.
Things change when A.J. returns to the bookstore one night to find that someone has left a baby in the children’s book section. Much to the surprise of everyone on Alice Island, and somewhat to A.J.’s surprise as well, he ends up adopting the baby and embarking on a crash course in parenting.
I’ll admit that I considered returning The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry when the baby mysteriously showed up. It seemed a little too cute for my tastes. But I enjoyed previous books by Gabrielle Zevin enough that I stuck with it. I definitely made the right choice. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry is a heartwarming and clever read, and consistently strong characters save the book from Hallmark Movie territory.