A.J. Fikry is an independent book store owner in the small town of Alice Island. After purchasing the book store with his wife, things don’t quite turn out as he expected. His wife dies in a car accident and A.J. finds himself turning into an angry man prone to drinking his cares away. To top it off, his extremely valuable copy of Edgar Allen Poe’s Tamerlane and Other Poems is stolen right from underneath his nose. As time passes, A.J. comes to find that he has isolated himself from almost everyone in Alice Island. His only regular acquaintances are his late wife’s sister, Ismay, and Lambiase, the police officer looking for his stolen book.
A.J.’s life changes drastically when he returns from an evening run to find that a baby has been left in his store with only a note from its mother including the baby’s name: Maya. While initially annoyed, A.J. comes to see that Maya may be what saves him from his own demise.
This heartwarming story by Gabrielle Zevin is a must read for book lovers. Even in his angry phase, A.J.’s ability to pick out the right book for the right reader is fascinating. A.J.’s love for books and stories help him through a difficult time and his ability to share his love of books with others eventually bring people back into his lonely life. Filled with heartache, laughter, and love, Gabrielle has written a story that is sure to be passed along from reader to reader.
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