When I began this book, I was wondering why it had gotten so many endorsements, until all of the sudden I got to a certain plot development and my heart was plopped into my lap and wrapped up in a blanket. Weirdest analogy ever? Read the book, and see if it doesn’t happen to you!
A.J. Fikry, 39, is a widower (his wife died in a car accident almost 2 years earlier) and owner of Island Books, the only bookstore on Alice Island in Massachusetts. He is bitter, depressed, crabby, and intent on drinking himself to death, when unexpectedly, love comes into his life from several different directions.
Discussion: This book is bound to appeal to book lovers, but there is much more within that will appeal to those who enjoy subtle humor, unexpected plot twists and clever dialogue.
Some bits I loved:
The reading choices of the women’s book club group:
“In April, The Paris Wife. In June, A Reliable Wife. In August, American Wife. In September, The Time Traveler’s Wife. In December, he runs out of decent books with wife in the title. They read Bel Canto.”
The conversation between two of the supporting characters who start dating:
“‘You really are one heck of a pretty woman,’ [he] says.
…’Pretty is not a good reason to court someone, you know…’
‘This from the woman who doesn’t read the books with the ugly covers.’
‘Well, I’m just warning you. I could be a bad book with a good jacket.’
…’Nah, I’ve seen you on the shelf for years. I’ve read the synopsis and the quotes on the back. … it’s enough to make me want to read on….”
And A.J., who you will grow to love, on reading and books:
“We read and we are not alone. … My life is in these books… Read these and know my heart. We are not quite novels. … We are not quite short stories. … In the end, we are collected works.”
Evaluation: I loved this story. How could any book lover not? Get this book, a box of kleenex, and settle in for a charming, heart-warming story that will stay with you long after the last page (and the last wadded up kleenex).
Note: This is not a “chick-lit” book as some may think. My husband, although he had to be pushed through the beginning, ended up loving it as well, and he too had to avail himself of the kleenex box! (But of course, he attributed his sniffles to a cold….)
Published by Algonquin Books, a division of Workman Publishing, 2014