I wasn’t sure what I was going to get into when starting this book. A friend got me a copy of it after seeing that I’d read Silas Marner and said that I’d probably enjoy this one, too. I enjoyed Elliot’s classic novel, so there was no reason to not give The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry a chance from a recommendation like that.
Is this a modern day retelling of Silas Marner? Not exactly, and that’s what I think is one of the great things about Zevin’s book. There are shared elements to the basic character relationships, but it goes above and beyond them, creating a story all its own, with characters that worked their way into my heart and ideas about the books, as well as the book world, that many readers of all sorts can relate to.
Another thing I liked is that at the beginning of each chapter is a quick message from A.J. to Maya about a short story he wants her to read. Some I’ve read. Others I haven’t. I’ll be going back through to write them down and read myself. I’m always welcome to further reading while reading books. It’s just one of the ways to expand my reading list.
While a quick read, it tugs at various emotions, ideas about life, and opinions about books. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry won me over early on and toward the end I didn’t want to get to the last chapter, I wanted it to keep going. I can only hope that the next book by Zevin that I pick up will give me a similar feeling.