Thursday, October 6, 2016

Book review: The Storified Life of A.J.Fikry

I am a very bookish person myself that spends an average of three hours the day reading, and often finishing a book the day - at least. I also believe, once in a while, that two persons can fall in love while reading the same book. Thus, I am very tempted by books about book lovers. 
The mediocre life of a newly widower, AJ, owner of a bookstore in a remote locality, only visited during the summer vacation, is shaken after a little 2-year old girl is left in the front of his store by his single mother who shortly after commits suicide. A couple of weeks before that, a precious copy of the Tamerlan poem by E.A.Poe, disappeared from his room in a moment of inebriation, and with it, his hopes of a smooth retirement plan. And before that, AJ did his best by being repugnant to the young Amelie, the new representative of an edition house, showing off his love for books but minimum human empathy. Amelie herself was searching unsuccessfully for good years for her other significant bookish part.
After a while, they fell in love, and get married, while the little Maya is growing up a book lover and writer herself. Meanwhile, you got to know the little community, with its traitors and gossips and the way in which the bookstore become an important social player in the life of the community. I also love how the life of people is changed by books, and I resonate with the sad story of AJ's death, losing his precious gift of using words and ideas. 
However, I was not very happy with the pace of the story: either things are going too fast, or you go pages after pages without anything committing you to keep turning the pages. Some of the characters, including AJ, look and behave sometimes uni-dimensional, despite their complex thoughts and long reading list. I was not expecting pages of intellectual debate and high-end discussions, but in a way I was disappointed that it is not too much of it anyway. The risk is that it can be taken as chick-lit when it haven't aimed at being one.
Rating: 3 stars

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