A.J. Fikry runs a bookstore on Alice Island (a fictional island near Rhode Island, U.S.). In this novel, he has just lost his young wife in a car accident, his sales are down, and someone has stolen a rare collection of poems. Even his favorite books can no longer cheer him and alcohol is slowly taking over. Into this depression arrives a baby girl, twenty-five months old, left with a note by her mother, who can no longer take care of her.
Gabrielle Zevin is a Los Angeles writer who has written seven novels, some for young adults, which have been translated into twenty languages. She has a sensitive approach to the isolation we can get into when literary concerns become our only life.
In this book she succeeds in bringing love back to A.J. and to his whole circle. This includes his sister-in-law, the sales rep who becomes his next wife, even the friendly police officer who’s always kept an eye on him. It’s a good story and well-written.
Review by Anne McDougall