by Gabrielle Zevin, Scott Brick (Narrator)
Audio CD, 7 hours
Published April 1st 2014 by HighBridge Company
The irascible A. J. Fikry, owner of Island Books—the only bookstore on Alice Island—has already lost his wife. Now his most prized possession, a rare book, has been stolen from right under his nose in the most embarrassing of circumstances. The store itself, it seems, will be next to go.
One night upon closing, he discovers a toddler in his children’s section with a note from her mother pinned to her Elmo doll: “I want Maya to grow up in a place with books and among people who care about such kinds of things. I love her very much, but I can no longer take care of her.” A search for Maya’s mother, A. J.’s rare book, and good childcare advice ensues, but it doesn’t take long for the locals to notice the transformation of both bookstore and owner, something of particular interest to the lovely yet eccentric Knightley Press sales rep, Amelia Loman, who makes the arduous journey to Alice Island thrice each year to pitch her books to the cranky owner.
“Sometimes books don't find us until the right time.”
This was exactly the light read I needed to get me out of my day to day mundane office grind. It tells the story of a small town man in the aftermath of an unfortunate life altering event. He learns to be kind again. He learns to open his broken heart. He heals from his pain. The journey of his recovery was a feel good treat. And of course along the way, there are also sidebar stories of other people with drama and lover woes. The voice of the narrator draws you in for about 5 hours and make you forget this is "just a story". The only part that bothered me about this read was the chapter intro of side stories. I thought they were distracting and even more so in the audiobook format. It was far easier to follow in reading the book. A big plus for me was that the author gave us diverse characters with this one! Yay! This novel was worth the read and definitely a great bookclub pick. I was seriously in a funk and this novel was a pleasant escape from the city life.
“You know everything you need to know about a person from the answer to the question, What is your favorite book?”