The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin Summary Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

Plot Summary Part 1

AJ Fikry is a black guy who lives on an island off the coast of Massachusetts called Alice Island. I think it's supposed to be around Nantucket but this island is full of black people, like if you scooped up Jamaica and plopped it down next to Martha's Vineyard.

Fikry owns a little bookstore called Island Books. Fikry is grouchy because his wife Nic died and he has gone without good sex for some time, which I think would make any reasonable person grouchy. Fikry discovers that a book called "Tamerlane", which is worth tens of thousands of dollars, has gone missing. He calls his friend the police chief Lambiase, but Lambiase can't do anything about it, which is about what you'd expect from someone whose name sounds distinctly like "lame-ass".

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Then Fikry finds a black baby at his doorstep with a note from the mother, saying she thought it was a good idea to abandon her black baby in a bookstore so she would have something to read to pass the time. Black baby's name is Maya.

Fikry, who is very grumpy and shows no sign of caring about anyone, immediately wants to adopt Maya. Maya looks at Fikry and tell him she loves him and that melts some of his grumpiness. The social worker who comes to the island says that families who want to foster a child have to go through a rigorous screening process. When Fikry says he wants to foster Maya, the social worker says, "Ok." This is totally, totally unrealistic and makes no sense.

They find the body of Maya's mother, Marian Wallace, drowned in the ocean. She apparently killed herself, without explanation. Either that, or she was a terrible swimmer, ha, ha!

AJ's sister in law Ismay is about to give birth to a baby but her v_gina malfunctions and the baby is a reject. AJ goes to the hospital and sees her and she tries to kiss and make out with him. I guess she wants to get started immediately on making another one but why doesn't she use her husband for that? It turns out she hates her husband. More on that later.

People ask AJ if Maya is really his child because Maya is not as black as AJ. This offends AJ.

Amelia Loman, a rep for a publisher, gives AJ a book called The Late Bloomer which makes AJ cry. AJ now cries over a book, showing how sensitive he has become--theme time! The book tells the story of loss, which AJ can relate to, since he lost his wife Nic.

AJ, with his newfound sensitivity, realizes he wants to bone Amelia.

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