Imaginative and impressionable Rosemary arrives in New York from Tasmania and feels adrift until she joins the motley crew of a rare book store and discovers the work of Herman Melville. She learns lessons about herself as she loses her head and becomes caught up in a literary intrigue involving loss and greed. This book is like a lemon meringue pie- full of tangy secrets, crusty truths and smooth prose.
Occasionally, I would come upon Geist in the stacks of Oscar's section, holding books close to his face, his white fingers splayed against their covers like spread wings. The volumes he held at the tip of his nose had the compressed heft of textbooks, and their weight made him stoop with the effort. Walter Geist was a lonely figure even within the world of the Arcade, and as Pike's designated other, he remained on the fringes of staff camaraderie. He was management after all: George Pike's pale avatar, some variation of a shadow. But he also held himself separate, certain that he would always be distinct and removed from that which defined the lives of others. In this respect, he knew better than any of us the condition of his life, and I suppose, like everyone else, I assumed he was reconciled to that condition. It wasn't compassion on my part that made him so interesting to me. It was curiosity. My imagination was always overactive, and I made him a figure of significance in the fairytale I was inventing, in the one I was living. Perhaps, as well, I just couldn't reckon with his humanity.