Caddie Walker is a bookseller working in Brisbane in the eighties who has a passion for the work of Inga Karlssen, an author from the thirties who wrote one book and then died in a mysterious fire at the publishers where her second book was about to be printer, taking this tome with her. Or did it? It’s a mystery that’s haunted the book world and after meeting a mysterious stranger outside an exhibition of fragments of Kalrssen’s work, Caddie decides to investigate for herself.
I found this engaging. It seems unlikely that she could possibly uncover anything that hadn’t already existed, but this was in a world prior to the internet or mobile phones, when it could be a mystery tip that reveals things. And I loved it.
Grace Lisa Vandenburg is a delightful character; charming, witty and only able to function in life by counting everything around her, from the number of words people say to the number of steps to, well, anywhere. She is on sick leave from her work as a teacher and lives her life in a very strict and ordered routine. Until she meets Seamus and her life is turned upside down.
I felt like this story went way too fast. I loved Grace so much, and went on every moment of her journey, but I wanted so much more. I wanted more time with her awesome niece Larry, I wanted more time spent in her past, and mostly, I wanted more time with Seamus. He really seemed quite lovely. I don’t always get what I want, however, and so I will be satisfied with what I had, and wish Grace well on her journey. She will be a character I think of from time to time, and I will wonder how she’s going. I reckon she’ll be going just great.