Rosemary is an 18-year-old girl from Tasmania. Her mother has just died, and she has never known her father. Effectively an orphan, she moves to New York to begin her great adventure. Except her adventure is really not that adventurous. Mostly it involves getting too emotionally tangled with her fellow bookstore co-workers, all of whom have some sort of unusual and often disturbing quirk. Oliver is in charge of the nonfiction section. He keeps copious notes in a notebook, and despite being sexually ambiguous, Rosemary falls in love with him. Pearl is in charge of the cash register. She becomes a mother figure for Rosemary, even though she’s not technically a woman – yet. I guess the cast of characters was just too weird for me. None of them tugged at my heartstrings. In the end, I didn’t care what happened to any of them. The plot is ostensibly based on finding a lost manuscript by Herman Melville, but that’s really only a vehicle for further complicating already complicated relationships.
If by the end I can’t learn to care about a redheaded bookstore employee (what I would secretly love to be!), then there’s something seriously wrong with this book.