In this “utterly enchanting” Edgar and Anthony Award–winning novella, a book lover uncovers a secret world of literary wonders (Irish Times).
A voracious reader, Mr. Berger leads a solitary but satisfying life. Preferring the company of books to that of people, he’s looking forward to an early retirement in the English countryside, where he can spend his remaining years nestled comfortably between the pages of classic literature. But his serene life is disrupted when he witnesses a woman with a distinctive red traveling bag fling herself before a train. If Mr. Berger isn’t mistaken, he’s just seen the climax of Anna Karenina reenacted on the Exeter-to-Plymouth railway. Though there is no body on the tracks, and the destiny of the tragic victim was written nearly a century before, Mr. Berger still longs to rescue her.
The investigation leads him to the Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository, where the living breathing characters of literary invention are under the guardianship of a curious caretaker—and where, for Mr. Berger, the line between fiction and reality will blur beyond comprehension.