The Archivist : Matthias is a librarian, a man of orderly ways, responsible for safeguarding a sealed cache of T.S. Eliot's letters. Roberta is a young poet with an unabashed and oddly intense interest in the letters. What begins as a battle of wills soon evolves into an unlikely friendship - a relationship that not only unsettles Matthias' solitary life but forces him to confront long-buried memories of his wife, her mental breakdown, and the dissolution of their marriage. Propelled by startling truths hidden and revealed, this extraordinary novel draws richly upon the poems of T.S. Eliot and the intellectual and social climate of postwar New York City as it explores the redemptive power of art and the challenge of forging a moral and meaningful life in the modern world.