The Archivist by Rex Pickett (Review by Lara Ferguson)

1 min read

Rating: 3.5/5 ⭐

Emily Snow is excited about the opportunity to finish up the archiving of the Raymond West collection after the accidental death of the original archivist, Nadia Fontaine. It seems like the perfect next step in her career. Armed with all the knowledge of her education and the experience she has gained, moves to California, prepared to tackle this great collection. Her supervisors and colleagues seem reticent to discuss Nadia, or the circumstances of her accident, so when Emily discovers what seems to be some missing documents, she begins to wonder what really happened to Nadia and why. As she investigates the missing letters, she finds herself obsessed with unraveling the mysteries she is discovering, risking her career as well as her life to find the truth.

This book exposes the reader to the inside world of archivists and academia in general, where there is a necessity for attracting funds and focus, as well as scholarship. Pickett has built characters that are layered and complex, people you want to be friends with, with a diversity of motives that keep the reader guessing what will come next.

This is a book for lovers of words. Pickett’s use of words is fun and engaging. The prose is challenging and complex, the characters interesting and believable. While, at nearly 750 pages, it is not a book to be read in one sitting, it is well worth the time it takes to follow the story to the end…an end the reader may not expect.

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