Half graveyard keeper, half librarian, Astolfo Malinverno mixes the stories of the books with those of his friends, strangers, the living and the death, changing their destinies. There are places where books are in the air, where the words from novels and poems belong to everybody and where the newborns’ names hint at dreams and promises. Timpamara is such a place. It has always been like this since the first Calabrian paper mill was built there, followed shortly after by a pulping mill.
Astolfo Malinverno is the librarian of the town: besides his daily duties, every now and then he stumps along to the pulping mill to retrieve some books that can circulate again. But one day the messenger of the city council informs him that he has been appointed for a new role: the graveyard keeper. After a few days Astolfo, who not only is a great reader but also has a sparkling imagination, is enchanted by a photo of a woman on a gravestone. There is nothing else on it: no names, no date of birth and no date of death. Over time, he starts to feel an almost loving interest for her and decides to delve into the mystery of that silent face.