Treasure Me by Christine Nolfi
A finalist in the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards, Treasure Me is a fusion of mystery, romance and history that bounds from the Women's Fiction genre into unfathomable depths. It's a triumphant novel that sparks with warmth and honesty, brimming with emotion and leaving the reader with the genuine satisfaction of a remarkable reading experience. I consider myself uniquely fortunate to have had the opportunity to know it. In case it wasn't obvious, this review will be something of a rave. I truly loved this book!
Treasure Me tells the story of Birdie Kaminsky, a petty thief with a good heart and the desire to live an honest life. Birdie comes from a long line of thieves and con men, but her family history dates back beyond her scheming relations to a well-intentioned plantation owner and the slave woman he loved in Civil War-era South Carolina. He freed the slave, Justice Postell, and sent her north with a treasure. The secret of the treasure spread like a rumor through Birdie's family and at the novel's fore we find the lovely thief headed to Liberty, Ohio armed with only a scraggly military jacket and a parchment holding the only clue to the treasure left by Justice: Liberty safeguards the cherished heart. While Birdie hopes to find her ancestor's treasure and start her life anew, hard-edged reporter Hugh Schaeffer arrives in the small town determined to write a shocking expose that will send Liberty reeling. As Birdie and Hugh struggle with their secrets and burgeoning romance they find that Liberty and its inhabitants present more than just a material treasure waiting to be unearthed.
Deftly and with insurmountable charm Christine weaves the stories of many unforgettable characters into one rich tapestry. Each inhabitant of Liberty that buzzes around the Second Chance Grill, the local establishment where Birdie takes up work – from fiery, pistol-wielding matriarch Theadora to spunky thirteen year-old cancer survivor Blossom – touches the reader's heart and brings them to a place where family means more than blood. It's truly an enchanting novel that explores the depth of human kindness and reminds you never to underestimate the worth of a small town.