Petty thief Birdie Kaminsky has arrived in Liberty, Ohio to steal a treasure hidden since the Civil War. She’s in possession of a charming clue passed down in her family for generations: Liberty safeguards the cherished heart.
The beautiful thief wants to go straight. She secretly admires the clue’s author, freedwoman Justice Postell, who left South Carolina at the dawn of the Civil War and carried untold riches on her journey north. As Birdie searches for the treasure, she begins to believe a questionable part of the story: a tale of love between Justice and Lucas Postell, the French plantation owner who was Birdie’s ancestor.
If the stories are true, Justice bore a child with Lucas. Some of those black relatives might still live in town. Birdie can’t help but wonder if she’s found one—Liberty’s feisty matriarch, Theodora Hendricks, who packs a pistol and heartwarming stories about Justice. Birdie doesn’t know that an investigative reporter will trip her up—as will her conscience when she begins to wonder if it’s possible to start a new life with stolen riches. Yet with each new clue she unearths, Birdie discovers a family history more precious than gems, a tradition of love richer than she’d imagined.
Note: I read this and wrote the original review back in 2012.
This was a fun holiday read. I started it Thanksgiving evening and finished it when I woke at three am with indigestion. Nolfi does a great job juggling lots of threads. At first I felt there were too many, but they all come together so nicely in the end that I forgave her.
Whats more, the characters are great. Birdie has a strong and distinctive personality that I couldn't help but like. She seems rough around the edges out of necessity, but Nolfi gives these great glimpses of the tender-hearted and often lonely woman. You hurt for her childhood and the circumstances that make it so hard for her to become more than she is.
I loved the witty dialogue. Passages like this had me chuckling out loud and kept me reading.
“Couldn’t you drag yourself out of bed?” Finney barked. “It’s after ten o’clock.”
Birdie rubbed the sleep from her eyes. She’d woken in a bad mood, with the memory of kissing Hugh settled on her chest like a two-ton safe. A long shower and the prospect of locating more clues hadn’t raised her spirits.
“I’m here, I’m dressed like a prostitute. What more do you want?” She yanked down the ruffled hem of her waitress uniform but the skirt rode up. Growling with frustration she added, “I shouldn’t have to wear this thing. Delia’s uniform fits her. Why am I stuck with clothes sized for a Playboy bunny?”
“I’m not buying a new uniform until I’m sure you’ll stay for more than a few weeks. Will you?”
“Then you’re stuck with the whore suit.”
The story is full of great characters, heartache, laughs, bitterness and hope. Some of the threads are predictable, but the characters are so unique I didn't even care. And the journey to the end was fresh and well worth it.
I give Treasure Me by Christine Nolfi a solid 4.
Note for my cautious readers: Hugh is addicted to women so his mind is often in the gutter. I also don't remember if there were any scenes.
1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3: I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure