Her whole life, Birdie has depended on her street smarts to make it. Living on the streets at times, picking pockets to survive, and being used by her own mother in flim flam jobs, Birdie knows no other way, and has no real sense of family. In an attempt to find a secret family treasure, Birdie finds her self living a somewhat normal life, finding her place in the world, and connecting to people. But is it real, can it last, or will she once again just run away?
I really enjoyed this book. The underpinnings are that of a small time heist or treasure hunt for something material, when the real treasure is the people and relationships met along the way. That theme can seem a bit trite, but I think Nolfi handles it beautifully. While the book is set in the midwest, to me, it had a very southern feel to it, with them emphasis on family, history, propriety, and redemption.
I really enjoyed the characters in the book, particularly Birdie. She is not an easy woman to love, but you do none the less, and find yourself rooting for her. I also loved the setting and characters of The Second Change Grill, and I feel like there are a lot more stories to tell about these women (ahem, a series perhaps?). Some of the connections between characters seem a little confusing at first, but by the end of the book I think readers have a very clear picture of how everyone fits together.
All in all, this is a great book with a bit of something for everyone; history, action, intrigue, romance, strong female characters, and humor. What's not to love?
I received a review copy courtesy of the author.
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