Monday, August 18, 2014

Love & Treasure

Natalie Stein, beautiful and young, is at a crossroads
which contains no shortcuts. Her longtime relationship (12 years!) - subsequent short marriage ended in nothing more horrifying than finding out her husband was in a relationship with another woman, has left her law practice to care for her ailing and beloved grandfather in Maine. And it is there she begins a mysterious adventure that will change her life forevermore. Jack Wiseman spent his later years in a small town in rural Maine but his time in the army during WWII, his lifelong career as a professor at Columbia University, and his innate expertise with languages and history are all that Natalie has ever known about. As he nears the end of his journey Jack gives Natalie a beautiful locket he got during the war. He shares only a minute amount of information and sends Natalie on a mission she has no control over. Jack's dying wish is for Natalie to return the locket to its rightful owner, no easy task as his story took place well over 50 years earlier in war torn Germany. This incredible author Ayelet Waldman takes us through Germany, Salzburg, and Hungary, the war, the gold train and even to Yad Vashem in Israel. Natalie remains brave and determined to grant her grandfather his last wishes. As the story unravels more quickly than even Natalie had hoped it becomes clear what she must do to fulfill Jack's wishes and the guilt he lived with for many years. I HIGHLY recommend this excellent account of the enormous amount of art, gold and belongings strewn throughout post WWII Europe and the difficult aftermath of DP's, their future and return of their personal treasures. Easy, quick, interesting read of a time when Love & Treasure were really one and the same.

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