Rating: 3 1/2 stars
After the loss of her best friend and colleague, Dr. Mary Chance puts medicine on hold to grieve and clear her mind. In an interesting twist of timing, Mary’s aunt leaves her a restaurant in the small town of Liberty, Ohio. Thinking it the perfect opportunity to focus on other things, Mary accepts the challenge and moves to Liberty.
Once there, Mary must overcome a few hiccups, including getting the newly dubbed Second Chance Grill back on its feet, amid barely functioning machinery and a disastrous grand opening that may or may not have food poisoned the patrons.
Dealing with the eclectic residents or the town, including: the high-spirited octogenarian Theodora, who insists she’s fine to drive, despite excessive accidents that prove otherwise; the high fashion, rich and snobby Meade who has her sights set on resident hunk Anthony; Anythony’s precocious and well-meaning tween daughter Blossom, and many more, Mary’s hands are quite full.
Despite having one foot out of the door to return to her medical practice in Cincinnati, Mary finds that the charms of Anthony and Blossom too good to resist, and it’s not long before her heart is full too.
Christine Nolfi writes with an uncanny sense of Americana, transporting the reader to the small Ohio town of Liberty where simpler times reign among the chaos of the present. However, the close bonds and sense of community among its residents sends a clear message that no matter the issue, it can and will be overcome.
A wonderful story teller, Nolfi weaves her tale with characters that are diverse, interesting and relatable. Each one infused with a strong sense of self, as well as innate basic human needs. Though each character has an interesting dynamic within the story as a whole, Mary and Anthony have a particularly special bond created by their common experiences and emotional desires.
Christine Nolfi writes with a richness of heart that is incredibly endearing and totally refreshing. A prequel to Treasure Me, Second Change Grill is a contemporary take on small town nostalgia, perfectly blending the essence of the good-old-days of the past with often unpleasant realities of present day real-life.
Paperback: 318 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 24, 2012)