by Pam Hillman
This book really surprised me, I got totally drawn in and found myself near tears several times. Pam did a wonderful job of telling the story of Livy O'Brien, homeless children, and Jake Russell. I am bad about judging a book by it's cover, and this one did not really catch my interest nor did the title, but once I started reading it I couldn't put it down.
Livy, known as "Light-Fingered Livy" in Chicago, has made a new start in Chestnut, IL thanks to widowed Mrs Brooks. They take in orphans and have lived there for some time before Livy meets deputy Jake Russell. Livy sneaks out at night to deliver food, clothes and blankets to homeless children hiding out in Shantytown, she knows the town better than most people that have been born and raised there, she studies it by day so she doesn't get caught at night. She tries to talk Luke, a homeless boy about 10 or 12 years old, to bring his friends to the orphanage but he refuses. He's looking for his little brother who was brought in a crate to work in a sweat shop making gloves. The people of Chestnut have no idea this is going on.
Jake has just recently become a deputy to help the sheriff out and get some extra money for his family in case the have a bad crop next year. He, and the three co-owners of Black Gold Mine since the cave in two years ago and all but two people died, one of the survivors was Jake, one of the killed was his Father. After the town begins experiencing break-ins and things being stolen other than food and blankets, Jake discovers that Livy is sneaking around town in the middle of the night. Before long homes start getting broken into with personal things of value being taken. Jake, as most of the towns people, are blaming Luke and his group. Livy doesn't believe it is them and tries to explain to Jake without revealing her past. He doesn't believe her as much as he wants to, they are each trying to deny the feelings that seem to be developing between the two of them. The problem is that the kids are the most obvious thieves because there is no proof of anyone else needing the things that are being stolen.
It is a mix of happy and sad times also danger and love in this story with some mystery in it to boot. I feel it is well worth the money and time to get this book and read it. Great job Pam!
I won this book in a giveaway but was not required to read or review this book, but was very glad that I did read it.