The book, Timeless Treasure by MaryLu Tyndall, took me by surprise!
I have read several books by Tyndall and always loved them. She is one of my favorite authors because I know I can depend on her for a great story with clean content. However, Timeless Treasure is more than a great story. It is an exceptional historical fiction that I would highly recommend.
When I read historical fiction, I want historical accuracy. Tyndall certainly did her "homework" for Timeless Treasure. The story is based on a real pirate, Stede Bonnet, who was executed in 1718. The author built a romantic story around Bonnet's real life with a fictitious tale of why he turned to pirating even though he was a well educated, wealthy landowner, married and with children.
So many things in Bonnet's real life story seem unexpected, contradictory, perhaps even unbelievable, but they were true. He was factually known as "The Gentleman Pirate" because of his own behavior, yet his association with Blackbeard, who was certainly no gentleman, is well documented. It should also be noted that he knew nothing about sailing prior to becoming a pirate.
The fictional suggestion that he was in love with someone other than his wife and wished to secure a separate fortune to support their life together, would be a plausible explanation for why a wealthy gentleman would turn pirate. Thus the reason this book is exceptional!
Timeless Treasure Synopsis
Chapter One takes place present day and introduces us to a decedent of Stede Bonnet. Lexie Cain has just returned from her mother's funeral to a home where she is no longer welcome since it belongs to her step-father. She is there only to retrieve an ancestral chest containing photos, school papers, a scrapbook, and some old letters. Flipping through the letters she discovers they were written by Bonnet. Those letters change the course of her life.
The opening paragraphs of chapter two introduce us to Stede Bonnet and the woman he loves, Melody, at the burial site of his firstborn son. We discover just how bereaved, miserable and unhappy Stede is with his life. When Melody informs him that her father is moving her family away from Barbados to Charles Town, a city in the colony of Carolina, Stede's desperation intensifies. He must do something to change the course of his life.
Current day Lexie Cain moves to Charleston in the hopes of finding buried pirate treasure. She gets a job in the local museum, takes the first "Bonnet" letter to a college history professor for authentication, and then finds herself the target of criminals.
As Lexie reads through the letters with the professor, Barret Johnson, we are all hearing Bonnet's tales of piracy, his longing for a life with Melody, and his plans for a happy future together. In spite of the fact that we know from the beginning that Bonnet is hung, we hold on to the hope that it was somehow not him that was executed. That he somehow managed to find the happiness he so desperately sought.
There is no way I will tell you more of the story, yet there is so much more than this brief introduction of the book, including the romance that develops between Lexie & Barrett.
I would never wish to ruin this marvelous book for anyone else. You deserve to be able to "walk" through this adventure for yourself. It would be dastardly indeed for me to rob you of this experience and I refuse to do that. After all, I am no pirate!
Books by MaryLu Tyndall Previously Reviewed
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