SUMMARY: 89,700 words.
Gift of Diamonds is an exciting tale of intrigue featuring Mica, a determined and passionate seventeen-year-old girl fleeing Communism in 1965. Taking the reader on a riveting ride from Romania to Hungary to America as she escapes with rare, colored diamonds, Mica takes risks and faces many obstacles until she becomes autonomous in New York at twenty years old. It is then that she is finally able to fulfill her promise of bringing her parents to America. However, in order to complete her journey, she must return to Transylvania where her story begins in the Prologue, twenty-four years later in 1989, to complete her quest and find peace.
The story begins in communist Transylvania in 1965. Mica, an aspiring actress realizes that her covertly political parents have been arrested by the Secret Police. Escaping alone at night in a perilous journey, she crosses the border and seeks political asylum in the American Embassy in Budapest, Hungary.
On her own for the first time, Mica learns to be self-reliant. She translates documents and learns secrets about Fascism, Communism and the beginning stages of terrorism involving Ceausescu and his nuclear business partners. She is torn between revealing these truths or keeping them secret for fear of repercussions. But she is never free of the secret that the diamonds she escapes with were owned by Auschwitz prisoners and may have passed through Dr. Mengele’s hands. She fears they are blood diamonds – cursed.
With help from Embassy officials in Budapest, she applies for a visa to the U.S. Her goal is to use the diamonds as a vehicle to secure her safe passage to America, and then for her parents. But until she gets to her uncle in New York and sells her diamonds at Sotheby’s, she experiences high-risk adventures, spying, rape, and even a medical crisis. It is at the end of her voyage, that Mica finally finds redemption and peace.
Readers’ Favorite has reviewed and praised it:
Gift of Diamonds is written in language that is flawless. I loved the well-crafted and strong themes, the well-written international setting, and the political ideas explored in the story. But what had me going from page to page is the deft treatment of the protagonist — she s real, genuine, and sophisticated.
Roberta Seret’s prose is fantastic and I was delightfully moved by the evocative character of the writing. The descriptions are gorgeous and the author leads the reader into the psyche of the protagonist with intelligence. The setting is well written, and the contrast between the horror that Mica is running from and the hope of liberty in the US is mesmerizing. Gift of Diamonds is cinematic, an engaging story that I would love to watch as a movie.
Sándor Déki Lakatos–Gypsy Song