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A Thief in the House of Memory by Tim…

A Thief in the House of Memory (2004)

by Tim Wynne-Jones

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1124159,912 (3.78)3



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A Thief in the House of Memory examines the power and questionable reliability of memory and how differences in recollections can affect a family’s relations. Author Tim Wynne-Jones introduces readers to high school senior Declan, sometimes called Dec, and his 21st-Century family: his father, who is obsessed with recreating miniatures of historical events and turning their former family home into a museum, his little sister Sunny, 5, who has ear problems, and Birdie, dad’s new girlfriend and Dec’s biological mother’s former best friend. Declan has no idea where his mother is, after she unexpectedly left home when he was 10 and failed to ever contact him again.
Dec’s memories of his mom, Lindy, are spotty until a man breaks into their old house and dies, seemingly killed by a falling bookcase. Dec begins to revisit the house on a regular basis, his memories returning powerfully, to the extent that he feels as if he is reliving them. These hallucinations tell him a sad story of a free-spirited, almost wild and unpredictable woman extremely unhappy in her marriage. Dec begins to suspect that perhaps his father killed his mother and was possibly responsible for the death of the thief, who is revealed to be an former flame of Lindy’s.
A Thief in the House of Memory is and isn’t a ghost story. It’s a gloomy tale of growing up and trying to understand the people called family. The structure is complicated, and would best fit a more advanced teen reader. ( )
  ARQuay | Dec 11, 2013 |
This was an excellent book and had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I think young readers will love it, and they will be able to read it with ease. The story is great and will keep them engaged.
  EmilySuth | Sep 8, 2012 |
Another really decent Canadian novel; short but enjoyable. There nothing particularly outstanding about it that I remember. Just solid writing, engaging story and main characters....a little longer with a little more would have been great-but isn't that what all book lovers say about a good book? ( )
  RedPalango | Mar 7, 2009 |
Great book that keeps you guessing right to the very end. Declan's mother left 10 years ago leaving her much older millionaire husband, 5 year old Declan and just born Sunny to cope without her. His father has coped by taking up with his wife's best friend Birdie, building a new house and leaving the old huge mansion on the hill as a huge museum to his family and his missing wife. Suddenly a burgulary and a death, discovered by Declan unlock a series of strange memories that cause Declan to doubt his father's version of what really happened to his mother. What is the dead burgular's connection to his mother? Why is his Dad so secretive? And what can Declan and his best mate Ezra uncover when they look at the dates of his mother's birthday all those years ago? Excellent, easy-to-read abook with wonderfully developed characters and place. ( )
  nicsreads | Sep 20, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tim Wynne-Jonesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Jakobeit, BrigitteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374374783, Hardcover)

Family secrets, forgotten memories, and the transforming power of truth

It's been six years since sixteen-year-old Dec's free-spirited mother, Lindy, disappeared. Dec feels so trapped in the present, he's avoided examining his past. But when an intruder dies in the museum-like family home, the man's death sends forth tremors that reawaken forgotten memories. Suddenly Dec is flooded with visions of his mother so tangible it's hard to believe they're not real. At least Dec has his best friend - gifted, funny Ezra - to help him sort out what's real and what isn't. But as Dec's dream visions of his mother turn into nightmares, Ezra announces he's going away, leaving Dec haunted by questions that must be answered. What did happen to his mother? And who really is the thief in the house of memory?

In this masterful new novel, Tim Wynne-Jones explores with wit, compassion, and humor the fictional territory he knows best - the prickly ties that bind families, the murky connections between imagination and real life.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:45 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The death of an apparent stranger in the Steeple family's old home triggers troubling questions for sixteen-year-old Declan as he tries to make sense of his fragmented dreams, random memories, and unexplained coincidences, hoping to learn the truth about the mother who suddenly left when he was ten.… (more)

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