Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti

January 13th, 2009 by Debbie's World of Books


I give this one a 3-3.5 out of 5 stars.

Description from Random House’s website: Twelve year-old Ren is missing his left hand. How it was lost is a mystery that Ren has been trying to solve for his entire life, as well as who his parents are, and why he was abandoned as an infant at Saint Anthony’s Orphanage for boys. He longs for a family to call his own and is terrified of the day he will be sent alone into the world.

But then a young man named Benjamin Nab appears, claiming to be Ren’s long-lost brother, and his convincing tale of how Ren lost his hand and his parents persuades the monks at the orphanage to release the boy and to give Ren some hope. But is Benjamin really who he says he is? Journeying through a New England of whaling towns and meadowed farmlands, Ren is introduced to a vibrant world of hardscrabble adventure filled with outrageous scam artists, grave robbers, and petty thieves. If he stays, Ren becomes one of them. If he goes, he’s lost once again. As Ren begins to find clues to his hidden parentage he comes to suspect that Benjamin not only holds the key to his future, but to his past as well.

I am of mixed feelings about this book.  I enjoyed reading it and eventually came to like Ren but it was not one of those books that grabbed me and I could not put it down.  I was surprised that Nab did not strike me as a very likeable character until the very end of the book and I actually found myself warming to the character who was a self admitted murderer.

I thought the ending was a little too pat and tried to make everyone happy no matter how implausible an outcome seems.

Stop here if you do not want any spoilers.

I found it strange even drunk that Tom went back to get Ren’s two friends and was one of the things that too pat for my tastes.  Also speaking of too pat, how did Nab engineer the rescue at the end of the book?  Was it the hare lip girl that shot McGinty?  If so where did she get the gun and how did she know what to do?  I thought Nab was locked up the whole time?  The thing with the dwarf living on the roof was a little out there as well.  I don’t see why he had to live on the roof instead of just living in the main house and keeping to himself.   Overall, it was not bad but not one of my favorites.

Posted in 3 Star Books, Books, Historical Fiction

No Responses

  1. J. Kaye

    Oops…sorry for the last post. Well, except for the welcome. :) Too bad the book couldn’t have been more of what you’d hoped for.

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