A Thief in the House of Memory
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.
Dec is familiar with empty houses, with the famed House of Memory. How could he not be when his own house, with a missing mother and a withdrawn father, feels empty itself? But then his mother begins to appear in visions, begging to be released.
This book was one of many pieces of required reading for a special program I was a part of this year. On that list, this book jumped out at me do to the author's last name, which I am familiar with do to the works of Diana Wynne-Jones, whose writing I never enjoyed. Nevertheless, seeing this book on the list was like seeing an old friend- a book whose large print, short chapters, and vivid characters I might have known when I was younger.
I would recommend this book to newer fans of horror, or to younger children, because creepy as the book is it is the sort of creepiness that goes away when you close it, and that is all some people can handle.