A Thief in the House of Memory by Tim Wynne-Jones.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux: NY, 2004.

A thief is found dead in Dec's unlived-in ancestral home and has stirred up baffling questions. His family moved from the house sometime after his mother left them. His father maintains the house, and he and his sister visit-playing and remembering. As memories come back to him in pieces, he finds that there are questions that only his father can answer. The answers don't seem to fit, so is his father telling him the truth? His father's reluctant attitude also disturbs him and causes him to wonder what other secrets are being hidden from him.

The name itself is intriguing. The book was nothing like I expected, but intriguing is an excellent word for it. The dreams and memories seem so real that the book almost leans towards fantasy. New information about the deceased and unanswered questions about the disappearance of Dec's mother create a mystery, and then there is the sorting out of details and feelings about his mother for social content. There is a great deal of suspense since the reader doesn't really know until the end what the conclusion will be.

related-memory, mothers, family separation, investigation of death, abandonment, trust friendship, father/son relationship

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