A Thief in the House of Memory
Written by Tim Wynne-Jones
Publication Date May 18, 2006
It has been six years since sixteen-year-old Dec's free-spirited mother, Lindy, disappeared. Dec feels so trapped in the present that he has 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?
Short-listed for the CLA Young Adult Canadian Book Award 2005
Long-listed for the Manitoba Young Reader's Choice Award 2006
Selected for the CCBC Our Choice (Starred Selection) 2005
Tim Wynne-Jones is one of Canada's foremost writers for children. The author of over thirty-five books, he is a two-time winner of the Governor General's Award, as well as a two-time winner of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award and of the Arthur Ellis Award. He is the recipient of many other prizes at home and internationally including the Edgar Award and the Vicky Metcalf Award for a Body of Work. In 2012 he was made an Officer to the Order of Canada. He lives in Perth, Ontario.
"...this rich and rewarding novel will appeal most to thoughtful readers who appreciate a sad and bittersweet read." School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
"From first chapter to last, Wynne-Jones masterfully evokes the surreal quality of faded memories enhanced or distorted by the imagination. Readers will be just as consumed as the hero is in his search for answers." Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
"Equal parts tricky and haunting: unambiguously memorable." Horn Book
"In this complex and multi-layered coming-of-age novel...TIm Wynne-Jones, with his usual adept brush strokes, paints another portrait of an appealing teenager's internal journey as he struggles to understand his loss, to accept change, and to create meaning within his world. Highly Recommended." Canadian Children's Literature - CBRA
"This beautifully written and distinctive novel combines a suspenseful mystery with an intriguing family drama about secrets." School Library Journal
"Whether he's making our skin tingle with unease in the dark mansion, or making us chortle at the witty, affectionate banter of Declan's school friends...his prose is polished to a gleam." Quill & Quire
"Wynne Jones' writing style is very vivid, fresh and evocative..." Globe and Mail
"Wynne-Jones skillfully builds tension in his interdependent conflicts that emphasize the importance of the truth." CM Magazine
"Wynne-Jones' writing is beyond the familiar...In this prose, nothing is lost; like good poetry, each word carries its own weight and meaning." Toronto Star
"...part gripping mystery and part psychological study of how the past influences the present. It is a short, surprising novel, beautifully observed and totally absorbing." Young Post