A Thief in the House of Memory

By Tim Wynne-Jones
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), Hardcover, 9780374374785, 224pp.)

Publication Date: March 24, 2005

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback

Shop Local
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.



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.

About the Author

Tim Wynne-Jones's many award-winning books include The Boy in the Burning House, winner of the 2002 Edgar Award for Young Adult Fiction. He lives near Perth, Ontario.

Praise For A Thief in the House of Memory

"Becoming absorbed in this book is like entering a dream. From first chapter to last, Wynne-Jones masterfully evokes the surreal quality of faded memories enhanced or distorted by the imagination.  Alluring."  -- Starred, Publishers Weekly


"This is a beautifully written novel...rich and rewarding." 

-- Starred, School Library Journal


"Vividly written."  -- Booklist


"Melancholy, uncanny, and emotionally powerful."  -- Starred, Kirkus Reviews


"Wonderfully subtle...unambiguously memorable."  -- The Horn Book


"The book carefully builds its mood, accruing layers of unease.  Readers who have enjoyed the combination of edge and cool sophistication of Wynne-Jones' previous works will find this pleasingly unsettling."  -- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books


"Wynne-Jones does an excellent job of keeping the reader guessing without ever being dishonest.  Every character is nicely rounded, and all grow as lines of communication open when memories are finally laid to rest."  -- VOYA


"Young adolescent readers can relate to the author's superb writing style and characterizations."  -- SIGNAL


"Kept me on my toes." -- A YALSA Teen YA Galley Reader


"A great mystery. . . . You can't put it down!" --A YALSA Teen YA Galley Reader

Indie Bookstore Finder

Indie Bestsellers

Confessions of a Self-Help Writer
Benjamin Dehaven
Lagniappe Publishing
Jeff VanderMeer
FSG Originals
The Martian
Andy Weir
Kent Haruf

Make Your Own Wishlist

More than 150 writers from 40 events will gather in New York City for PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, April 28 – May 4, 2014.

For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand β€˜on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org

Update Profile