I raced through this first novel by Hannah Tinti. We meet young Ren, a boy without a left hand, living in the orphanage run by the monks of St. Anthony's. It's bleak, cold, comfortless. Ren is always passed over for adoption due to his handicap; his future looks frightening, as the army will be his only option when he comes of age.
But miracle of miracles, a stranger arrives one day, and chooses Ren. In fact, he claims to be Ren's brother. And so begins Ren's new life, with a family of sorts; Benjamin Nab, the alleged older brother, and his friend Tom, a former schoolteacher. The three are bound together by a strange combination of con artistry and companionship.
The narrative flows as we follow Ren on his journeys. The characters are finely drawn, and while not always likable, they are always fascinating. A modern Dickens tale with a feeling that a sequel might be in the works. I certainly hope so!
I really enjoyed this book. The Good Thief tells the story of Ren, who abandoned as an infant, is raised in an orphanage and later "adopted" by a traveling grave robber/ne'er do well. Set in New England when child labor was legal and anesthesia was unheard of, Ren's story unfolds as he tries to sort out the mystery of his birth and make his way in the world. Peopled by an interesting cast of characters, The Good Thief is a good read.
It seems that you either love or hate this book.
Personally, I enjoyed it.
The story was pretty well paced not perfect but good.
The minor characters are outstanding.
The protagonist Ren is young orphan who has a fierce loyalty that is admirable.
At one point I was wondering where the Author was taking us.
However, I was not disappointed in the end.
The story is about a boy from an orphanage who is adopted by a man who claims to be his brother. The man is anything but who he says he is. Before the boy knows it, he finds himself surrounding by thieves, con-artists, and grave robbers. It was hard for me to get into this one and I don't understand the hype surrounding this one. It was a decent story but it never jumped from the pages for me like some reviewers have claimed.
I was surprised how much I liked this book. It kept me on edge and I couldn't quit reading it because I had to find out what was going to happen to the the one armed orphan. Its a cross between Dicken's "Oliver Twist" and John Steinbecks "Mice of Men". I have a feeling those are the authors two favorite authors.