Rated of 5
by Lori (Albuquerque NM)
An exceptional tale
Eleven-year-old Ren doesnt really know why he steals from his fellow orphans at St Anthonys. But when nothing is yours but a ragged collar with three stitched initials, perhaps you stop believing in stories anymore and instead just reach for what is missing.
Hannah Tintis story is of lost boys of any age -- for whom the dead mean as much as the living. The character of Benjamin Nab, who retrieves young Ren from St Anthonys, weaves lies and truths together into a fabric that holds him at the same time it threatens to rip apart at any moment.
Rens story is well told, with characters that remind a reader of lost opportunity and the ephemeral nature of love and affection.
Characters are sketched with charcoal: gestures, movements, are sometimes finely rendered and other times only broadly suggested, to tell us of their essence. Tinti captures the wonder of small acts to a child and the sharp dangers in Rens life in a way that renders a haunting and compelling tale.
An excellent book!