Stealing Heaven

by Elizabeth Scott
ages: 14+
First sentence: “My first memory is staring through a window into a house that isn’t mine.”

Met Danielle. She’s eighteen, and she has been stealing things her whole life. Lest you think this is because she’s some miscreant (there’s some satisfaction that comes with using that word in a sentence), it’s because this is what her parents — first together, and now just her and her mom — do. They break into homes and steal things. And then leave.

The latest town that Danielle and her mom have targeted is Heaven, a resort town in New England (I’m sure it said where, but I never quite got it…). The idea is to set up shop for a couple of weeks, target a rich house, steal the silver, and get out. Except… Danielle’s tired of the lifestyle that her mother’s inflicted on her. She wants a house. A pet. A friend. The normal things life has. She doesn’t get the rush her mother does when she steals; she just feels sad, and lonely. Really lonely. And in Heaven, she meets a friend. And attracts the attention of a guy (who just happens to be cop), so what started out as a simple job, ends up being much, much more complicated.

I decided a while back that I needed to read some Elizabeth Scott; but there was no way I was going to read Living Dead Girl. (Sorry; powerful it may be, but I just can’t read books about kidnapping/abuse victims. Especially with daughters.) I randomly picked this one, just to wet my feet. And I’m glad I did.

Aside from the abusive mom (not physically, but she has Dani pretty emotionally dependent on her, and I was pretty furious with her for pretty much all of the book), I really liked this story. I loved Dani as a character, as someone who wanted more for her life than what her mother was giving her, or what her mother thought she needed. Yet, she had no idea how to go about getting it. Sure, it took a man — a friend, really — to help her figure that out, but it was the act of trusting him, believing him, and accepting that she was who he saw her to be, that was something I really enjoyed. I liked Dani’s internal conflicts with trying to please her mother and to not rock the boat, and to keep things the way it always had been and with the stretching, reaching, metamorphosis that happens when you need to reach out and try something new.

And Scott’s a good writer, which was something I expected from all the glowing reviews and fans she has out there. I was caught up in her storytelling, and found the characters to be vivid and believable. Sure, the situations may be a little fairytale-like, and the ending a tad melodramatic, but I didn’t mind. I liked the story, and I liked the journey. Which is really all that matters.

6 thoughts on “Stealing Heaven

  1. This is the one Elizabeth Scott that I haven’t read yet (besides the two that are being published this spring) and I definitely want to! I’m glad you liked her writing, and I totally understand about not wanting to read Living Dead Girl – it is quite a disturbing book. The other two, Bloom and Perfect You, are very good though. 🙂

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