Adele's Reviews > Stealing Heaven

Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott
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Feb 06, 2010

really liked it
Read in February, 2010

I celebrated the generosity of Elizabeth Scott with an E.Scott-a-thon last weekend and this was the book that made the biggest impact on me. The book is honest with a style that I can recognise as distinctly Scottish (meaning Elizabeth not the country) in tone. Having been an excited E.Scott vlog watcher of late, I can hear her reading each word to me so I - 1) possess a vivid imagination, 2) am going bonkers or 3) Elizabeth Scott has mastered teleportation and is in fact reading to me.

Dani is a character I haven't come across before. A teen always on the move, assuming different identities, robbed of friends. It's a truly sad existence and yet Dani doesn't allow herself or the reader to feel this sadness instead we get a wonderfully spiky internal dialogue that I couldn't help but lap up. The need for stability is essential to a child's upbringing and yet Dani has been robbed of this. Her mother is beautiful, glamorous and very good at what she does, but her parenting skills are found wanting. Despite this high risk, high reward silver thieving family business, Dani is missing out on many aspects of life we take for granted.

In growing as a person, experiencing (or should I say glimpsing) a normal existence with normal friends and a possible love interest - Dani realises how constrained her life really is. That she wants more, needs more and her mother isn't providing that. It's the story of a child realising her mother can't give her what she requires and Independence. The end of this story is perfect, it's not happily ever after but it resolves everything nicely. Dani's mother however is a real piece of work. She frequently angered me to a degree that threatened my blood pressure and the book's pages. There is one act that occurs in the past that involves the mother's boyfriend that particularly mortified me.

Greg is a character that reminded me a lot of fellow cop, John After (Jennifer Echols' Going Too Far) but they are also vastly different. The patience that this man must possess to tolerate Dani's fiestiness, snark and distrust is unbelievable but you buy into it. You believe that he's spotted something special in her and that he wants the best for her. I wouldn't say that I sympathised with Dani as much as empathised with her situation and I do feel that the story brought her to a very realistic conclusion. One of hope, something she was very much in need of.

A great read with finely drawn characters and a distinct voice.
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