The Good Thief, Hannah Tinti. New York: Random House, 2008. Paperback, 345 pps., inc. reader's guide.
Ren is stuck in a Roman Catholic orphanage for boys run by some priests. With one hand amputated, he is passed by when the boys are lined up as prospective parents drop by to bring home a kid. He is almost at the age where he will be sold to the Army. Then a mysterious relative shows up.
Ren leaves behind the only home he has ever known and joins his "uncle" on various escapades involving thievery and trickery. There is grave robbing also. Eventually he finds out who his parents are and he finds a true home.
The Good Thief is set in New England sometime in the 1800s. The author's familiarity with New England and its' history moves the story along to a successful conclusion. There are a couple of drunks in the story who never do quite sober up, a doctor, some nuns, local villagers, and a murderer. This book has an unusual take on the orphan-finds-love theme. Blood and guts also abound. The story is well-told and enjoyable.
sapphoq reviews says: recommended.