(A shorter version of this review can be found at my goodreads page.)
Since Dani was old enough to talk, she’s been an accomplice to her mother’s thieving. It’s how they make their living: they infiltrate a house after doing research and recon and steal the silver present there. Dani measures her life in silver: what it weighs, when it was made, how much it’ll fetch.
When Dani and her mother move to the town of Heaven, Dani gets a taste of what a normal life might be like. She befriends a girl named Allison and meets a cute guy named Greg who just happens to be a cop. When she realizes that her mother has her eyes on a house that just happens to belong to Allison, Dani feels more conflicted than ever before about what it is she and her mother do. But can she break free of her mother’s expectations and figure out herself?
Elizabeth Scott’s novel does several things well. Scott manages to get inside the mind of Dani and create a realistic 18-year-old girl. She creates little mannerisms that work well (regular soda, a love for donuts, etc.), and she paces the novel well. It’s a fast read, and readers will find Dani’s unusual situation intriguing and possibly even fascinating.
Critical readers might tire of Dani’s constant waffling about what she wants and what her mother has trained her to do. There are aspects of Dani’s thought process that become so repetitive that readers might grow frustrated with her lack of action. Others still might wish to see Dani grow more throughout the course of the book than she does.
Others still might question Dani’s mother’s motives, and some might argue that her selfishness and lack of regard for Dani’s emotional needs make her neglectful, even abusive. A sad ending that savvy readers should see coming a mile off are offset by a tone of hopefulness, but a lack of closure might find others feeling snubbed.
Decent beach reading, and recommended for reluctant readers.