A man named Dolly

Jen McCormackThe Good Thief by Hannah Tinti is an adventure story (with a hint of mystery) featuring lucky orphan Ren as he is finally claimed by his long-lost father Benjamin Nab and leaves for a new life roaming about colonial New England safe and secure in a family at last.

The Good Thief is available from the library in hardcover and audiobook

“The Good Thief” by Hannah Tinti is available from the library in hardcover and audiobook.

Great story, right?!

Except on their first night together Benjamin steals a horse and wagon and introduces Ren to life as a grave robber and pretty soon boy and reader both doubt Benjamin’s claim to paternity.

The surprises keep coming for Ren in his new life as he meets hilarious characters like Mrs. Sands (the landlady who can’t speak below a shout), the dwarf who lives in her chimney, and Dolly–whose origins I’ll leave as a surprise except to say Dolly is a giant of a man.

Tinti has written a thoroughly entertaining story with rich and wonderful characters that I hated to bid farewell.

If you’re looking for a more literary look at colonial New England life try The Last Days of Dogtown by Anita Diamant. This novel features an equally engaging cast of odd characters facing hardship and struggle in a village just outside of present-day Gloucester, Massachusetts, during the early 1800s.

About Jen McCormack

Jen McCormack is the director of the Nashua Public Library. Previously she was director of the Tewksbury (Mass.) Public Library and assistant director and reference librarian at the Amesbury (Mass.) Public Library. She studied history at UNH and earned her master's in library and information science from Simmons College.

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