Estelle: Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott
Release Date: May 27, 2008
Target Audience: Young Adult
How I found out about it: Not sure. Most likely a blog but I’m not sure which one.
Format: Hardcover borrowed from the library:
Summary: Danielle has never been to high school. Never been on a date. All of her life she has been helping her mother steal silver from the wealthy. When the two “settle” in the beachy town of Heaven for the summer, Danielle is already starting to realize she wants something more stable in her life instead of moving around and changing her name all the time. Her mom has other ideas.
While many can’t relate to being an accomplice to robberies since she was five years old, there is a level of truth in Stealing Heaven. The pressure of parents as well as the hardship of having someone in your life who always does things impeccably. The difficulty in standing up to your parents and feeling free to discover life on your own. Danielle struggles with all of these issues one way or another throughout this novel.
Her desire to feel settled and have a place to call home are so strong when her and her mother reach Heaven. She starts to make a friend, Allison, who actually wants to know about her and her feelings. She even meets a guy named Greg who wants nothing more than to spend time with her. But of course, he is a cop.
While normal to most teenagers, Danielle doesn’t know what to do with these newfound experiences because even though she is enjoying them, she is betraying her mother, who has planted them there to steal silver from Allison’s family. Her own morals and future are constantly being tested as she slowly begins to break away from the life her mother built for her.
While the book was riveting, I did think that it wrapped up too soon and I wasn’t too satisfied with the developments in Danielle’s mom’s life. Or the lack of development in her situation with Greg. But you are rooting for Danielle to make the right decision and realize just how much unhealthy power her mother has had over every aspect of her life.
A quick and entertaining read, I couldn’t put it down. (I also think this would make a great movie with a few changes, of course.) I’m definitely looking forward to checking out more of Elizabeth’s work.