It is not always sensible to be sensible.
A part of me feels certain that, had I been seven-years-old and stumbled upon The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell, it would have been one of the best books I’d ever read. I’d have fallen in love with at least two of the characters, Vita and Samuel. It would have been the sort of book I would treasure as I grew into my teenage years and, eventually, adulthood. And for many kids now, I imagine this book is just that. For me, at twenty-six, this was still a pretty exceptional read.
The Good Thieves follows Vita and her group of friends as she sets out to steal back her grandfather’s castle from a man who tricked him into losing it. There’s some sort of legality that allowed this evil man to take ownership of the property by depositing two hundred dollars into his bank account and crediting it as a sale. Though apparently the agreement had been that he would restore the property while the old man remained living on it. And this is the piece where the story was a little hard for me to believe, though I don’t imagine any kid really picking up on it.
Moving forward, when Vita’s confrontation with the man who basically stole her family’s castle doesn’t work and she learns of the treasure hidden within it, Vita recruits some kids living nearby to help her sneak in and steal it back. She intends to use it to fund the services of a lawyer who will be able to overturn Victor Sorrotore’s fraudulent actions. And all in all, it serves for a decent plot.
Did I love the story? Well, it’s not something I see myself reading again. Nor do I picture it’s the sort of book I’d want to read to any child I may have in the future. But I wouldn’t mind getting it for them, if these were the kinds of books they enjoyed. I didn’t care for some of the characters, some of the events in the story felt pointless or didn’t leave me feeling anything at all. And while it was well written, nothing really stood out to me. I’d pin The Good Thieves as a good book, just not a great one.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.