The Spoon Stealer by Lesley Crewe

Reading a novel by Lesley Cynthia Crewe is like covering yourself in an old quilt. You know you can settle in and get cozy, wrap yourself in the words and let the characters and their memories keep you company as you read.

Emmeline Darling, the book’s main character, revisits her past as she reads aloud from her memoir at a writing class she takes in her retirement years. Mental illness and loss are the themes running through the book, but the author deals with these subjects with the grace, humour and love I have come to know through reading her books. Lesley is adept at writing humour, heart and good old fashioned values. In The Spoon Stealer, Lesley Crewe proves that her strength as an author lies in her ability to show a relatable side to her characters.

Emmeline is indeed a spoon stealer. She is also a tour de force. She lovingly blunders into the lives of friends and estranged family in her desire to help and heal. She believes that “a spoonful of kindness” can go a long way to mending hurt and misunderstandings and I, for one, would agree. I will never forgive Lesley for breaking Emmeline’s heart on page fifty-six! How could you Lesley Crewe?! I know, I know. You authors have to rip out our hearts and stomp on them so you can spend the rest of the book redeeming yourselves with the rest of the story. I might one day forgive you, but it will be a long while.

There is also a little white dog in this book. If you know me you know I own a little white dog. The fact that this book’s little white dog happens to be a great conversationalist is not lost on me. Although my own little white dog has never spoken aloud to me, I do imagine that he can understand what I am saying as I catch myself talking to him throughout my day.

In The Spoon Stealer, Lesley Crewe proves that her strength as an author lies in her ability to show a relatable side to her characters. You find yourself silently “cheering from the sidelines” each individual character even if you find yourself not liking them very much. The cast of characters here is a beautiful mix of humanness that comes together to make a satisfying ending to the story. The Spoon Stealer makes you believe there is wisdom in age and even if you don’t agree with a character’s decisions you can definitely understand why they made them. Lesley Crewe has rarely ended a book the way I expected it to end, but she always provides hope in her conclusions. I like knowing that a book can end differently than I feel it should, but that I still feel satisfied that the ending is the right one and the author was right to end it that way.

  • Paperback : 360 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1771088818
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1771088817
  • Publisher : Vagrant Press (Sept. 30 2020)

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I am a bookseller, book reviewer, author publicist and soon to be published author! I am passionate about Canadian literature in general and have a particular passion for Maritime Canadian books, authors and publishers.