The Rose Thieves gives us the Vanderwald family: flamboyant, hot-tempered Lila, who feels trapped living in a small New England town; her sentimental, eternally optimistic husband, a failed futures-market investor; and their children. An affectionate daughter steals flowers from gardens all over town for her big sister's sixteenth birthday. A tea party for the local minister is turned upside down by a four-year-old's remark. Sheep wander through the kitchen, an enraged mother swan menaces the sisters as their own mother entertains a possible lover, and, after a near-disaster, Lila proclaims "We faced death; death couldn't face us!" Amidst the chaos, Kate, the oldest daughter, practices piano because "Haydn will give
order to everything, if only you play him right."
With wit, natural artistry, and a keen eye for the absurd, Heidi Jon Schmidt effortlessly weaves stories of strange but all-too-real family life.