The Birthday Thieves

…is the title of my completed book, for which I am currently seeking a literary agent. It’s a coming-of-age-literary-book-club-style novel. The summary:

Eve Shaw isn’t shocked when she hears her old church named as a cult – the memories have haunted her since escaping to Chicago at eighteen. But she can’t help missing her best friend from that time, Seth Warren. In the ten years since Eve’s exile from the community, she hasn’t been able to find him.

Back in 1985, new neighbor boy Seth impresses eight-year-old Eve in the backyard games of Fox Creek, Illinois, and they become fast friends. But Seth’s father, the charismatic and abusive Samuel Warren, recruits Eve’s own family into the cult-like “church” where he reigns as the most powerful elder, and mind control, fear, and financial crisis begin to alter their lives. When Eve’s parents ignore her ninth birthday, as the cult leaders suggest, she is devastated – and resentful of the radical change that has swept through her family. 

Seth shows Eve the hypocrisy of the church, and over the years their humor and camaraderie make the constant injustice bearable. When Seth comes home from college to visit during Eve’s last year of high school, they discover their feelings for one another. The next day, though, Eve is forced to stand up to the evils of the community, and her now-boiling anger fuels a violent attack. She must run from the church and her own home. Seth escapes as well, with his battered mother and younger brother in his care. But in hiding from the cult, he and Eve have no way of finding each other.

Ten years later, Eve has decided to confront the leaders of her old community, in an attempt to truly liberate herself from the cult’s belief system, and find the one person who always knew her best – Seth.



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