Stealing Jenny deals with the use and abuse of our natural procreative gifts on several different levels. During the course of the highly suspenseful narrative there are brief flashbacks to certain incidents in the lives of two different women, to their first sexual encounters, and the decisions which follow. It is a scary and inevitable reality that choices made when we are in the midst of our youthful follies can haunt us for life. They can set off quite a chain of events from which it can be difficult to extricate oneself. The words of the Psalmist were brought home to me once again: "The sins of my youth and my ignorances do not remember." Psalm 24(25):7 They are especially true in Ellen's novel, where mercy and redemption are offered again and again, to be accepted or rejected by the characters. Free will is a awe-inspiring and terrifying gift.
Another aspect of Stealing Jenny is that while we are able to see the characters from the outside we are also given a glimpse of their inner troubles and struggles. The Callahan family, who appear to be the perfect Catholic family from the outside, have their own set of problems and worries. Their existence is far from perfect, although it arouses the envy of a malevolent outsider. We are shown, as so often happens in reality, how jealousy and envy can destroy lives as quickly as a hand grenade. In Ellen's book, however, the love between a husband and a wife, being a force of nature with supernatural connotations, is able to reach across the darkness caused by evil. I would highly recommend this book for older teens and women of all ages.
(*NOTE: Stealing Jenny was sent to me by the author in exchange for my honest opinion.)