Study Guide

Heist Society The Home

By Ally Carter

The Home

Hale was only truly fond of the old, six-hundred acre estate in rural New York. At least, that was the only place where Kat had ever heard him say... "We're home." (3.1-3.2)

Who would have thought that a boy whose family owns more homes than a Hollywood star wouldn't feel at home in most of them? Why do you think that is? And what makes the New York estate different?

The air always smelled like the Old Country [...] cabbage and carrots and things simmering for long hours over slow heat in cast-iron pots that would outlive them all. It was, in a word, home,and yet Kat didn't dare say so. (6.10-6.11)

Home is a place that appeals to all the senses. But smells seem particularly interwoven with our memories. What smells remind you of home?

Arturo Taccone's home was really a palace made of stone and wood, surrounded by vineyards and olive trees. [...][ It was no paradise--it was more like a prison. (8.61)

If Taccone's home is a prison, does that make him the warden of his own jail? We have a feeling that Taccone doesn't think his home is a prison. He probably prefers using the terms "fortress" or "heavily guarded castle" to describe the place.

"Johan Schuloff was a banker in a small but prosperous town near the Austrian border in 1938. He had a lovely daughter. A beautiful wife. A nice home." (14.61)

Mr. Schuloff here was living the American dream. Well, we guess it was the Austrian dream, too. But a home doesn't necessarily mean security, especially not in times of war. The Nazis took all of that away.

Kat's only home was a brownstone in New York, and the man who ruled that household had strictly forbidden her from doing what she was doing. (20.1)

The Romani heist is a big deal for Kat in many ways. In a way, Kat is risking her home by doing it. She's afraid that Uncle Eddie will cast her out of the one place she loves. Sad.

[Kat] wanted to go home. Wherever that was. (22.1)

Knowing Uncle Eddie would disapprove of her actions, Kat feels lost. Although Kat normally feels at home at Uncle Eddie's, perhaps it isn't her true home. Her home should be hers unconditionally, not dependent on whether or not its owner approves of her actions. Right?

That night [...] [Kat] left without permission, and she might never really belong inside again. (23.2)

Again, Kat's homes seem conditional. Here, she's done something that she thinks Hale will disapprove of. Now she's afraid that he won't welcome her into his home anymore, either. Poor girl.

"Marcus, take us home." As they eased into traffic, [Kat] let the warmth of the car wash over her. She didn't protest as Hale slid his arm around her and pulled her to rest against his chest. It was somehow softer there than she remembered. (36.67)

Maybe, to Kat, home isn't a physical place; home is where Hale's heart is.

"Are [the paintings] home?" "Some," he assured her. [...] "But for the others, Katarina, I'm afraid their homes"--he struggled for words--"are gone." (37.21-37.22)

Where is home for a painting? Is home in a museum? Who does art really belong to, if anyone at all?

[Kat] noticed that, for the first time she could remember, her uncle's brownstone didn't feel too warm. The kitchen, she thought, was just right. (37.42)

Kat's acting a little like Goldilocks here. But she realizes that, though she's not a master thief yet, she's still growing. So it's easier for her to feel home when she's more comfortable with herself.