Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Gift (Ahern)

Ahern, Cecelia. 2009. The Gift. HarperCollins. 302 pages.

If you were to stroll down the candy-cane facade of a suburban neighborhood early on Christmas morning, you couldn't help but observe how the houses in all their decorated, tinseled glory are akin to the presents that lie beneath the Christmas trees within. For each holds its secrets inside.

I've found you're either the type of reader that loves cozy-little-message-driven books about Christmas, or you're not. Me, I can take them or leave them.

This is definitely a message-driven Christmas book. A book about how precious time is. How life is meant to be lived in the moment and with purpose.

Lou, our non-hero hero, is always on the go. He jokes around that he'd like to be two or three places at once. That he has so much to do, so many places to be, so many people to meet, that there should be more of him. One year he gets an opportunity to do just that--to be multiple places all at the same time. But will he use this for good or bad? Can one man learn the value of time, of life, before it's too late?

This story is told within a frame, which is interesting in a way. It gives you a way to view the story with perspective. In this case, the story is being told by a cop or two to a teen boy with a troubled family life. He's been arrested for throwing a turkey through his dad's window. Can Lou's story help turn Turkey-Boy's life around?

A quick read. I don't know that it is the best Christmas-themed story I've ever read. But it was enjoyable. It has enough drama that it would make a good movie.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Molly 8:06 AM  

I am also a take it or leave it kind of reader when it comes to message-driven Christmas stories.

I want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas, Becky, and I look forward to reading more of your reviews in 2010.

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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