While oftentimes a book's jacket description exaggerates to the point that it makes the story seem like it's more than it really is, the description of Emory's Gift "hits the nail right on the head." It is a book that is very touching, emotional, heartwarming and, at times, bittersweet. But at all times, it is a very well-written and memorable story that will likely stay with readers (or at least this reader) for a long time to come.
The plot (which takes about 80-90 to really get involved in, which resulted in my deducting 1/2 star from my rating) is this: After thirteen-year old Charlie Hall's mother dies and his father retreats into the silence of grief, Charlie finds himself drifting, lost and alone, through the brutal halls of junior high school. But Charlie is not entirely friendless. In the woods behind his house in a small town in Idaho, he is saved from a mountain lion by a grizzly bear, a species thought to be extinct in his area. This very unusal bear will change Charlie's life forever.
Emory's Gift is not only a charming coming-of-age story, it is also a page-turning, insightful look at how faith, trust and unconditional love can heal a broken family and bridge the gaps that divide us.
I should point out that Emory's Gift, by W. Bruce Cameron, is not the type of book I usually read, being largely a fan of thrillers, mysteries and suspense books. However, Cameron has turned me into a fan and I plan to read his previous bestselling book, A Dog's Purpose, very soon.