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The Gift [Hardcover]

Cecelia Ahern
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (157 customer reviews)

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Book Description

20 Oct 2008

Step into the magical world of Cecelia Ahern

If you could wish for one gift this Christmas, what would it be?

Lou Suffern wishes he could be in two places at once. His constant battle with the clock is a sensitive issue with his wife and family.

Gabe wishes he was somewhere warm. When Lou invites Gabe, a homeless man who sits outside his office, into the building and into his life, Lou’s world is changed beyond all measure…

An enchanting and thoughtful Christmas story that speaks to all of us abut the value of time and what is truly important in life.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st Edition edition (20 Oct 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007284977
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007284979
  • Product Dimensions: 20.2 x 13.6 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (157 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 149,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Before embarking on her writing career, Cecelia Ahern completed a degree in journalism and media studies. Her first novel, PS, I Love You was one of the biggest-selling debut novels of 2004 and a number one bestseller. Her successive bestselling novels are Where Rainbows End, If You Could See Me Now, A Place Called Here, Thanks for the Memories, The Gift and The Book of Tomorrow. PS, I Love You became an International box office success, starring Hilary Swank, was a box office hit. Cecelia has also co-created the hit American television comedy series Samantha Who? In 2008 Cecelia won the award for Best New Writer at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards. Cecelia lives in County Dublin.

Product Description

Amazon Review

So many new novels jostle for our attention that readers could be forgiven for lacking the patience to tackle most of them. But in the case of The Gift by Cecelia Ahern, they would be doing themselves a disservice by passing this one by. As in her highly involving debut novel, PS I Love You, Ahern demonstrates a sure and subtle understanding of the human condition and the pleasures and pains in relationships. Her theme in the new book is the way in which we conceal the truth about ourselves -- many people cover themselves in layers of deceit until somebody with the right motivation unwraps those layers and discovers the truth.

Lou Suffern is practised in the art of concealment. He is, also, always overstretched, trying to do too many things at once. His overburdened schedule gives him few moments of peace, even in his sleep. And when he spends time at home with his wife and family, he is always distracted, and, mentally, somewhere else. On a cold winter morning, Lou is on his way to work when he encounters Gabe, a homeless street dweller, sitting outside an office building. Lou is intrigued by him, and contrives to get him a job in the post room. But this act of charity rebounds on him, and Gabe’s presence begins to grate on Lou -- particularly when he discovers that the latter seems capable of being in two places at the same time. Christmas is drawing near, and before the season is over, Lou’s life will be irrevocably change by the casual act of kindness he has performed.

Apart from the sheer storytelling skill of The Gift, perhaps Cecelia Ahern’s most considerable achievement is the way in which she has taken a narrative which could easily have moved into rather twee territory, and very efficiently kept sentimentality at bay. That's not to say that the novel isn't deeply affecting, without ever trying to engage our emotions in a synthetic way, Ahern succeeds in involving us completely. In fact, the title could be said to be apposite -- it's a book that deserves to be a gift given by many people to the readers in their lives. --Barry Forshaw


'A sensational debut novel that proves true love never dies' Cosmopolitan --Praise for Cecilia Ahern's other novels,

'A heartwarming, completely absorbing tale of love and friendship'

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time 30 Oct 2010
Like other readers have said, and I refused to believe (must have been the marketing of that great cover!) it was a such a waste of time. The main character Lou was highly unlike-able and It was just a ridiculous story-- I finished reading it wondering why in the world this was supposed to be 'inspiring' I will not be reading any more of Ahern's books after this disappointment...
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81 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cecelia is the maker of magic! 24 Oct 2008
After reading all of Cecelia's previous books I was really looking forward to receiving my copy of 'The Gift'. It arrived perfectly on time and my husband discouraged me from reading it until Christmas as the presentation of the book itself is like a gift and it really does appear to be a book for christmas day.

I couldn't resist and so pealed open the plastic and unravelled the bow, I wasn't sure what to expect as the blurb on the back was a teasing question, begging me to open the book and read on for myself.

From the moment I read the first sentence of the book I was transported straight into Cecelias magic World. Her descriptions of places, people, thoughts and feelings are so perfect that the book becomes almost becomes real.
Cecelia has done it again, I do wish now I'd saved it for christmas as somehow I've managed to devour the book within a day and now I feel left wanting more and I realise it will take her a while to write more magic!
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars magical and heart warming!! 1 Dec 2008
I sat and read this book all in one go on a 6 hour flight home, despite needing sleep! Its brilliant, magical and heart warming.
I loved P.S I love you and Rainbows end, the others after that i didn't like, in fact gave up reading! (didn't even buy Thanks for the memories!) But The Gift is truly, truly lovely. There is a very powerful message at the end which i wont reveal but if you want a book to make you think, cry and become addicted too - this is for you!!
Absolute brilliance, words twisted together to warm the heart.
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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read by Cecelia 13 Nov 2008
I love Cecelia Ahern and I am always so excited when another one of her books is released. She is so young but writes so wisely. I watched the video of her interview on Amazon and she seems like a really nice person. I thought that the book itself was a really great read. I read it in 2 days (around work!) and loved it. I finally finished it in the bath last night and the water went cold because I wanted to finish my book!
The story is a story within a story. The first story is about a kid who throws a frozen turkey through his Dad's living room window (it is Christmas time) and the second story is a story told by a policeman to the kid with the frozen turkey. It sounds confusing but it really isn't.
Lou is a busy working man. He never has time for anything and always needs to be in 2 places at the same time. Enter Gabe. Gabe is a homeless guy that Lou gives a job to. Gabe is so efficient and he seems to be everywhere in Lou's life. Gabe offers Lou some tablets for a headache that essentially means that he can be in 2 places at the same time. His dream come true!
The story follows Lou through Christmas time as he learns a few valuable lessons. I think they are lessons that many people could do with learning. The story was totally unbelievable but the message wasn't.
Another great read by Cecelia and the story will stay with you for a while after you stop reading.....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I am a fan of Cecilia Ahern books, I like the style & escapism. I read this is just 4 days, with the last pages filled with tears on a plane back home from a work trip - very embarrassing!

I look forward to more of her work in 2009.

Great buy for Xmas girlie friends.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Whimsical and just brillaint 7 Nov 2008
After reading all other Cecelia books and not finding them immature at all, but rather whimsical and fantasical (after all it's her world and she can do what she like's with it!), I really enjoyed this book. Devoured it within a day. I loved how it was Christmassy the whole way through, from naming the chapters, to the christmas decorations to the fact it had a moral chapter at the end. I find it impossible to choose a favourite book of Cecelia's but i will say she manages to create a temporary best friend for me in every book. Brilliant.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Gift For Christmas 18 Dec 2008
By Jess Hearts Books VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I originally brought this book to read over the Christmas period with the story being set over Christmas time. However one winter night with nothing to do and all my presents brought and wrapped for Christmas, I decided to start it to put me in a Christmassy mood. So I untied the red ribbon (which works well as a bookmark) and opened The Gift which is beautifully presented - present being the key word! At first the book started off a bit slow unlike Cecelia Ahern's previous novels that have all had me hooked straight away. I found it hard to warm to Lou at first but as you read on you see that's the whole idea and you do grow to like him as the book continues. I was a bit surprised that all the main characters in this story where men, but again I think Ahern done this on purpose as it really isn't her usual chick lit and is very different to her previous books. Although of corse there was that magical Cecelia Ahern sparkle that they all have in common. After getting to grips with the characters I was soon hooked and by the end I was in tears due to the shock ending which I won't spoil. I would recommend this to anyone it really is a lovely gift for someone for Christmas. It's quite short as well so can be easily read over the Christmas period. Anyone lucky enough to find this under their Christmas tree this Christmas is in for a real treat. A beautiful book inside and out.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book
This is a beautiful story, some sadness, some joy, but as always almost impossible to put down. Devoured it in 2 days
Published 10 days ago by J. H. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
such a brilliant heart warming story once I started reading it I couldn't put it down would highly recommend it
Published 2 months ago by Aisling O' Malley
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just a Christmas read
I absolutely loved this book! I have had it on my bookshelf for a couple of years now and I hadn't got round to reading it, but I fancied something Christmassy and this one caught... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Rachel Slade
3.0 out of 5 stars Middle of the road but enjoyable
We chose The Gift for our book club as our christmas read. To be honest, no-one in the book club had much to say about this story, and they usually have lots to say. Read more
Published 2 months ago by tracey scott
2.0 out of 5 stars It did make me cry at the end but I found the story bleak from the...
This redeemed itself at the end, the trouble was Lou just wasn't a man you felt sorry for. It did make me cry at the end but I found the story bleak from the beginning.
Published 3 months ago by Kath
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gift
Wow, this book is gripping from beginning to end, The ending was very unexpected with how things turn out. As Cecelia said time is precious and to be used wisely. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Sam Foley
4.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas Tale
Not my usual reading preference but I wanted to read it to the end. Usually this genre leaves me feeling a little sick as you just know it going to end up "happy ever after" and... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Susan Russell
4.0 out of 5 stars easy read- spoiler review
Good theme. However, a bit airy-fairy and can't help thinking that Lou only died because Gabe made him rush home and if he didn't meet Gabe, how was he going to die?
Published 4 months ago by l
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read
I chose this book as I am an avid reader of Cecelia once I started could not put it down
Published 4 months ago by sam
3.0 out of 5 stars Easy Read
Stuck with it as the start wasn't too gripping, glad I did.

Main body was brilliant, had me guessing what was going on and what would happen, towards the end I started... Read more
Published 4 months ago by ~AKN~
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