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The Gift Mass Market Paperback – Nov 2009


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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Harper Collins USA (Nov 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061955043
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061955044
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 80,383 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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Acclaim for Cecelia Ahern:

'A sensational debut novel that proves true love never dies' Cosmopolitan

'A wonderfully life-affirming, witty debut' Company

'Like an Irish Sleepless in Seattle and almost certainly the chick-lit bestseller of the year' In Style

'Heartwarmingly good' Heat

'A wonderfully warm and witty debut from a terrific new writer…This exceptional novel about bereavement, friendship and lost love is both heartbreaking and uplifting' Express

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

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. Gibaldi on 14 Dec 2009
Format: Paperback
Lou Suffern loves work - so much that his family is just a nuisance, an inconvenience he has to deal with, even though he'd rather be making deals. He's constantly doing two things at once - holding a meeting and thinking about his night plans; talking to his wife and checking his blackberry, Lou's a great multi-tasker. One day, in a very rare generous moment, he gives a cup of coffee to a homeless man on the street. Gabe is extremely observant, a fast thinker, and reminds Lou a bit of himself. Due to the holiday spirit, or more so his desire to get a huge promotion, Lou gets Gabe a job at his firm and that's when things get a bit weird.

While Lou is figuratively in two places at once, Gabe really is. And while Gabe intrigues (and sometimes annoys) Lou, he also teaches Lou a few lessons he really needs to know, like how a family may be more important than money. He teaches Lou the importance of time, and how to make the most of it - and not in the way Lou has been. It's a story that shows how time, being in the moment and making the most of it, is the most precious gift of them all.

The Gift is...cute. Ahern was clearly trying to make a holiday classic with the book, emphasizing the moral of the story, but she does it in a very strange (and sometimes cheesy) way. The story itself is intriguing - gripping at times - but with no explanation. Lou is a typical character, one with no redeeming qualities until he learns "the lesson." The rest of the characters are typical as well - the forgotten wife, the competitive business partner, etc. And then there's Gabe, the homeless man who helps Lou. I wanted to like Gabe, I really did, but to me he was annoying - always hinting in weird and creepy ways, but never saying what he means.
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81 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Phillips on 24 Oct 2008
Format: Hardcover
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 By V. L. Hawden on 1 Dec 2008
Format: Hardcover
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 By Mrs. S. Payne on 13 Nov 2008
Format: Hardcover
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dot on 20 July 2009
Format: Hardcover
I missed this book when it came out at Christmas but finally got round to finishing it at the weekend. Although The Gift is set in the Christmas period, I still really enjoyed reading it over a sunny June weekend!

Basically the story revolves around the question of:

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

Cecilia Ahern presents us with the character of Lou Suffern, he is a young, successful man with a wife and two kids who nearly always needs but fails to be in two places at the same time. One morning he meets Gabe who is homeless and begging outside of Lou's office building; he is intrigued by this man who looks remarkably similar to himself and so he finds him a job in the company's mail room. Lou starts to find Gabe's presence a little odd, how does he manage to be in two places at the same time? Christmas gets closer and Gabe seems to be interfering in Lou's life even more, trying to teach him the true value of time. Towards the end of the book Lou has begun to realise what is really important in life but then he has to learn the harshest lesson of all.

Once again Cecilia Ahern presents you with a slightly fairy-tale like story that is completely believable and absorbing. The book held my interest from the very beginning and there were many twists and turns that I would never have predicted. Lou Suffern is a fantastic character, you get a real feel for the scarily fast speed that he is living his life at and the many responsibilities that he is trying to juggle. Gabe is the true fairy-tale character of the story, we do not know who he is or where he has come from, yet his impact on the story is huge.
I would have liked to have read this book at Christmas but it was still lovely to read at this time of year.
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