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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 30 October 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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on 28 December 2015
'And so he raises his arms above his head, pulls back, and with all his strength pushes forward and releases the object in his hands. He stands back to watch, with bitter joy, as a fifteen-pound frozen turkey smashes through the window of the living room of number twenty-four. The drawn curtains act once again as a barrier between him and then, slowing down the bird's flight through the air. With no life to stop itself now, it - and its giblets - descend rapidly to the wooden floor, where it's sent, spinning and skidding, along to its final resting place beneath the Christmas tree. His gift to them.' - Page 3.

What a great start, I had such high hopes for this novel, but alas I'm afraid from here on in it was down hill all the way.

Put in mind of one of those old black and white Christmas movies (but minus that heart-warming 'Christmas feel' and characters you actually felt something for). If nothing else I should have relished the moral at the heart of The Gift but instead felt myself left cold by what I felt was the authors rather patronising tone.

Character wise ....

In main man Lou Sufferen we have a kind of Ebenezer Scrooge if you will. A miserly character of sorts, a womaniser and workaholic, who, mean with his time as far as his wife and family go, puts business before them until one day he finds himself visited by the ghosts of 'Christmas Past', 'Christmas Present' and 'Christmas Yet To Come'. Whoops! I mean having given the homeless Gabe a job finds his attitude being challenged - before its too late.

Gabe being a sort of like Clarence Odbody (It's A Wonderful Life) individual EXCEPT we don't ever get to find out if he is actually a Guardian Angel .... or do we?

To be honest, a book I eventually only went through the motions of reading as, my heart not in it, I lost any interest I might have had in either the plot or characters.

A plot I hasten to add that I found increasingly implausible. The authors penchant for the supernatural somehow just not working for me (maybe because of the pretentious tone of the writing?). The supposedly tear-jerker of an ending failing to move me in anything other than the most rudimentary way.

Call me cynical but I can't help but think there was something rushed about this book. That maybe the author had a remit to write a 'festive' novel in time for Christmas.

Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper
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on 18 July 2010
I borrowed this from the local library, renewing it repeatedly as I never found the time to sit down and read it. I even incurred fines for this book. What a waste of time and money! I am sorry Ms Ahern, this was the first book written by you that I have read and I don't think I will be rushing to read anymore although I did contemplate reading The Book of Tomorrow. I am not sure now.

I knew where the story was going in less than 100 pages. I pretty much guessed about Gabe. I found his character to be unnerving and just plain weird. I didn't feel for any of the characters - Lou, Ruth, Marcia and Mummy and Daddy - although the end did sadden me and yes, there is an important lesson to be learnt here. But I do not recommend reading this book just for that lesson.

The ONLY reason I finished this book - and it was mostly skim reading as it was too boring and painful a chore - was because I just wanted to see how the book pans out. My prediction did come true perhaps with just a slight twist. It's a shame as the concept of it was good. I also didn't enjoy the writing style. I will have to agree with the other reviewers who gave this book a one and two star. Certainly not a heartwarming holiday tale so if you are looking to cheer yourself up at the holidays, please do yourself a favour and watch a comedy instead. Anything but this book.
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VINE VOICEon 18 December 2008
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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on 14 February 2013
I had this book for a while and hadn't gotten around to reading it. I finally read it on the run up to last christmas and honestly wished id not bothered. Whilst it made you think, it left me feeling pretty depressed afterwards. Its not at all what i imagined, rather than not wanting to put it down because i enjoyed reading it, i wanted to read it quickly to get it over with. Im a big lover of chick lit and fairytale stories that have a happy ending, i wouldnt class this book as either which is why only 2 stars.
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on 10 January 2010
I bought this book because I couldn't put down my first title by this author 'PS I Love You'. 'PS I Love You' was the first book I'd read in 20 years and I have read some other crackers since, not by Cecelia Ahearn though.

I was delighted when I saw this in the shop and with christmas around the corner I felt the title enticing. I couldn't wait to get it started when I got home.

Boy what a disappointment I let myself in for and what a complicated book it was. It was a chore to read more than a few pages a day. I persevered though as I was sure the story would unfold and enlighten me but alas no. The story was all over the place, I did not enjoy this book atall.

Would not recommend this book and because of its disappointment I will not be buying any of her other books.
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on 14 August 2011
I liked this book, but it isn't one of my Cecelia Ahern favourites. It's a very clever story about the value of our time, however it's very sad story which had me in tears with a very deflated when I had finished reading it - probably because I have young family. It's definitely not a 'pick me up' book and shouldn't be read when one is looking for some light hearted humour. If one is looking for inspiration, however, then this is the book to read.
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on 9 August 2012
I read all the reviews and downloaded the book and started to read it, I absolutely loved every page and sobbed at the beautiful if sad ending,I love anything Celia Aheren writes but found this book to be one of her very best. make sure you have a hankie to cry into though
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on 26 November 2013
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 scan reading as I couldn't work out how this brilliant story would end ... unfortunately I was disappointed, readers preference. Not to keen on cheesy inspirational messages, so my fault really as I should have read more reviews before buying.

Loved the main guy (if a book can make you feel any sort of emotion for a character I think it's well written) didn't get why it jumped between two story lines, seemed pointless to me in the end.

Bought this book to distract me from the stresses of university .. did the job :)
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on 3 November 2008
I read this quickly and thoroughly enjoyed it and yet it really made me think. As a person who is often trying to be in two places at once this brought me up short. I can easily see it as a movie and hope the rights are snapped up! A very talented youg woman.
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