Thursday, June 9, 2011

the gift.

Extremely successful executive, Lou Suffern is always overstretched, immune to the holiday spirit that delights everyone around him. The classic workaholic who never has a moment to spare, he is always multitasking while shortchanging his devoted wife and their adorable children. And ever since he started competing for a big promotion, he has barely seen his family at all.

One frigid morning in an uncharacteristic burst of generosity, he buys a cup of coffee for Gabe, a homeless man huddled outside his office building. Inspired by his own unexpected act of kindness, Lou decides to prolong his charitable streak and contrives to get Gabe a job in his company's mailroom. But when Gabe begins to meddle in Lou's life, the helping hand appears to be a serious mistake. Gabe seems to know more about Lou than Lou does about himself, and, perhaps more disturbingly, Gabe always seems to be in two places at once.

With Lou's personal and professional fates at important crossroads and Christmas looming, Gabe resorts to some unorthodox methods to show his stubborn patron what truly matters and how precious the gift of time is. But can he help him fix what's broken before it's too late?
Cecelia Ahern is one of my favorite authors. That might seem odd when you consider she has less than 10 books published, but it's true. I have read five of her seven books and only one was less than stellar (There's No Place Like Here). The first one I read was PS I Love You and it remains one of my favorite books. What I love about her books is the mix of fantasy and reality. How she makes me think "What if this really was happening?" If you've never read her books, pick one at random and go!

Now, on to this book in particular. As expected, Ahern has crafted an unbelievable story with The Gift. Lou is not a great guy. He does a lot of hurtful things to his family that he doesn't even realize until this time in his life. He's probably like a lot of men, a lot of people that way. But in this book, Lou is given the chance to redeem himself. Every action, every chapter, every page is laced with the idea of second chances, of life/work balance, of spending your time here on Earth wisely without pushing and being overbearing. The story is, in true Ahern fashion, thought provoking and heartbreaking. It makes you think and, more importantly, it makes you feel. Yes, it's another holiday story out of the holiday season, but it is fantastic. I suggest you read this one or any of her other books pronto.

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