Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Review: "The Gift" by Cecelia Ahern

I just realized that I haven't blogged in over a week, which is unusual for me! I guess that I've been caught up in the busyness of the season. With three young boys to buy presents for, not to mention countless family members on both my and my husband's side of the family (and of course, the fact that I've left everything until the last minute), I've been spending less time online and more time frantically shopping. Take my mother-in-law's gift, for example: my sister-in-law told me the name of a perfume that she said my MIL would love to have, her favourite. I went to three stores looking for it, and then finally discovered that it is no longer being manufactured. I came home and called my SIL again, who gave me the name of another perfume to look for. Three stores later, I finally found it, and then it cost twice what I was expecting! Oh, well, I came home, triumphant, with the world's most expensive perfume, considering how much gas I wasted looking for it. Next year I'm doing all of my shopping online, I swear.

It's not all about the gift buying, fortunately. I have some wonderful friends who have invited some combination of me, my husband, and our children over during the holidays. In fact, we're heading to a children's Christmas party in the next half hour. I am so thankful for all of the wonderful friends and family that we have been blessed with! I thought that before I left and officially got caught up in the rush of the season I would review one more book, appropriately my favourite Christmas book that I've read this year!

Cecelia Ahern's The Gift is the story of Lou Suffern. This is a guy who doesn't have his priorities straight. He has a wonderful wife and two beautiful children, yet he spends his time cheating on his wife and doing anything to get ahead at work. This all changes the morning that he meets Gabe, a homeless man camped out in front of his office building. For some reason Lou decides to chat with Gabe and ends up offering him a job in the mailroom downstairs. To Lou, Gabe is like the pesky neighborhood child who won't go away: suddenly Gabe is everywhere, even in two places at once! Lou is thoroughly confused but frankly too busy trying to get promoted to care. One night when the regular elevators don't work, Lou finds out that Gabe is sleeping in the basement of the office building and as a thanks for not telling on him, Gabe gives Lou several mysterious pills that have a strange side effect. Suddenly Lou is getting things accomplished at an alarming rate and has Gabe to thank. I really won't get into the remainder of the book, or of the ending, because it wasn't at all what I expected and it is far better to be a surprise.

I loved this book, I mean really, truly loved it. For me, this was more than just a book about Christmas, but a story that could be read at any time of the year. The Gift is about so many wonderful things: it is about finding out what is truly important in life and about making those moments with your loved ones count. It is also about it never being too late to change; even though you've made mistakes it is never too late to try to change and become a better person. If you're expecting a sappy novel, don't be. This book isn't sappy and in fact the end shocked me (okay, okay, and it made me cry a little!). I would highly recommend this one, not just for the holidays, but for all year. This is my final book for the 2009 Holiday Reading Challenge! *This book was purchased independently for my personal collection*


  1. Glad to hear this isn't sappy. I can only take so much of that. I'll keep this one in mind.

    Hope you get all your shopping done soon! I'm going out one last time this evening and then I'm calling it quits!

    Diary of an Eccentric

  2. Sounds good!

    Have a Merry Christmas! And a happy new year of reading and blogging!

    Thanks for following Rose City Reader!

  3. I just picked up the Book of Tomorrow and like it. I'll look into this later.

  4. I have a big problem with sappy Christmas books so if you say this one isn't, I'll go ahead and put it on my radar.