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The Gift - Cecelia Ahern

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Genre: Fiction / Author: Cecelia Ahern / Hardcover / 320 Pages / Book is published 2008-10-20 by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

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    36 Reviews
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      24.11.2013 20:21
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      A lovely book with an important message!

      Christmas is coming and so every year I get ready for the festive season by reading loads of Christmassy books. Today, I finished reading a book by Irish Author Cecilia Ahern called 'The Gift'. Now I had heard of this author before - although can't remember reading any of her books until now, so I was curious to see what this book would be like - especially as she is the author of the book 'P.S I Love You' which was made into a big film.

      To be honest, I found this book to be very confusing. When I first began reading it, I wasn't sure what kind of book I was reading. The way the chapters kept flicking backwards and forwards I thought that maybe each chapter was different story. After a while, it became clear that a man called Lou was the main character and that this book was all about him.

      I don't know what it was about this book, but I kind of loved it and hated it at the same time. It was the kind of book which I felt addicted to and couldn't wait to find out what happened next whilst at the same time I felt bored for a lot of the book and couldn't wait to finish it. It did however, get much better as the book went on and I just couldn't stop turning the pages.

      I thought that the characters in the book were good ones. Lou was the main character and came across as being really selfish and arrogant and whilst I wanted to hate him, I actually grew to like him.

      I thought that the plot was a good one. It reminded me a bit of the book 'Mrs Miracle' and I loved the fact that it was full of unexpected twists and turns. I did not expect what happened at the end to happen. I still wasn't exactly sure who Gabe was by the end of the story - was he really a person or was he some magical person. So that was one of the answered questions I was left with at the end of the book.

      Now perhaps it is just me, but whilst the book was well written, for me it was too descriptive. I like chick-lit books which are easy to read and don't require that much concentration. With this book, I felt that the sentences were quite long and I felt I couldn't switch off at all when reading this book otherwise I'd miss parts. It's not really a criticism; it's just I like 'light reading' styled books rather than ones which makes the reading feel a bit of a chore.

      One thing I loved about this was the heart-warming feeling it gave me. It is a lovely read and I would recommend it - especially for this time of year. The book has an excellent message which emphasises how precious time is and that we should always make time for friends and family as you just don't know what is around the corner.

      Thanks for reading!
      November 2013
      Xd-o-n-z-x

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        09.08.2012 07:21
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        Very good read with a surprising twist

        A few months ago I went a little bit mad on The Works website. I used to often visit their stores and take advantage of the 3 for £5 deal however I have not been able to visit them much recently so when I had some spare cash and I wanted some new books to read I decided to pay a visit to their website. Instead of buying 3 books I think I ended up with 15 but never mind I will work my way through!

        One of the books I chose was The Gift by Cecelia Ahern. I first encountered this author a few years ago now when I read her book The Book of Tomorrow and absolutely fell in love with it and was hooked. Therefore, I decided that this would certainly be worth a try.

        ==Plot==
        Lou is a very busy and very successful Irishman. His career is his life and he sees no problem with working 12 hour days every day in order to get him where he wants to be. He is proud of what he has achieved so far, he has a large house with electric gates and the Porsche he'd always dreamed of. Oh yes, and a family. His wife, Ruth he met many years ago at university. Since then they had married and had two children, Lucy who was now five and Pud who was one. However, Lou just didn't seem to be cut out to be a family man, he was a business man through and through. If there was a chance to secure a deal then Lou would be in the office, never mind if it was one of the children's birthdays.

        It is a normal day for Lou, his alarm goes off at 6am, he showers and then is out the door ready to get to the office. He speeds along the narrow lanes in his Porsche feeling smug. He is proud of himself. How many of his childhood friends were now in his situation? Once parked Lou is in two minds - should he go and get a coffee or should he go to the office? It was early but Lou knew that there would be a promotion coming up soon and he was desperate to get it but so too was his colleague Albert. After thinking it through Lou decides there's no way Albert will already be in the office so he decides to grab a quick coffee.

        On his way to the office Lou is in a hurry but stumbles across a homeless man. Usually Lou wouldn't give him the time of day but for some reason it seems that Lou is pulled to him. He begins chatting with the man and learns his name is Gabe. Gabe has a vast knowledge of the goings on of the office because this is his regular spot so Lou finds him very useful indeed. Eventually, Lou must get going but he spends the morning not being able to get Gabe out of his mind...what is it that seems to be pulling him towards him?

        ==Opinion==
        From the beginning of the book I thought Lou was a bit of an arrogant so and so. He seemed very smug about his lifestyle but wasn't prepared to make a few small sacrifices to be the husband and father he had suggested he would be when he married Ruth all them years ago. What made me dislike him a little more was that Lou had embarked upon a string of affairs, one which had only ended six months ago with the children's Nanny. However, as the story progressed I began to like Lou a little more and although he was never high up in my most loved characters list he certainly became more bearable over time.

        Ruth was a bit of a mysterious character initially. We only tended to see what she was up to when Lou was there however there were a few small snippets of what her day involved when he wasn't around. I felt very sorry for Ruth as she really was left at home holding the baby and when her husband did roll in, usually at some ungodly hour after going to the pub after leaving the office he was usually rude, arrogant and short tempered.

        I think the way that the author has portrayed these two characters is key to the story. If Ruth didn't feel quite so alone and fed up then I don't think the reader would resent Lou so much for the way he had treated her.

        Gabe was a very mysterious character and I found myself asking questions about him right up until the end. He seemed like a nice person and was willing to help but Lou was extremely sceptical of him which also put doubts in my mind as the reader as we didn't know anything about where Gabe had come from or who he was.

        I found the first half of the novel quite laid back and slow paced. Although I found it interesting I was never desperate to pick up the book and read on. I found it easy to pick up from where I had left off and because of this it did take me a few weeks to get through the book just dipping into it here and there when I had twenty minutes spare. However, from the halfway point I found the story to pick up pace and there was plenty more going on which grabbed my attention and making me want to read on. Despite this, I don't believe that the first half of the book is lacking because of this. I think it was designed to be this way so that the reader could fully appreciate how much every day proved to be the same - Lou going to work, Lou going to the pub, Lou finally turning up at home just to go to bed and then it would start all over again. I think this aided me as the reader to understand and appreciate how difficult Ruth must have been finding her everyday life despite her never really explaining how she felt.

        As the plot progressed in the second half of the book I felt there was lots going on and this was different to any other book I had read which made it fresh and interesting. The closing of the book really had me guessing and there were numerous surprises, and one which leaps out at me that I really wasn't expecting causing me to actually gasp when reading it! The ending certainly wasn't the one that I was anticipating but it is an excellent ending and I cannot fault it. It was strong, shocking and tied up all loose ends.

        I really like Cecelia Ahern's writing style. It is laid back and informal and the way the book is written makes you really feel as though you are right there with Lou, a fly on the wall watching and judging his every move.

        ==Additional Information==
        The book was published in 2008.
        The publishers are Harper Collins.
        It has 276 pages spanning over 29 chapters.

        ==Summary==
        I enjoyed this book, I wouldn't say I loved it because personally I didn't feel captivated throughout the entire story but I did very much enjoy the unexpected twists at the closing of the novel. I found it quite different to other books I have read which made it enjoyable and I do think its one of those books that you would remember for some time to come. I would definitely recommend it.

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          05.02.2012 17:11
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          I loved it, a close second to her debut novel.

          After reading Ps I love you years ago I have read everyone of Cecelia Ahern's books. I really enjoy her books but have felt none of the others have quite lived up to Ps I love you, however I feel this book is close to the standard of her debut.

          The Plot- The book starts off with the charactor Sergeant O'Reilly who tells the story of Lou Suffern to another charactor named "turkey boy". Lou is a man who always has two places to be at the same time. He is a hardworking man but is only ever at home with his family in body because his mind is always somewhere else. He makes promises but breaks them and his 5 year old daughters heart for the sake of his work. His long suffering wife is always putting up with his affairs and dirty one night stands, and his total lack of intrest in their baby son.
          One winter morning with christmas fast approaching Lou meets a charactor named Gabe, a homeless man who sits outside Lous office building. Lou is intrigued by Gabe so helps him out, all be it too for Lou's own uses. Lou soon realises Gabe is no ordinary man and appears to be in two places at one time.
          As christmas approaches Gabe lets Lou in on his secret and helps Lou to be in two places at once. This lets Lou see himself and teach him the value of time, and what truly matters in life. This helps Lou make up for the things he's done before his time runs out. Sadly the husband, son father and brother Lou's family always wanted him to be leaves as quickly as he arrives.
          The story ends back where it began with O'Reilly and Turkey boy.

          Verdict- I really enjoyed this book. It is one for the girls but think all Aherns books are. The book to me was a real rollercoaster of emotions, I think I went through every emotion going it makes you cry, and smile, I even got a little angry at the charactor Lou in parts. My opinion of Lou changed as his family's and his own opinion of himself changed, which I feel was great as you could put yourself in the charactors shoes. There are also some really heart warming moments with Lou and his daughter when he knows his time is running out. The book has some harsh lessons throughout and as a reader it can make you see whst is really important in uour own life. Greatest gift of all is time!! There is also a little bit of a happy twist on a tragic end but i won't give that away.
          The book tells a story within a story, although the main part of the book is based around the charactor Lou, there is also the story off "the turkey boy", who appears to want to change his bad boy ways after hearing Lou's story.
          The question of Gabe is never really answered which leaves you to draw your own conclusion. I liked this but some readers may be left wanting more on this!
          I also really enjoyed how Ahern uses chapter one to set the scene of Ireland at Christmas time, you can tell Ahern loves her Irish home and it makes you want to go to the places she writes about. I also think with the right director and cast it good make a good movie.

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            11.12.2011 12:16
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            As usual I bought this book after reading the back of it and deciding that I would really like it. I have read a few Cecelia Ahern books but I mostly got them free with magazines. Normally her kind of books although can be readable they aren't exactly the kind of book I go for, but they still fit firmly into the chick lit category.

            This book is set around Christmas time. The main character in the book is a man called Lou. Lou lives in Dublin and is married to a woman called Ruth and has 2 children. Lou has a well paid job and you get the impression that Lou thinks he is great due to his wealth. He seems to love his family but never gets much time for them due to working long hours. I get the impression that he isn't all too bothered about not seeing them all that much at times. I would say that Lou is happily married but through the book we learn that Lou has had the odd affair, and I get the impression that perhaps his wife is aware of this but it seems as if the family situation is just fine how it is and a bit hassle to rock the boat.

            The other main character in the book is a homeless man called Gabe. To be honest Lou doesn't seem to be the most charitable person, but Gabe sits near to Lou's office and they have spotted each other quite a few times. Lou ends up employing Gabe to work for him - perhaps trying to be a big shot, but Gabe accepts the job gratefully. It isn't much of a job, basically dealing with the Mailroom, but for Gabe it is a job and it gets him off the streets and earning some money. Also we find that Gabe ends up sleeping in the building as well.

            Anyway all is not what it seems with Gabe, and Lou wondered if he has made a mistake with getting involved with the man in the first place.

            Once I started reading this book I could not put it down. Every spare 5 minutes I had I was reaching for this book, as I wanted to find out what was going to happen next. This book isn't the typical fluffy chick lit book probably due to the fact that it focusses on male characters, but it really is a great book. I don't know if I would say there is drama in it, but there is a few dark twists and turns in here, and Lou ends up perhaps not as powerful as he thinks that he is.

            I wasn't expecting the twist at the end of this book and I definitely didn't see it coming but this brought the book together well.

            A really good book and I would recommend you to read this as it is just a great story. Yes, perhaps not fully believeable some times, but a good book nonetheless

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            29.08.2011 16:31

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            Not a feel good read

            I was optimistic about this one after reading 'Ps I Love You' but was really very disappointed with this one.

            The idea behind the tale is fairly sound. It attempts to teach the reader the importance of taking time for those you love before time gets away from you. After finishing the book I did appreciate the sentiment but I was more engulfed by a feeling of great relief at it being over!

            I warned my friend not to bother after she received it herself as a gift; she read the entire tale and was left feeling very flat!

            Perhaps my expectations were too high after the hype (and v.attractive actors from the movie adaptation) of PS I love you.

            The book itself is packaged well as a hard-back. Fancy red ribbon which doubles as a bookmark makes it attractive-especially as a gift. However I urge you all not to judge this one by its cover.

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            17.08.2011 17:38

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            brilliant book, go read it now!!

            I have recently just finished this book, which i had bought from whs retail price £7.99. It's written by the author of the best seller p.s I love you (that is also an emazing book) which has now been turned into a film.
            I was not disappointed I had it read within 2 days its just absolutely unputdownable!!
            The story line is very heartfelt and gets you from the very first page.
            There is a homeless man called Gabe who is offered a job by a carer driven businessman, Lou suffron, who never realised how much of a change giving Gabe this job would make in his own life.
            The lesson of this book is about time, the time you have on this earth and how/ with who you spend it. she also touches on the idea of being two places at once and what the advantages and disadvantages of this would be, and being a ahern novel the magic shines through with this 'gift'.
            The main character Lou learns the lesson that family are more important then the stresses of work, the ongoing phone calls and business deals. he finds out that he doesn't even 'know' his family and there true potential as he went through life in a blur. This novel let's you enter his world and see it be flipped upside down being taken into the emotions of Lou and the lessons he learns.
            the side track part of this story is about a police officer telling his tale to a boy who chucked a frozen turkey through a window at Christmas, at first i was unsure how this related to the main story but at the end it is all tied together in such an unexpected way.
            This is a story full of unexpected twists that will capture your heart and if your anything like me make you shed a few tears as well.
            I will say no more so i don't ruin it, just go buy it!!!
            As with all of Cecelia aherns novels there is a touch of magic, she is an author who captures you into a story and doesn't let you go until it's finished, she is my favourite author I recommend reading all of her books. 10/10

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            02.05.2011 11:46
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            Want to be in more than one place at one time? Talk to Gabe

            This is a review of the 2009 book 'The Gift' by Cecelia Ahern. Did you ever ned to be in two places at one time or wish you were somewhere else? In this book, Cecelia Ahern explores that possibility and the pros and cons that would come with it. As a reader you need to extend your disbelief and wonder at the miracle at Christmas.

            The story follows workaholic (and womaniser) Lou Suffern and his high powered job in Dublin. A homeless man, Gabriel enters his life and changes it forever. Gabe taps into the softer side of Lou and draws him in until their lives are almost interchangeable.

            Along side Lou's story is another story which is unfolding in 'real time' at the police station. A young boy is arrested at Christmas for chucking a turkey through his dad's window. He's upset at his dad playing happy families with his new wife and not him and his mum. Police officer Raphie tries to teach him a gentle lesson by telling him an epic story while they wait for his mum to turn up and rescue him.

            This book really reminded me of several other stories, firstly, 'the cable guy' as Gabe's ever present and ability to be everywhere that Lou is, meddling in his life comes across as slightly spooky at times. Secondly, the Christmas Tale as Lou sees himself in client entertainment mode and is able to give himself some advice later on about listening more and not being too overpowering. Thirdly, the 'Time Travellers Wife' as Lou finds out how to multi task with the help of Gabe.

            Lou is a quite nasty character and you rarely get to see his good side. It is there though, albeit deeply buried. He is known for being competitive at work, to the detriment of his colleagues, and also for getting off with other women at work and even the nanny at home. His loving wife and two children put up with his ways but it causes a lot of upset.

            Gabe is a mysterious character and is always looking out for Lou and he tries to give him helpful advice but it often falls on deaf ears.

            The themes covered by this book are work, family, relationships, infidelity, love, deception, temptation, competition, and self realisation.

            The ending of this book was spectacular and unexpected but obviously I'm not going to give it away, you'll have to read it yourself. I guessed what turned out to be an alternative ending (i.e i was wrong!) earlier on in the book but I wasn't disappointed by the actual ending.

            I loved reading this book and tore through it, only pausing to sleep in between the beginning and the end. Whilst it reminded me of the above, it really was original and unlike anything else I've ever read. The underpinning Christmas time makes the story more magical and somehow, believable.

            I would recommend this book as a fantastic read and am awarding it top marks for being an entertaining, different and unique read which kept me page turning over a couple of days. I will continue to seek out further books by the same author.

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              17.04.2011 22:32
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              a brilliant tale to get lost in

              As an English Literature student I often feel like I should be reading the books on my reading list or expanding my reading into the classics or literature that is seen as more appropriate by some people than just casual "women's" fiction, which is what Cecelia Ahern is often described as.
              However after reading my first Cecelia Ahern novel; Where Rainbows End I fell in love and have since viewed her work as an important input into contemporary fiction.
              The novels not only engage in perfectly normal everyday activities of people but make the readers think about other aspects of the imagination; a Place Called Here explores the possibility of another world and If You Could See Me Now looks at the reality of imaginary friends.
              The Gift is yet another Cecelia Ahern novel that promises excellent reading and ideas to be put into your mind that you would never have thought of before. The mix of reality with fantasy in Cecelia's work is just right to get us thinking about the possibilities of life.
              The novel gets the reader sucked in from the very start as soon as we hear about the turkey boy we want answers. Then when Sergeant O'Reilly embarks on his tale of Lou Suffern the reader gets drawn in even more by wanting to know what connection he has with the boy.
              The tale is the part of the novel that really got me hooked. Just wanting to know what it is about this mans life that's so special and where the Sergeant was taking his story. You can't help but want to read and want to not do anything else.
              This novel has yet again impressed me, as do all Cecelia's novels, I cannot wait to see what she's going to pick out of her amazing imagination next, but ill put odds on that it will be as fantastic as the rest.

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                11.01.2011 22:29
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                Losing yourself in a book is a true gift. Let yourself enjoy it, but remember some tissues.

                The Gift is something i picked up prior to Christmas in the library. It appealed as it was a bit Christmas-sy so i thought it might be a good read for the time of year, and also i have heard of Cecelia Ahern's other novel, P.s. I love you. It has also been made into a film. So i figured i would probably enjoy it.

                I made the mistake of trying to read it while full of a horrible fluey virus over christmas, so i have to say initially it made very little impression on my though i think that is because of me rather than any fault with the novel.

                The story has 2 plots. There is a 14 year old boy who has been taken into custody on Christmas day as he has gone round to his Dad's house and thrown a Turkey through the window of the new families window, almost injuring his little step brother in the process. He is taken to the station, and waiting for his mum to pick him up.

                The 2nd plot is a story in the run up to Christmas which the policeman, Seargent Reilly, is telling the 14 year old boy. It is about a workaholic called Lou Suffern who is trying to do it all; be a high flying business man, and have the best house alongside a young family.

                Lou meets a homeless man called Gabe, and out of character he stops to chat to him, and then gives him a job as a maillman at his office. This chance encounter leads Lou to start examining his character and start to see himself and start to do something about it.

                For about half of the story i hated the character of Lou. I think it reminded me too much of my own home situation being the mum of two young kids with a husband who works very long hours. The difference being my husband isn't sleeping around with the office staff behind my back, and actually helps out when he does come home. I really felt so sad for the poor wife Ruth who was trying to do it all and keep together their family unit.

                As he started to reflect on his life i started to warm to him, and when i got to later in the story and events happened that were out of his control, i found myself bawling my eyes out as i was reading. It felt a great tragedy to me especially so as it was set on Christmas Eve/Day and i couldn't bear it as it was so painful to me. (I am becoming such a girlie wuss lately. I bawled my eyes out at Toy Story 3 too, and continue to do so every time i see it. )

                This to me tells me that Cecelia Ahern is a very talented writer. How she could make me so involved with these characters amazed me when i had thought i spent the first half of the book being a bit cynical. In my head i kind of thought one thing was going on, and it threw me i think when it wasn't what i expected.

                The book is so every day in its setting that i think it would have something in common with any reader. We all try hard to juggle all our responsibilities and some seem to do it all so much better.

                I am so glad i picked up this book, and i will be making sure i do look up some of her other work to. I will remember next time though to find the tissues before i start. It was cold when i had to get out of bed to find some.

                I hope you enjoyed the review. One book that is well worth picking up. Think of my recommendation as my gift to you.

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                  24.11.2010 14:57
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                  The story of Lou who lives for work and how Gabe tries to get him to see the family he is neglecting

                  Sgt O'Reilly is working on the Christmas day shift in his Police station when a 14 year old boy gets bought in for throwing a turkey through his Father window, he is cocky and does not have any respect for his Father so O'Reilly decides to teach him an important lesson so starts to tell him of a event which has just happened to him.

                  Lou is a high flying business man, he is married and has two young children but never really has time for them as he is always at work. He likes to be the first into the office each morning as he is chasing a promotion. On one particular morning he stops outside his building entrance and gives a cup of coffee to a homeless man sitting on the ground, they strike up a conversation and before long Lou offers the man a job. He man is called Gabe and he is friendly and is pleased Lou has given him a job. Before long Gabe is making his presence in the building known and he has befriended everyone, much to Lou's annoyance. Gabe also helps Lou by driving him home when he is drunk. Gabe tries to talk to Lou and make him see his life differently but Lou is too busy at work to notice what is happening around him.

                  Can Gabe make Lou change his ways, just where did Gabe come from and can Sgt O'Reilly make the Turkey Boy learn to love his Father and have some respect?

                  I have only given a very brief outline of the plot for this book and there is so much ore to discover from reading it, so please don't be put off by thinking it is only a shallow and brief story with little happening. I really did enjoy the storyline to this book and it had me gripped, I did find it took me a good chapter to be able to settle into the story as we did keep moving from the Turkey boy story to the one with Gabe and Lou but after a bit I got into it and loved it so much I lot so many sleeping hours.

                  The characters were all very good and my favourite was Gabe, he was a homeless man but once he was given a chance he started to show strength and loyalty even when it was not earned. I found that the air of mystery which surrounded him was good and always had me wondering about him and who he was and where he was from, I loved this aspect of the character as it meant I just had to keep reading. There was a good bond between Gabe and Lou and I felt that at times Gabe would be more of a father role to him with the advise he was trying to give. Lou was another good character, there were times when wish he would be able to see what he really had and how he found the wrong things in his life important but aside from this he was easy to get to know and understand and I did warm to him a lot more towards the second half of the book.

                  We did have a lot of additional characters but we did get to know a bit about them all and understand where they fitted into the story so I was not getting lost at any point. I found the addition of Lou's family to be good as they were spoken about a lot and I got a good feel for how his wife and children must have been feeling and could feel sorry for them and will Lou to change. The office staff were very different to the family and this was a good diversion from the soft family characters as they were harder and more strong and made for some good reading.

                  The way the book was written meant it was very easy to follow and get all of the information needed to be able to understand the story. I felt we were given a good amount of details about each of the individual characters to be able to build a good metal picture of them and follow their feelings and emotions throughout the story. I was made to feel so many emotions throughout the book, this is always a bonus for me as it means I am enjoying what I am reading, one moment I would hate Lou for the way he was and the next I would be feeling so sorry for his children as they wished he would spend time with them.

                  The book was written by Cecelia Ahern and I am definitely going to be looking out for more of her work. The edition which I have is the paperback and it has a retail price of £7.99 on the back cover. I managed to buy this book for just £3 when on holiday and it is available for a lot less than the retail price on Amazon. It was published by Harper Collins.

                  I am more than happy to recommend this book and give it the full 5 stars. The characters and story are excellent and very engaging and I found I was not able to put this down at times. There is a festive feel to the book so I would say that now would be a good time to read it. A warm and moving story which does pull at the heart strings.

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                    26.05.2010 00:10

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                    A good holiday read which really makes you think

                    I have read quite a few of Cecilia Ahern's books and found them to be really quite varied in their themes and content. I was a bit wary about this one as I didn't really enjoy the last one I read but was plesantly surprised. I think it was back to being like P.S. I love you, which was interesting but not too bizarre. Its all about a high flying businessman being taught about the values of family life and how money isn't the most important thing in the world by a strange homeless many names Gabe he meets by chance outside his office building. I really enjoyed it and couldn't put it down once I had started it and its pretty light reading so it didn't take too long to get through. i would recommend it for a train journey or for travelling on holiday but beware the sad ending if you are in a public place!

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                    25.05.2010 09:43
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                    Give this a read

                    Cecelia Ahern is probably best known for two things.

                    1) Being Bertie Ahern (ex prime minister of Northern Ireland's daughter)

                    2) For PS I Love you - one of the weepiest books and films that I have read / seen.

                    So is The Gift up to the standards of PS I Love You?

                    First and foremost this is supposed to be a seasonal tale - set in Ireland at Christmas (or shortly before) and based around the giving of a gift.

                    So of course I read it in one day on one of the hottest days in May 2010 sitting in my garden playing with my four month old son (there have to be some benefits to maternity leave!!!)

                    The fact that I read it in one day speaks volumes as I expected this book to be a light, pick up, put down read but I was strangely hooked.

                    So what is it about?

                    Lou is the main character and is a strange man. Working in a hot shot job one step below the top job he works all the hours that are sent and is always out partying with clients. As a result although his family live in a nice house with everything that they could ask for they see very little of their husband or father. Without giving too much of the plot away Lou meets Gabe, a homeless man with great insight and a strange ability to seem to be in two places at once and his life changes as he is forced to look at his life.

                    Characters
                    Lou - as mentioned hard working and seems to want to provide for his family without realising that he is losing out by not seeing them. He is something of a player in that he drinks a lot and has affairs. Any married woman reading this book will probably hate him!

                    Gabe - the mysterious homeless man who Lou stumbles across and his life immediately changes.

                    Ruth - Lou's wife and mother of his children -made to feel down trodden by receiving so little family support from her husband.

                    Writing style
                    Ahern writes in the third person - the whole story is being told by a police sergeant to a tearaway teenager so it is one step removed from the actual characters themselves.

                    This style works well as we are told the story of Lou with little interlude chapters where the police man and teenager interact. Questions are asked and answers sometimes given. For me this just broke the story up really well and gave it the overall feel of a fairy story or perhaps an Aesops fable!

                    What did I think?

                    I loved the writing style of Ahern - it is chatty and descriptive - you can really see the events unfolding as they happen.

                    I was kept guessing with the plot and I felt that you are not really given full answers to all the questions raised by this book.

                    The book may look like a chick lit novel but it does raise some serious points about the way that we live our lives - do we live each day as if we mean it or do we just rush from place to place without stopping to evaluate what is important.

                    There was almost a tear in my eye at the end of the book - nowhere near the tears running down my face at PS I Love you but a definite moistening of the eyes.

                    Overall this is a book which will make you laugh in places, cry in places and if you are anything like me hook you in so you read it really quickly. There were few cliches and although this is an easy book to read it is not valueless trash!

                    Even though it is May I would recommend this Christmas tale!

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                      17.04.2010 13:14
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                      Nice for a quick read but don't expect too much

                      I borrowed The Gift from the library recently as I hasn't read a Cecelia Ahern book in awhile. She is probably best known for P.S. I Love You which is now a hit movie.

                      The cover of the book is eye catching as it has a big bow on a what looks like Christmas wrapping paper so it describes what the book is about in a way. It is also quite a short read - only 320 pages - so quite good for a quick holiday read.

                      The book begins following a police officer in Ireland who is starts to tell a little boy a story at the police station. Initially I thought that that would just be introducing the main book but those characters do come again in the book and their storyline is interwoven with the second storyline of the book.

                      This tells the story of Lou Suffern who is a busy Irish businessman who doesn't seem to have enough time for work and his family and can never seem to get his priorities right. It is probably something that a lot of people can identify with. Near Christmas Lou passes a homeless man, Gabe, outside his office and although he doesn't quite know why, invites him in and gives him a job. After this his life changes forever....

                      It was quite a nice simple read but probably not the best I have read. I found the main character Lou quite irritating and wasn't sure whether to sympathise with him at the end or not. Cecilia Ahern always adds some magic into her books but I am not sure I am a fan of this as it is not out and out a 'fantasy or magic' book but it is not really believable so it is quite difficult to digest.

                      Nice for a quick read but don't expect too much.

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                      06.03.2010 15:58
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                      This book is absolutely fantastic, and the best bit? It will really make you think.

                      "The Gift" by Cecelia Ahern is a fantastic book that tells the tale of two very different men: Gabe and Lou. At the beginning of the novel Lou is homeless, whilst Gabe is a rich businessman, who has very little time for his family. However, when their paths cross, both of their lives take a turn for the better: Gabe gains a job, whilst Lou begins to learn what life truly is about.

                      This book is absolutely wonderful. I can honestly say that, when I started reading it, I couldn't stop! I began reading it on a Saturday morning and, by the end of the day, I had completely finished it.

                      What's best about it is that it really gives out a nice message at the end. This is a book that, after reading it, made me think for a long time. It will certainly help you to appreciate life more!

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                        17.01.2010 00:17

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                        I've read worse but this is the worst Ahern novel

                        I am a real admirer of cecelia aherns writing and love the way that she writes about the unbelievable making it seem believable. This, however, is in my opinion her worst novel.
                        It is based around a buisnessman who puts work above family in every situation and due to the interventions of a stranger named Gabe he comes to realise the error of his ways and I think you are meant to be left thinking that we only have a finite amount of time on this earth and we should spend it wisely, for me this was not the case.
                        At first I couldn't put my finger on why I didn't enjoy it but I think the main fault was the fact that the main 2 characters were not very likeable, I understand at the start that she wanted to make lou a bit annoying putting work before his young family, yet even towards the end when he is meant to have had his lightbulb moment, he does not spend his time wisely.
                        What I love about Ahern is that she seems to write from lots of different viewpoints, yet I think that it may have been a stretch too far for her to write from the viewpoint of a selfish male, or else I just couldn't relate or feel sorry for a selfish male.
                        I still love Aherns style and the way she writes about miracles and somehow makes them feel real.

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