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The Gift Hardcover – October 26, 2010

91 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ahern wades into the Christmas fiction fray with a winning tale of magic and redemption. Lou Suffern is a busy man, and his family's growing weary of constantly taking the backseat to his career. On a whim, he offers Gabe, a homeless man he meets outside his office, a low-level job, and the uncharacteristically kind gesture plays out in a very unexpected way when Lou learns that Gabe has the power to be in two places at once. As the holidays draw nearer, Gabe tries to make Lou realize the importance of his family, but slow-to-change Lou might not come around to Gabe's way of thinking until it's too late. Ahern's an accomplished storyteller, and her writing chops elevate this far above the normal holiday fare. There's magic, but it's not campy, and the sentiment is real. (Nov.)
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Review

“This modern-day Scrooge tale is a delightful read with plenty of fun twists and turns.” (USA Today)

“An updated version of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol . . . with some surprising twists.” (Boston Globe)

“Charming . . . The Gift is like a warm sweater.” (Associated Press)

“A moving tale . . . The Gift weaves magical elements into modern-day setting, and will certainly appeal to readers looking for a touching supernatural tearjerker.” (Booklist)

“A winning tale of magic and redemption. . . . Ahern’s an accomplished storyteller, and her writing chops elevate this far above the normal holiday fare. There’s magic, but it’s not campy, and the sentiment is real.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Light holiday fare with a lesson . . . [that] encourages readers to appreciate the important things. . . . Ahern has a way with character.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“[A] holiday treat . . . This clever twist on the guardian angel story will appeal to Ahern’s fans and lovers of holiday fiction.” (Library Journal)

“THE GIFT is a tantalizing tale wrapped in a tale that I devoured in one sitting. It’s a perfect treat for the holidays.” (Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants)
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An Army of Secrets
Read the first chapter of The Gift by Cecelia Ahern [PDF].

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1st US Edition edition (October 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061706264
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061706264
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #823,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Cecelia Ahern is the author of the international bestsellers P.S. I Love You; Love, Rosie; If You Could See Me Now; There's No Place Like Here; and The Gift. The daughter of Ireland's former prime minister, she lives in Dublin.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Nairobi Donna on December 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover
A Christmas story?? Okay, not the best of plots but why the cussing. How many times do I need to read F... in a Christmas story?
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By SHR on January 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I didn't like this. I found the unravelling of the story annoying and the slowness of the pace grating.

I also found the way Ahern has one character tell another the meaning of the story patronising, and if that isn't bad enough, she then tells us as another character all over again what the real meaning is. If it was a ground breaking, new message maybe - just maybe - that would be OK, but the message here is not to waste time on things that don't matter and to invest your time in the people you love, with a bit of "it's never too late to change for good measure" (excuse the cliché but it goes with the book!).

That the story is farfetched, I can go with, but it is predictable too, and I can't go with that! Another annoying thing was the way the author tries to pull your heart strings; by going for an unhappy, "happy" ending; it was heavy handed and moralistic.

The final annoying thing was the way the story was found out by a character and then re-told - rubbish, absolute rubbish and really, as reader, I did not need to know whether the story was "real" or how the narrator uncovered it, and if the "whys and hows" I'm being fed are rubbish, I can especially do without it!!

Save your $ and time.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Isabelle Jolly VINE VOICE on January 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lou Suffern is a typical workaholic. He ignores his wife and children. He promises them he'll be somewhere, then breaks the promise because of work. He feels that they should be grateful for the money he makes and the beautiful home they have.

One morning he stops and gives a cup of coffee to a homeless man he passes each day. He tells him, Gabe, that there is probably a job in the mail room if he wants it, and gives him some of his extra clothes, so that he'll look decent.

Gabe gets the job, and seems to have supernatural powers. He influences Lou by looking displeased when Lou puts his work first and breaks a promise to his family. He manages to get from the 14th, (really the 13th,) floor with his mail cart faster than Lou can with the elevator.

He gives Lou a pill which lets him clone himself, giving him the capability to be two places at once. Lou discovers how much his family means to him, and how precious life is.

All of Ahern's books have been different, and all very readable. I liked this book very much.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By JJ on May 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Having read reviews here and the book jacket this book sounded like my kind of story..some inspiration..even if not quite plausable...
as I love christmas stories and can always allow for some magic in them.yet halfway through this book I wondered where it was headed and after I finished I"m wasn't sure where it went.
The introductory chapter and final chapter involving a turkey being thrown through the window just doesn't seem connected. Perhaps it was the use of the "f" word several times that made it lose some charm..or perhaps it's because it's still not clear where Gabe came from or what the pills really were. Can't recommend this book .
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By henri on October 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Compared to Ahern's earlier work, I found this very disappointing. I got into it quickly but found the character lacked credability. The message / moral while worthwhile was too contrived. Revert to your earlier work
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly Blair on February 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I have loved every single one of Cecelia Ahern's books, so I was really excited when I picked this book up. Unfortunately this was the first of her books that I really didn't like.

I felt like I spent most of this book trying to get into it. Usually I hate putting books down but had no problem putting this book down as I tried to get through it. I felt that the outside narration by the police officer really didn't add anything to the story and was not necessary.

Overall a disappointing story.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on November 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In Dublin, business mogul Lou Suffern is a 24/7 workaholic who has no time for his family, who is tired of his failure to be there for them ever. On a brisk wintry morning in front of his office, Lou buys a hot cup of coffee for a homeless person and for no known reason offers Gabe a job in the mail room. Gabe in turn tells Lou his boss is having serendipitously lunch dates with his rival.

Gabe tries to convince Lou how important family is, but the corporate officer is uninterested in his two children who are young and boring and his wife Ruth as he has a mistress. Lou realizes that Gabe can be in two places at one time and begs the man to help him do so. Gabe gives Lou a magical pill to clone himself. One Lou will close the real estate deal; the other goes home to his family as Gabe prays his "client" will learn the importance of loved ones.

This is a fascinating version of A Christmas Carol as Lou thinks he is helping Gabe with an act of kindness, but Gabe is actually trying to help Lou place his priorities in order. The underlying message of this whimsical angelic story line is too simplified as Lou learns what matters between being "Ruthless" and being with Ruth and his other family members. Fans will enjoy that Lou learns what matters in a wonderful life is it is never too late because it's a wonderful world.

Harriet Klausner
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