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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Jack's life began violently. This is more a reflection of his father than Jack, but as Jack says this story is about Mary - his mother. Mary loves Jack even though he can't hear or speak to her, which perhaps the reason why she put up with Jack's father for so long. Jerry wasn't a good husband and certainly wasn't a good father but he provided for Mary and Jack. Then Mary found their life savings and a note from a woman in Jerry's coat pocket and takes matters into her own hands. Thus beginning a whirlwind adventure taking Mary and Jack from their frightening home into an even harsher reality. Chicago in the depression era is not a pretty place and while Mary struggles to find a job and more importantly a roof over her and her young son's head, she stumbles on an unusual gift. Jack can see the future. Communicating only through relevant Bible verses Jack warns of disaster and brings good news to those he touches. Mary realizes Jack's holy gift could be the answer to their financial woes and secure his future. But she quickly finds that you always let the bad in with the good, and finds that Jack may suffer the same fate she did as a child, or worse.
This is an intriguing and utterly engaging novel. Mary and Jack's adventure is just that, an adventure, through the mean streets of Chicago. This novel starts fast, hooks the reader and barrels on ahead until the end. There were times while reading that the anxiety rose so high I had to put it down. The excitement of the story ranges from one extreme to another - whether Mary's desperate flight from Jerry, the realization of Jack's gift, and the good and bad that comes from all of it. The first three quarters of the novel are perfectly constructed, completely engaging, and white knuckle addicting. Unfortunately, the last quarter of the book seemed to fall apart plot wise. The plot thickens for Mary and Jack in terms of his unique gift, just in time to completely disappear. The story takes a new turn and seems to never again address the gift that the novel is names for. Now, the authors do pull it full circle by suggesting that Jack himself is the "silent gift", but not to a satisfying enough conclusion for the direction that the book started with. It seemed as though one author wrote the first of the book and the other came in to finish. If the novel had been written in a secular field for younger readers than it could have been split in to two serial novels. But it isn't, and wasn't. The plot split isn't enough to cancel the novel as a whole as the story is great and exciting, even after the plot took a brand new turn, it just feels a bit bi-polar.
Overall, this is definitely worth reading. The writing is interesting, the dialogue is quick, and the story is absolutely thrilling and in ways beautiful. Perhaps the most satisfying way to read the novel is to take Jack's advice in the beginning and read it as Mary's story, not Jack's. I wish that there had been a better conclusion.
*Book provided by Bethany House Publishing at no cost.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2010
I have never read a book by Michael Landon Jr. or Cindy Kelly so I didn't know what to expect, but let me tell you this story surpassed anything I imagined. A bittersweet story filled with passion, yearning, and hope as a mom and a disabled little boy bring happiness into some people's lives and sorrow into others with his "silent gift."

As the little boy's gift becomes known to other people, his mother is faced with a challenge--- should she use this special, God-given gift as a means for providing them with the money they need so much? She realizes her mistake too late when, with all the popularity her little boy gets, her absent husband finds her and has her arrested....as her life spirals out of control will she ever see her son again?

A great read that had me captivated, I couldn't put it down till I had it finished. The ending really surprised me. I loved it. Highly recommended!
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 28, 2010
I was a fan of Michael Landon Sr. of the Little House TV fame. I have seen a few of Michael Landon, Jr. movies on TV based on Jeannette Oaks' books. I have never been a fan of Oaks' books as they always seemed a little boring to my taste and therefore the movies that Landon made based on them seemed about the same to me. However, I purchased this book after much contemplation and had read a review in a woman's magazine about Landon Jr.'s work including a movie called Saving Sarah Caine. I thought I would give his work another chance. The premise of this book about a boy who has a special gift of telling the future (when he himself cannot hear or speak) was an interesting one to me. The book kept me "on edge" almost from the first chapter. It was filled with all kinds of bad luck and situations for the main characters. For some, I think that the main character, the boy's mother, might be construed as too nieve and maybe a little contrived; however, I found the story engaging and the ending made me cry. Not sad tears but happy tears. The book is heavily Christian oriented, so if this is something that turns you off, then this is not the book for you.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2010
There are so many layers to this book. I was intrigued, angry, hopeful, and sad during the reading of this book. I must say the authors are fabulous writers! There was such depth to the story and many layers to the main character.

I could not put this book down. I stayed up until after 1am (I am an early to bed kind of gal) so that says a lot. I am not sure I would have picked this book up to read if I had not been given an opportunity to review it. It is not usually a type of book I read, but this was so well written and kept me reading on and on to the end. Thank you!!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2010
I really loved this book. I looked forward each night to reading about the sweet, deaf, boy Jack and his faithful, mother Mary. Even after I finished the book I kept thinking about the characters. Great job by both authors! Fantastic book at a terrific price. You won't be disappointed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2014
I read The Silent Gift in two evenings because it was so difficult to put down. Drawn in from the get-go, I fell in love with the two central characters from the first page. I kept turning the pages because of the other characters who came in and out of the story as the plot developed. I finished the book with a smile on my lips - the ending was unexpected, yet very, very satisfying .
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2010
I enjoyed this book tremendously. It was one of those books that renew your faith in the goodness of mankind.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2010
Thanks to Bethany House Publishing I was given the opportunity to review The Silent Gift, written by Michael Landon Jr and Cindy Kelley.

This book follows a young mother as she struggles to create a life for herself and her young, deaf and mute son. Escaping from a husband who doesn't care about her or their child, she is bumped from one place to another, trying to find work to support the two of them. Work is not readily available for a single mother in the 1930s and she struggles to even keep a roof over their heads. She is hit with struggle after struggle.

During these struggles, she discovers that her son has a miraculous gift. While his gift brings peace and happiness to many, it brings with it more struggles for our young mother and her son.

I found this story a bit overwhelmingly sad at times. While the ending was a good one, and the story well written, I often found myself saying,"Not another struggle!" Having said this, the story has such a sweet, well thought out ending. I found myself teary eyed as I read the words of the narrator, wrapping up the story in a sweet, happy way.

Thank you to Bethany House for providing a copy of this book for review. No additional compensation was provided and the opinion expressed is completely honest and 100% my own.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 2, 2009
I enjoyed reading this book but was troubled by aspects of the story. In this story, Jack, a little boy who is a deaf mute, and his mother are fleeing his father. In the course of their journey, the mother discovers that the boy has a "gift" whereby he can tell people something that will happen in their future by writing down numbers which correspond to a verse in the Bible. A couple of evil people try to cash in on the gift and all sorts of complications ensue. The gift itself is the stumbling block in this story. It really doesn't make a lot of sense and the author contradicts his own explanation of it toward the end of the story. Although I believe God does give the gift of prophecy, I am highly skeptical of the fanciful method contrived for this story line. A couple of transitions in the story were just sort of thrown in and left me wondering, "what was that all about?" The authors tell a good story with a lot of good historical detail, but I would hope that they pick a more plausible storyline next time. I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2010
Dating back to the Depression Era, the authors Michael Landon Jr. (Little House of the Prairie) and Cindy Kelley write about the troubling times of a young boy who has a disability of not being able to hear. This sweet boy, Jack, is deaf and lives with his lonely mother, Mary, during a trying time. While the world is suffering from a huge financial breakdown, this young boy and his mother must make due with what they have- each other.

Then comes "The Gift." This gift is a talent that the young boy possesses of being able to use numbers in correlation to Bible verses and then Jack knows what the future holds, almost like a fortune teller. Once this gift has been discovered, he and his mother meet trouble with others who want to take advantage of his gift. Everything begins to get tough for this family and they have to figure out how to pull their way through.

With the country's financial situation as it is right now and since many people are not able to make ends meet, this book couldn't have come at a better time. It gives hope to others.

Generally, I enjoy books from this time period (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn) and I really like the Love Comes Softly movie (and book) series which were directed by Michael Landon Jr. This book follows along in the similar styles of these other books and movies. If you enjoy any of these other series, you are bound to enjoy this book.

*** I reviewed this book for free from Bethany House Publishers.
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