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The Unfinished Gift: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Dan Walsh
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (217 customer reviews)

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Kindle Edition $3.99  
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Book Description

Patrick Collins is seven years old, and on his Christmas list are only three items. He wants the army to find his father. He wants to leave his grandfather's house. And, for reasons even he doesn't understand, he wants the soldier that's tucked away in his grandfather's attic.

Set at Christmastime in 1943, The Unfinished Gift tells in an engaging, simple style the story of a family, and reminds us of the surprising things that affect powerful change in our hearts--like a young boy's prayers, a shoebox full of love letters, and even an old wooden soldier, long forgotten. This nostalgic story of forgiveness will engage readers everywhere.

Editorial Reviews


4.5 Stars, Top Pick - "Walsh paints a wonderful picture of life in America during WW2. The characters are richly developed, and the story about love and forgiveness are not to be missed."

--RT Book Reviews Magazine

"The Unfinished Gift is one for the keeper shelf! Dan's book is a fabulous story of redemption and forgiveness. Couldn't put it down and it made me cry, which is hard to do."

--Colleen Coble, Bestselling Author, The Lightkeeper's Daughter

From the Inside Flap

"Everything else in the room had suddenly gone out of focus. There was only the wooden soldier." Set at Christmastime in 1943, The Unfinished Gift is the engaging story of a family in need of forgiveness. With simple grace, it reminds us of the small things that affect powerful change in our hearts--a young boy's prayers, a shoe box of love letters, and even a half-carved soldier, long forgotten. This nostalgic story of reconciliation will touch your heart.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1609 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002LE882U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #285,162 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
65 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic page-turner October 24, 2009
Set in 1943, The Unfinished Gift is an engaging story of broken relationships and sorrow. Patrick is the age when a child still forgives easily and responds to love without reserve. While Walsh portrays that side, we also see Patrick as a little boy moved by a child's whims.

Patrick's grandfather is a bitter man who has cut off his son and his family. When Patrick arrives on his doorstep, he has no idea what to do with him. The child's very presence brings to the surface long-buried pain.

The social worker assigned to Patrick's case has fallen in love with the little boy. I don't like to give much of the story away in reviews but allow the reader to experience what I have as the story unfolds. Suffice it to say, Walsh resisted romantic clichés.

What he did do is make me cry and rob me of a good night's sleep. I couldn't put the book down. The Unfinished Gift is a satisfying, nostalgic read, one of forgiveness and restoration, of hope and faith. An exquisite debut novel. Novel Journey/Reviews gives it 4½ stars.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Unfinished Gift September 17, 2009
By P. Wall
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book was absolutely wonderful!! I couldn't put it down and finished it in two days!

It is easy to read with a comfortable sized print good for older folks.

The story grabs you and carries all the way through to the end, bringing out many Christian truths along the way, encouraging our faith.

I am eagerly looking forward to the sequel!
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Endearing Story October 16, 2009
What a heartwarming story! You'll root for the characters and enjoy the satisfying conclusion. The WWII time period adds depth to the experience, and the theme of forgiveness is so encouraging. This book will make a great gift, especially for Christmas. Looking forward to reading more books from Dan Walsh...
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The Unfinished Gift by Dan Walsh is an unexpected treasure. Patrick Collins is having a terrible Christmas. His mother killed in a car accident, his father fighting the Nazis overseas, he's sent off to wait for his father's return with a grandfather, Ian, he's never met. Ian is Scrooge personified: angry at the world, curmudgeonly, stingy, and holding on to a burning anger at Patrick's father that spills over into his relationship with the seven-year-old Patrick. Kathleen Townsend, Patrick's social worker, is doing everything she can to care for the sweet little boy, but when bad news comes, no one can protect him from the consequences. Walsh's rendering of Ian is that of a harsh almost brutal man, who turned his back on anyone who refused to do things his way. Patrick is a lovely, sweet boy who wants nothing more than to please the adults around him, but there's no pleasing Ian. Walsh reminds readers that Christmas is a time of second chances and to offer forgiveness. Keep tissues handy while reading this one!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easily A Ten Star Novel December 7, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Unfinished Gift is without a doubt one of the best books I've read in quite awhile. I was astounded to learn this was Dan Walsh's first novel, as a matter of fact I said to myself, "If this is his first novel.....Wow!" Very pleased that he wrote a sequel, so much so that I promptly downloaded "The Homecoming" to my Kindle Fire. Tonight it is dreary and very chilly outdoors so I shall snuggle up with this second book and an afghan as I travel back in time once more.

I loved that The Unfinished Gift takes place back in the forties for nostalgia is defnitely for me. I'm not one to give away more details than the book's description offers but suffice it to say this young boy and his parents won my heart from the first chapter. Great supporting characters also.

Do not pass this book by if you love fiction that will entertain you and warm your heart, tempt you to bite your fingernails and cause tears to fill your eyes.....and close the cover at the end knowing you have been blessed. Now here's the real kicker.........this book was a free download! Amazon has reeled me in like a fish with Dan Walsh's fiction.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cozy Read October 10, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If I lived up north, I'd save this book and read it on a cold weekend with a mug of hot chocolate nearby. It was full of nostalgia and memorable characters and reminded me what life looks like through the eyes of a child. Very enjoyable and has great nuggets of biblical truth woven throughout. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that is was not long enough! Looking forward to the sequel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Unfinished Gift by Dan Walsh December 4, 2009
Every once in a while a very special book comes along that touches your heart on a deeper level. The Unfinished Gift is one of those books. This is the perfect book to read during this Christmas season. It has filled me with hope and warmth. I found myself thinking about this book, especially thinking about young Patrick, even when I wasn't reading. There were so many times when I just wanted to reach into the pages of this book and wrap my arms around Patrick. He is such a sweet little boy who won my heart.

Before we entered World War II (this story takes place in 1943), life was so much simpler and there was a feeling of innocence in the country. The same could be said for Patrick, he was so innocent and young and his faith was strong. When confronted with the harsh realities of life, he kept the faith and maintained his innocense. I just loved the nostalgic feeling of this story.

The Unfinished Gift is a wonderful Christmastime story. It is very well written and a very easy book to read. It is a fast read, but I recommend taking your time to savor it. Keep the tissue close by as well because this story will tug at your heartstrings. Don't miss out on this story. You will be deeply touched.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful follow up to The Homecoming............
i read the home coming first and when i seen it had a follow up at the end i went straight to you and bought it too i loved it also. Read more
Published 18 days ago by linda
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read! Get a copy
Love this writer and his ability to 'take you there'. Captivated from the first page. His works are wonderful gifts for avid readers! Read more
Published 19 days ago by Petey Malone
3.0 out of 5 stars This book gave more insight concerning the great depression than any I...
This book gave more insight concerning the great depression than any I have read. On that alone I can almost give it five stars.
Published 25 days ago by Bonnie Williams Chappell
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming Story
This is an endearing and powerful story about getting second chances, learning to forgive, and unconditional love... I can't wait to read the next book, "The Homecoming"....
Published 27 days ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Be forgiving
My book club had chosen another book by Mr. Walsh, but I couldn't find it at local library overdrive, and I wasn't sure I wanted to invest in the book from Amazon... Read more
Published 1 month ago by s.h2ocasa
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting
Heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. Every page I kept hoping life would bring some measure of love and warmth to a child whose mother is killed while his father is... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sue Lane
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice story.
Very good story with a happy ending. No surprises but a nice story that was interesting enough that I wanted to finish it.
Published 1 month ago by Granny49
4.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreakand Happiness
This was an enjoyable, predictable read. Of course I felt the heartbreak of the little boy and also his joy when someone was nice to him. It is a book you don't want to put down
Published 1 month ago by Helen B. Rowe
4.0 out of 5 stars Sweet
I honestly enjoyed this predicable but sweet story. Well written and heart-warming, this book gave me warm fuzzies as I finished reading before bed each night!
Published 2 months ago by Anne Bennett
5.0 out of 5 stars Sooo good.
Dan Walsh has a gift of story teling. I'v looked for all his books since reading "The Reunion". Am looking forward to many more in the future.
Published 3 months ago by Linda Smith
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More About the Author

Dan Walsh is the bestselling author of 9 novels, published by Revell and Guideposts, including The Unfinished Gift, The Reunion and The Dance. He has won 3 ACFW Carol Awards, 2 Selah Awards, and twice his novels have been named as finalists for RT Reviews Inspirational Novel of the Year.

For those who haven't read Dan's books, reviewers often compare him to Nicholas Sparks and Richard Paul Evans. His latest project is partnering with Gary Smalley on a 4-book fiction series. The first book, The Dance, released in April 2013. It hit both the CBA and ECPA bestsellers list. The 2nd novel, The Promise, released in September. Dan served as a pastor for 25 years and now writes fulltime. He and his wife Cindi have been married 36 years and have 2 grown children, both married, and 1 grandson. They live in Port Orange, FL. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter, or read his blog, as well as preview all his books by visiting his website at

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