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Unexpected Gifts Paperback – April 16, 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 91 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 382 pages
  • Publisher: Mockingbird Lane Press; First Edition edition (April 16, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0988954206
  • ISBN-13: 978-0988954205
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,038,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Author/Reviewer Geri Ahearn TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 30, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A young woman, who attends college becomes more-and-more confused as she continues to make decisions, while repeating the cycle of dating Mr. Wrong, and finding herself on the helpless road that leads her to no-where. In her desperate search to find herself, she winds up finding much more than she ever dreamed of, when she began reading diaries and journals from her ancestors. The more Sonia read, the more she began to understand how hardship and uneasy times affect not only those who lived through them, but the next generation, who deeply felt the results from those who survived.

Master storyteller S.R. Mallery creates a colorful portrait of the past as she takes the reader through an incredible time-machine from one generation to the next, while we witness unforgettable, historical events that come to life, along with unique characters. The treasure that Sonia found, a discovery of her roots, was the golden key that unlocked the secret door, which helped to shape her own life through the experience and lessons learned from her ancestors.

The author has a remarkable gift. The amazing ability not only to bring rich, historical events to life, but also the ability to perfectly blend different generations, showing how they all connect. As I read through the intriguing and bittersweet pages, the heartfelt stories within the pages of this book not only brought me back to my generation as a Babyboomer, but also to the flashbacks down memory lane of my own father's stories about his Purple Heart and his touching stories about Pearl Harbor, and survival from turmoil during his generation. This book will be thought-provoking, long after we close it. "UNEXPECTED GIFTS" is as captivating as Forest Gump, as compelling as We Were Soldiers, and as impressive as Saving Private Ryan. Highly recommended to all those who enjoy historical fiction.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful time period book – and it’s an especially great book for book clubs!

I was tasked with picking a book for our book club – and I began a search to find a time period fiction book that had very good reviews. I found it with Sarah Mallery’s book ‘ Unexpected Gifts’, and that’s exactly what the books was full of – gifts! It is a great story telling about many generations of a family that was an American (and even international) history trip as well. I enjoyed how the book switched point of views between the various characters. What a treasure trove of rich family history Sonia found in her parents attic. What’s especially great about the book is that it lent itself so well to book club conversation. It made all of us want to journal a book to our own children! Our book club was especially lucky in that we had the privilege of having Sarah Mallery join us (via phone from CA to our group in MA) – that was my ‘unexpected gift’ to our book club! We SO enjoyed and appreciated her taking the time to talk to us. What a special night that was!
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Format: Kindle Edition
It's not often I write that a book should be required reading. This one should! If you simply want to read a fabulous story, this is it. Aspiring writers, if you want to see how to write a book, this is the one. The plot is superb, the characters believable, the historical events well-researched, and the pages demand that you turn them as fast as you can. Everything from bad boy rock stars to suffragettes!

But what I found to be the most interesting thing was the ability of the author to find a vehicle in which she can bring in historical events that affect the contemporary characters. It simply is one of the best books I've ever read. I wish I could give it six stars. Trust me, it's that good. Recommend it? To everyone!!! Thank you Ms. Mallery for writing such a wonderful book.
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Wow, this is one of the books you don’t want to miss! “Unexpected Gifts” is not your usual love story; it’s a complex mosaic of memories, emotions and feelings, all interconnected and interrelated and creating a unique world that you can’t help but feel immersed into.
Sonia is a psychology student struggling with OCD, even though she doesn’t want to admit it to herself. One day, visiting her father, who was left handicapped after the injury that he sustained in Vietnam, Sonia comes across “a treasure chest” together with her mother Lily, and soon her travel down memory lane begins, uncovering family secrets and providing so much needed insights into her own problems.
Slowly, day by day, diary after diary, Sonia starts understanding herself more and more, and not without her fellow student Harry’s help. I absolutely loved how the author made Sonia relate to her ancestors’ fears, troubles and shortcomings, and make her own right decisions based on their experience.
The events of the past, described in the diaries, are obviously meticulously researched and deal with many important themes, such as feministic movement, civil rights struggle, immigrants’ struggles, the Vietnam War and many more. All in all, “Unexpected Gifts” is a true gem that I’ll certainly be re-reading in the future. Great work!
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UNEXPECTED GIFTS is a nostalgic ride through Americana—one that brought me back to my own childhood.

Sonia, a young woman searching for herself, hearkens back through the history of her ancestors via dairies and memorabilia uncovered in an attic. In doing so, she finds a treasure trove of family history. She comes to know the strength of her forefathers & mothers, and through it gains the power of heritage. Sometimes a descendant doesn't fully understand or appreciate the struggle of those before them. What is passed down through the generations is often lost, yet within lies the most unexpected of gifts.

S. R. Mallery brilliantly unwraps this story through Sonia's eyes and the voices of the past. Each amazing story is followed by another. The writing is great, the plot believable and backed by historical relevance, and the characters likable.

It is not often I finish a book and feel a bit wistful. But when I closed the last page of UNEXPECTED GIFTS I felt like I was saying goodbye to an old friend.
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