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Unexpected Gifts: When Ancestors Come Back To Help Kindle Edition
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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.
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!
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!
Author S.R. Mallery , with modern day college student protagonist, Sonia, as the guide, takes the reader back through history via the diaries and journals of her ancestors. With each trip up to the attic with Sonia’s mother to retrieve yet another diary, I couldn’t wait to discover the next phase of history.
Beautifully written and superbly researched, it’s is a story you can trust. Juxtaposed with laugh out loud comedy, are parts of history I wish we didn’t have. You’ll receive nuggets of truth, some history which I thought so shocking that it couldn’t be true, but then discovered that sadly, it was. Then there are portions that make me so proud to be an American, especially now during a crazy time in history. Our country is truly wonderful, a sum of its parts.
This is a book to be savored slowly. Beautiful!