Customer Reviews for

The Tenth Gift

Average Rating 4
( 32 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(13)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Really different and riveting

I kept putting this book on the bottom of the pile because I didn't think that I would like it. The title just made me think of some other books that I think are very lightweight, but when I finally started to read it, I couldn't put it down. The connection between th...
I kept putting this book on the bottom of the pile because I didn't think that I would like it. The title just made me think of some other books that I think are very lightweight, but when I finally started to read it, I couldn't put it down. The connection between the past and the present is told in an original way here. I also loved the strong and unpredictable women characters. The best suprise was the undercurrent of Islamic culture and the impact on the characters. This was a very pleasant surprise-- I really enjoyed this book. I wish that it had a better title though!

posted by KY_reader on October 20, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

A reviewer

I really wanted to like this book. It has a great cover, a great premise, and even the writing is good. What I couldn't get beyond is the idea that this English girl is captured, sold into terrible slavery, and yet falls in love with her slaver. Are you kidding? The rea...
I really wanted to like this book. It has a great cover, a great premise, and even the writing is good. What I couldn't get beyond is the idea that this English girl is captured, sold into terrible slavery, and yet falls in love with her slaver. Are you kidding? The real English women of the 17th century who were sold into slavery in Morocco were abused: physically, mentally and every other way. This is, imo, an isn't-it-great-to-be-serving-another-culture book, especially when that culture is non-white. Can anyone imagine the roles reversed, and a Moroccan slave falls in love with her white slaver? Would that have even been published today? I would give this book one star, except it has a nice cover.

posted by Anonymous on May 6, 2008

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  • Posted October 20, 2008

    Really different and riveting

    I kept putting this book on the bottom of the pile because I didn't think that I would like it. The title just made me think of some other books that I think are very lightweight, but when I finally started to read it, I couldn't put it down. The connection between the past and the present is told in an original way here. I also loved the strong and unpredictable women characters. The best suprise was the undercurrent of Islamic culture and the impact on the characters. This was a very pleasant surprise-- I really enjoyed this book. I wish that it had a better title though!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2008

    A reviewer

    I really wanted to like this book. It has a great cover, a great premise, and even the writing is good. What I couldn't get beyond is the idea that this English girl is captured, sold into terrible slavery, and yet falls in love with her slaver. Are you kidding? The real English women of the 17th century who were sold into slavery in Morocco were abused: physically, mentally and every other way. This is, imo, an isn't-it-great-to-be-serving-another-culture book, especially when that culture is non-white. Can anyone imagine the roles reversed, and a Moroccan slave falls in love with her white slaver? Would that have even been published today? I would give this book one star, except it has a nice cover.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting view of the world from a woman's point of view.

    This book begins by following the tale of woman embroiderer that is captured on the Barbary coast by pirates. Then you are transported to the world of Islam. Catherine must make a choice between her freedom as a Muslim woman or staying a Christian slave. In a post 9/11 world this story was intriguing and a good read for the open minded.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I read it and I liked it!

    I was asked to help a 'friend' out by reading this book so he/she could rate it for his/her work. It took me awhile to get into the book because the initial premise is of a woman, Julia, who's so screwed up she's been sleeping with her best friend's husband for years. He dumps and she doesn't see it coming?!?! As a breaking-up gift he presents her with a special book and that is where the story really starts. Julia discovers the long lost words of a young woman living in the early 17th century who is captured by Barbary corsairs and condemned into slavery. Some of the points previously made in other reviews are fairly valid. Perhaps Cat has a bit of Stockholm syndrome when she discovers her love for her captor. But the main thrust of the story seems to be more of how this young woman deals with the cards dealt her in life while Julia in the present seems to screw up the cards dealt her and can't seem to face up to the decisions she's made. Book clubs will have a great time with this book because there are so many issues which are open to discussion: women's issues, infidelity, cross-cultural issues, the juxtaposition of the present writing in the first person with the past being written in the 3rd person, etc. If you like historical fiction written with some authority, you'll enjoy this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    History, Romance and Pirates!

    I picked up this book solely because Diana Gabaldon had a featured quote on the cover of the hardcover version. I snatched up a copy once it reached paperback and was drawn in immediately. While the present day part of the story was a little over dramatic, the historical part of the story kept me moving through the book as I was dying to find out what became of Cat and her unlikely love for one of the Barbary pirates.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 19, 2009

    A true gift.

    A great read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2008

    No, Western culture is not inferior to other cultures, thank you.

    I could hardly finish this book. Johnson is herself married to a moroccan, apparently, and uses this book to spout all the typical anti-Western culture talking points that you here from the Left and pro-islamics. The main character is a sad, wicked Brit woman who had nothing better to do with her life than to sleep for years and years with her ''best'' friend's husband. Right. But she is saved by a moroccan taxi driver, no less. The man is so full of insight and wisdom and has no qualms telling her what's wrong with HER culture...of course, she falls in love with him. He even has her dressing up in djellabah at one point in the story and, my, doesn't she just love it. She so appreciates being invisible to all those male muslim eyes, don't ya know. What I found the most galling was how this wiseman taxi driver compares how slaves in the 17th century were treated to the terrorists now in GITMO and the Brit main character can only agree with him that the treatment of the terrorists is just as inhumane as that of the slaves! Oh, please. I threw the book in the garbage. Period.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2008

    Fantastic book!

    I actually read the uncorrected proof of this book instead of the official version available at stores. I was completely spellbound! A lot of history, well researched, and VERY romantic! It depicts the differences between cultures and how servants lived their lives in eastern europe. If I were in that situation, I'd choose Morocco over the other culture any day!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2008

    History,Pirates,Love,Textile History

    Absolutely loved this book and could not put it down..drawn into the history of textiles and needlework with historical facts of the Salle pirates this was a wonderful read!! From past to present this book has a message for women...loved the character of Cat...gave one a sense of how the servants were regarded in British society...I would live in Morroccoo too!! Please write more!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2008

    Great book

    I loved this book. I could not put it down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2008

    Pure escapism, beautifully written

    I just loved this book. Secret history, well researched, strong characters, fantastic romances, both in the past and the present, and lots of wonderful exotic detail. Can't rate it highly enough.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2013

    Excellent Read!

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will try others by this author!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2012

    Story within a story

    I loved how the parallell tales unfolded. The characters were both unique and real. I enjoyed that it did not indulge any stereotypes. Each character made realistic decisions.

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  • Posted January 28, 2012

    From The Aussie Zombie

    The Tenth Gift was such a different premise to my current reading that I admit I found it difficult to get my head into a non-zombie, non-post-apocalyptic state of mind, and it has taken me nearly a month to complete. Not because I didn’t enjoy it, but because I kept getting distracted by all the other books on my e-shelf.

    I read a lot of reviews of this book before I started reading this book (something I rarely do), and the overwhelming majority of readers either didn’t respect, or found it hard to connect with the main character, Julia, mainly due to her choices in life. Personally, I didn’t have that problem – sure, I didn’t agree with some of her life choices, but I could understand why she made some of those choices.

    The character of Cat is particularly engaging – the journal excerpts are written in 17th century English which can be hard to read, until you get used to it, and her fiery, independent character make her the ultimate heroine of this book. The dedication of Rob is sweet but does stretch the imagination a little.

    There is a focus on Moroccan and 17th century English history, and the history of embroidery and needlework in the middle-east and England, which adds an extra point of interest.

    I’m undecided on this one – there were some very interesting parts, and some that just felt like padding.

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  • Posted December 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Intriguing Plot!

    Though the story begins slowly, the interwoven past life is fascinating. Traveling to pirate ships in the 1600s captures the imagination and the reader's concern! Not an "easy read," but definitely wort the time!

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  • Posted December 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great adventure!

    This book paints a picture of a great adventure which leaves you on the edge with anticipation. Great read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2010

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