The Gift

( 37 )

Overview

New York Times bestselling author Cecelia Ahern spins a witty, warm, and wise modern-day fable of love, regret, hope, and second chances.

extremely successful executive, Lou Suffern is always overstretched, immune to the holiday spirit that delights everyone around him. The classic workaholic who never has a moment to spare, he is always multitasking while shortchanging his devoted wife and their adorable children. And ever since he started ...

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The Gift

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Overview

New York Times bestselling author Cecelia Ahern spins a witty, warm, and wise modern-day fable of love, regret, hope, and second chances.

extremely successful executive, Lou Suffern is always overstretched, immune to the holiday spirit that delights everyone around him. The classic workaholic who never has a moment to spare, he is always multitasking while shortchanging his devoted wife and their adorable children. And ever since he started competing for a big promotion, he has barely seen his family at all.

One frigid morning in an uncharacteristic burst of generosity, he buys a cup of coffee for Gabe, a homeless man huddled outside his office building. Inspired by his own unexpected act of kindness, Lou decides to prolong his charitable streak and contrives to get Gabe a job in his company's mailroom. But when Gabe begins to meddle in Lou's life, the helping hand appears to be a serious mistake. Gabe seems to know more about Lou than Lou does about himself, and, perhaps more disturbingly, Gabe always seems to be in two places at once.

With Lou's personal and professional fates at important crossroads and Christmas looming, Gabe resorts to some unorthodox methods to show his stubborn patron what truly matters and how precious the gift of time is. But can he help him fix what's broken before it's too late?

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Editorial Reviews

Associated Press Staff
“Charming . . . The Gift is like a warm sweater.”
Sara Gruen
“THE GIFT is a tantalizing tale wrapped in a tale that I devoured in one sitting. It’s a perfect treat for the holidays.”
Associated Press
“Charming . . . The Gift is like a warm sweater.”
USA Today
“This modern-day Scrooge tale is a delightful read with plenty of fun twists and turns.”
Booklist
“A moving tale . . . The Gift weaves magical elements into modern-day setting, and will certainly appeal to readers looking for a touching supernatural tearjerker.”
Boston Globe
“An updated version of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol . . . with some surprising twists.”
USA Today
“This modern-day Scrooge tale is a delightful read with plenty of fun twists and turns.”
Booklist
“A moving tale . . . The Gift weaves magical elements into modern-day setting, and will certainly appeal to readers looking for a touching supernatural tearjerker.”
Boston Globe
“An updated version of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol . . . with some surprising twists.”
Publishers Weekly
Ahern wades into the Christmas fiction fray with a winning tale of magic and redemption. Lou Suffern is a busy man, and his family’s growing weary of constantly taking the backseat to his career. On a whim, he offers Gabe, a homeless man he meets outside his office, a low-level job, and the uncharacteristically kind gesture plays out in a very unexpected way when Lou learns that Gabe has the power to be in two places at once. As the holidays draw nearer, Gabe tries to make Lou realize the importance of his family, but slow-to-change Lou might not come around to Gabe’s way of thinking until it’s too late. Ahern’s an accomplished storyteller, and her writing chops elevate this far above the normal holiday fare. There’s magic, but it’s not campy, and the sentiment is real. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Ahern (P.S. I Love You) continues her current theme of writing modern fairy tales with this holiday treat. When workaholic corporate magnate Lou meets homeless Gabe (short for, ahem, Gabriel), Lou wants to help out, so he gets Gabe a job in his company's mail room. No good deed goes unpunished though, and Lou soon finds Gabe constantly giving him unwanted advice and pushing him to see the importance of family and friends. This clever twist on the guardian angel story will appeal to Ahern's fans and lovers of holiday fiction. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 7/09.]
Kirkus Reviews
Light holiday fare with a Lesson from Irish bestseller Ahern (Thanks for the Memories, 2009, etc.). The author's variation on A Christmas Carol isn't subtle. Ahern encourages readers to appreciate the important things (tradition, home, family, etc.). Wealthy executive Lou Suffern neglects his children and cheats on his wife; his only friend is his all-consuming ambition. But Lou's not entirely bad. On a cold December morning, he buys a coffee for the young homeless man in front of his Dublin office building. They strike up a conversation, and Gabe (short for Gabriel-get it?) reveals that Lou's boss is having secret lunches with Lou's rival. Thinking it might be handy to have someone with Gabe's powers of observation on hand, Lou gets him a job in the mailroom. As the novel unfolds, two things become clear: Lou is so busy that he needs to be in two places at once, and Gabe is able to magically be in two places at once. This leads Gabe, who's friendly in a sanctimonious, might-be-an-angel kind of way, to give Lou magic pills. Take one, and just for the night he can clone himself, close two business deals at the same time, then go out to celebrate while also heading home to tend to his sick wife and daughter. The cloning helps Lou see the error of his ways. His family really does need him, he realizes, and he really does love them. More epiphanies occur until Lou finally gets it: Life is short, and real estate can't hug you back. Ahern has a way with character, but her penchant for the supernatural-angels, ghosts, deja vu-works against the weight of her story.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061706264
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/3/2009
  • Pages: 302
  • Sales rank: 1,074,678
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Cecelia Ahern is the author of the international bestsellers PS, I Love You; Love, Rosie; If You Could See Me Now; There's No Place Like Here; Thanks for the Memories; The Gift; The Book of Tomorrow; and The Time of My Life. Her books are published in forty-six countries and have collectively sold more than sixteen million copies. The daughter of the former prime minister of Ireland, she lives in Dublin.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 37 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(15)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 5, 2010

    not as good as others

    I've thoroughly enjoyed all of Cecelia Ahern's books up to now. In fact, I've sought out hardcover copies for my own library. But I wasn't very enchanted by The Gift. For some reason, it just didn't have the magic that the past books held for me. It had a dark twist that I felt hid the message. I was disappointed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 12, 2014

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings A story within

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings

    A story within a story.  Doesn't happen, but was perfect for a holiday book meant to share a lesson to all readers.  A young man is caught throwing a turkey through his father and step-mothers window heads to the police station where the police share a touching story to help him learn a valuable lesson.

    The story within the story centered around Lou who is a person who is always looking to the next appointment and where he is headed next.  I have to admit that there are moments in life where I am definitely guilty for appreciating what is currently going on, so even though the lesson was blatantly obvious from the beginning, it was beneficial to read this story to remember to soak up each moment as it is happening.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2013

    Brought a smile on my face

    Brought a smile on my face

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  • Posted February 26, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    A Suspenseful, Thought Provoking Novel!!

    The Gift by Cecelia Ahern is an outstanding book and is one of my favorite books. It starts out with a boy in the police station on Christmas day for throwing a frozen turkey into the window of his dad’s house. The policeman, Raphie, is telling him a story about Lou Sufferern’s life. Lou had a family of four and was absorbed in everything that had to do with his job. He spent more time working than with his family, until Gabe walked into his life, changing it forever. One day, Lou met Gabe, a homeless man, and he offered him a job. Gabe came into Lou’s life on purpose to help him spend more time with his family. He gave Lou pills that would allow him to be in two places at once. He used one pill for a business function at night to make two highly recognized deals for the company at the same time. Over time Lou started to realize that his family was more important and that he had had been pushing them away. He started to spend more time with his family, starting by taking one of the pills to go sailboat racing with his brother and ice skating with his wife and kids. Lou had an amazing time with his family and was changed for the better. After talking to Gabe that night, Lou becomes very angry and nervous after hearing that Gabe is not just a normal person, he was special. He sped home very quickly in the pouring down rain, and crashed his car. The police came to save him, but it was too late. With the help of another pill, Gabe had left one world but in the other, he had conceived a child that night. I really enjoyed the book because it was fun to read and the author did a great job explaining the book in detail. I couldn’t put the book down, finishing it in less than a week. In addition, I liked getting a different perspective on things from the setting in Ireland. There wasn’t much I disliked about the book, besides that Lou died in the end. It was a suspenseful and heartbreaking moment in the book. The author emphasized the main theme that family is very important. Lou’s life showed that people should spend time with the ones they love because in the end, family is the most important. Another message implied was that people come into the lives of others for certain reasons, like Gabe’s appearance in Lou’s life. Gabe served as a person that may have been an angel that helped Lou realize the important part of his life. In addition, Lou learned that time was precious and Gabe gave him the gift of time. I highly recommend this book because it was very good, and it makes people looks at their own lives and how they spend their time. It is a must read. The Gift is an inspiring, spectacular book.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 15, 2012

    The Christmas Carol with a twist

    This is a heart warming book which feels like a modern day version of the Christmas Carol. There is a bit of a twist and a somewhat unpredictable ending. A little cliche, but enjoyable to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2011

    Great book

    Great book to read especially before xmas! Definitely sends a good message and had me in tears at te end

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2011

    Loved this book, but it's not new. Just a reprint.

    My favorite author, I just devour her stories! They are so uniquely her own.

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  • Posted May 12, 2011

    Tugs at my heartstrings

    A must read for.anyone wondering why we have been dealt the life they are given. I am a huge Ahern fan. I have read all of her solo authored books and cannot wait for the next one. There is not a book that I read of hers where I do not cry. The characters in this book, like many of Aherns, can be related to. Threre is always someone trying to make the grade, while their loved ones watch from the sidelines. One finds themselves emersed in the life that they wish they ciuld have rather than appreciating the one tey do have. As you read, one finds themselves surveying their own life and what they can doto make it better.

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  • Posted February 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The Gift is a Gift...of Great Writing

    I don't know how Ahern creates some unique stories but she has done it again with the modern day fable The Gift. A wonderful Christmas story that makes you appreciate each day.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    makes you think about how we set priorities

    somehow, by the end of the book, I was caring about the most un-sympathetic character and bemoaning the way the book ended

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  • Posted February 1, 2010

    The Gift

    Very good book. It held me until the end. It is a fast read and I highly recommend it for book clubs and gift giving.

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  • Posted January 16, 2010

    Another good Cecelia Ahern book!

    I saw this book at the store and didn't realize Cecelia Ahern had another book out. I really loved reading her book "P.S. I Love You" and decided to give this one a try. It took me three days to read it. It was wonderful! It definitely leaves you with a lesson. The only thing I did not like was the ending. It brought me to tears in both a good and bad way. Had it ended the way I had wanted, I would have given the book all 5 stars.

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  • Posted January 2, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    As always one for my library

    I enjoy reading Cecelia Ahern. She has a different approach to her writing that makes it unlike any other. This was a really good. I would definately suggest it.

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  • Posted December 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Truly a "gift" to read!

    This book was amazing. It really made you think about how you spend your time. The story was a little unbelievable, but isn't that what a good book is supposed to be...a way to escape into someone else's life and enjoy the possiblity of what could be? This book did that! I would definitely recommend it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2009

    Great Read!

    This was a great and easy read! The plot seemed a little slow at first, but once I read a few chapters it was hard to put down.

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  • Posted October 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This is a fascinating version of A Christmas Carol

    In Dublin, business mogul Lou Suffern is a 24/7 workaholic who has no time for his family, who is tired of his failure to be there for them ever. On a brisk wintry morning in front of his office, Lou buys a hot cup of coffee for a homeless person and for no known reason offers Gabe a job in the mail room. Gabe in turn tells Lou his boss is having serendipitously lunch dates with his rival.

    Gabe tries to convince Lou how important family is, but the corporate officer is uninterested in his two children who are young and boring and his wife Ruth as he has a mistress. Lou realizes that Gabe can be in two places at one time and begs the man to help him do so. Gabe gives Lou a magical pill to clone himself. One Lou will close the real estate deal; the other goes home to his family as Gabe prays his "client" will learn the importance of loved ones.

    This is a fascinating version of A Christmas Carol as Lou thinks he is helping Gabe with an act of kindness, but Gabe is actually trying to help Lou place his priorities in order. The underlying message of this whimsical angelic story line is too simplified as Lou learns what matters between being "Ruthless" and being with Ruth and his other family members. Fans will enjoy that Lou learns what matters in a wonderful life is it is never too late because it's a wonderful world.

    Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews

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