The Unfinished Gift

The Unfinished Gift

4.3 66
by Dan Walsh

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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…  See more details below


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

RT Book Reviews Magazine
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. 4.5 Stars, Top Pick -Inspirational Category
From the Publisher

"Seven-year-old Patrick's dreadful Christmas began with his mother's death, then worsened when he was left with a grandfather who bitterly calls him "The Boy." Grief-stricken over his mother, confused at his grandfather's harsh treatment, Patrick prays for his father's quick return from war. His grandfather's bitterness leads to a harsh confrontation when Patrick asks to keep a hand-carved wooden soldier he finds in the attic. Roger Mueller's richly developed characterizations contrast the gruff, unforgiving grandfather with Patrick's endearing sweetness and keep the listener engaged with this Christmas tale of forgiveness. Mueller's powerful portrayal of a season of second chances set in WWII America should not be missed." 
G.D.W. © AudioFile Portland, Maine

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Baker Publishing Group
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What People are saying about this

Ane Mulligan
"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. "--(Ane Mulligan, editor, Novel Journey)

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The Unfinished Gift: A Novel 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 66 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book does a good job showing the bitterness of unforgiveness, but through prayer God can change hearts.
Cathy Reynolds More than 1 year ago
A little boy has to go to the grandfather he has never met after his mother dies in a car accident. The father is in the military and can't be found to come home. This is a tender story of how God woks in these lives through a series of misunderstandings. Don't miss this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
one of the best books i have read in a long time...hope mr walsh writes more books like this...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this story! This should be made into a Hallmark movie.
InTheBookcase More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book! It's a Christmastime story that takes place during World War II. Little 7-year-old Patrick only has 2 Christmas wishes. He hopes his dad comes home soon from the war. And he wants that hand-carved wooden soldier that he found one day in his grandfather's dusty attic. He's sure his grandfather doesn't want to keep it, but why won't he let Patrick have it? Patrick has had a lot to happen to him recently. His mother just passed away. He was sent to live with his grandfather whom he has barely seen before. His grandfather Ian is a grouchy old man, and only took his grandson because it was a duty. As soon as Ian's son arrives home, Patrick will be off his hands anyhow. It won't be much longer will it? Living in the dreary days in his grandfather's house, Patrick finds 2 people whom he likes. One is Mrs. Townsend, the government lady who checks on him from time to time. Also, there's Mrs. Fortini his Italian next-door neighbor. She sure knows how to get Patrick's grandfather moving. This is the story of grudges, forgiveness, pain, and loving your family.
myca91 More than 1 year ago
Great Read about love and forgiveness. Looking forward to reading the sequel.
Anonymous 5 months ago
This is a must read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
sunshineJB More than 1 year ago
Heartwarming Christmas Read! Seven year old Patrick Collins is suddenly alone.  With the death of his mother and his father away fighting in the war, he is taken to live with a grandfather he has never known.  His grandfather is a grouchy bitter old man and quite frankly Patrick does not like him. What has made Ian Collins so bitter?  What does he have against his only grandson?  Why can’t he accept and love Patrick? This story was an emotional ride for me.  It brought me to tears. The Unfinished Gift is the first book I have read by this author.  I immediately ordered the sequel called, The Homecoming.  I can’t wait to read it! If you haven’t read this book yet, I urge you to buy it.  I highly recommend it!
MissBethBC More than 1 year ago
Dan Walsh never disappoints with his writing or his stories. He deveoped a family of strong characters with Ian Collins being the heartless grandfather who experienced a heart wrenching change and finally became what every little boy dreamed his grandfather would be....loving. Patrick coming to live with his grandfather was the catalyst which lit the fire to melt the ice in Ian's heart. Patrick had a sad story and his story touched the hearts of not only his social worker, Miss Katherine Townsend and the next door neighbor, Mrs Fortini, as well. All of these characters were so very real and so very well developed. Each was easy to perceive in my mind's eye. This was a sweet story about reunion and forgiveness. It was about love at it's worst and it's best. It was frightening as a blizzard swallowed young Patrick and hid him from the ones who cared most for him. Fortunately he was rescued by ansuspecting hero Ezra Jeffries, the epitome of doing the right thing. I thoroughly loved this tale of love from an author I truly admire and respect. And what better time than Christmas to forgive one another and begin anew!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed every page of this book. So did my 13-year-old.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This well edited book is a little sappy. Since this time of year is a little sappy also, both the book and the season do quite well together. This book is about 200 pages long, it is a family fiction book. It would make a nice Hallmark Christmas movie. It was not a tear jerker for me, but it is a sentimental little story. One reviewer was upset because he/ she thought this story put Catholics in a bad light. I disagree, The grandfather was a lapsed catholic, so bitter, stubborn and mean tempered, he put himself, not his religion, on display as a back slider. My main complaint about this book and many others of the same genre, is they all have one or both parents killed off, leaving the younger family members to fend for themselves, with uncaring adults, under sometimes cruel circumstances. I would like to read a novel, about an intact family overcoming hardship, with their faith and love in God and each other strong, without death being an integral part of the plot. There is some mild violence. Otherwise it is a good, clean story, based on God's love and the inate goodness of mankind. The young boy talks and reacts as a much older child would. I paid almost $7.00 for this book. While, I found it an enjoyable fast read, I wish I had gotten it from the library, as I do not think I will reread it. AD
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well done!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LOVEMYNOOK_slaughter More than 1 year ago
Love love this book. Would recommend it to anyone. Can't wait to read the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I happened upon this little book while in search of a Christmas story, and am glad that I did. It tells the story of a little boy during WWII, whose father is a pilot overseas and whose mother is killed in an automobile accident. The local social services department contacts the boys grandfather, who is enstranged from his own son, and asks him to take custody of the boy. This is essentially a book about how personal disappointments can poison relationships within a family and and potentially harm future generations. I would rather not spoil the plotline with a retelling of the story, buat would encourage you to take a chance on this little volume, and its sequel for there is a message that everyone who has ever been a parent can relate to.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While this book is kind of predictable, it is a very good read. It is very Hallmark-ish. It made me cry. It is a touching Christmas story of love and true forgiveness.
Bucky62AL More than 1 year ago
Having never read anything from this author, I was immediately pulled into a story that offers many emotions. Read it when you have time to sit down and enjoy a good story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this in one sitting. It was inspiring and drama packed. It may cause your tears to swell up in spots. It is a must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A bit predicable, but it was entertaining and had a good message of forgiveness. I would read more by this author.
dj5471 More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful read for all ages - definitely deserves 5 stars!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago