This modern Christmas fable that shares some commonalities with both A Christmas Carol and It’s A Wonderful Life, although it isn’t precisely like either.
In this book, the gift of time is given to a man who thinks he never has enough; who is too busy for his family; and who is always wishing he could be in (at least) two places at once. In this fable, he gets the opportunity, “just in time.”
Lou Suffern is a Type A executive, who neglects his wife Ruth and ignores his children Lucy and Bud. Lou is constantly breaking promises to all of them. But then, as Christmas approaches, he meets the mysterious Gabriel, and everything changes.
“Gabe” tries to teach Lou the lesson that there’s only one choice he should make of where to spend his time; that one day time will run out, and he will be sorry if he squanders the time that has been given to him. Gabe tries to teach Lou that the shaky and ultimately meaningless steps on the ladder of ambition can’t compare to being with the people you love, and who truly love you.
Evaluation: Ahern is an appealing writer, and while she sometimes takes her imaginative flights a bit beyond what might seem “reasonable,” her books are lovely. This story, albeit bittersweet, is no exception. You won’t quickly forget Lou and Ruth, and the holiday season told about in The Gift. It is the perfect Christmas present for a family member to whom you want to express your appreciation and love.
Published by HarperCollins, 2009
Sounds just a little predictable and hokey, but you can pull that off this time of year! I have a 94 year old lady, friend of the family and sort of a grandma replacement, that I can never figure out what to get. I will seriously give this one some thought for her. Thanks!
This sounds like a sweet book, but I think I’ve got all the holiday books I can handle right now. Once Christmas is past, they lose their appeal for me.
Not a unique concept but I’m building a list of new-to-me authors that I’d like to read this next year and Ahern sounds like one to try.
I enjoy Christmas themed books. I might just have to give this one a chance.
I know this is going to sound almost sacrilegious, but *cringes* I don’t read holiday books. I had a baaaaddd experience with a handful of holiday books when I was a young teen..maybe pre-teen…and now I shy away from them. I do have family members, however, that do not share my distaste, so thanks for the review!
I’ve been wanting to read P.S. I Love You….so I haven’t experienced this author yet. Sounds like a good comforting read though!
I like the idea of seasonal books but I never get around to them in the correct season!
I just really stopped by to say Hi! I am just now coming up for air so I am catching up on all my blog reading and trying to pull myself out of this annoying slump of mine. I can’t blame sugar since I didn’t have much of it but can FAT do the same thing?? I have eaten like a (insert farm animal of choice here) and coming off of that is like working 5 Mondays in a row. Thank GOD I have tomorrow off.
I never read these type of seasonal books … but I can agree with the message!
Great review. I do hope to read this one too. Just finished 3 Christmas books this weekend: Christmas Dog; Christmas List and Wishin and Hopin – loved them all 🙂
Since I read “PS I love you” I have been avoiding Ahern like a plague. Takes a lot to persuade me to pick up her books again. 🙂