Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Gift - Cecelia Ahern

Synopsis from 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?

I really enjoyed Cecelia Ahern’s first book, P.S. I Love You. However, in the ensuing years I haven’t read anything else by her. I ran across this book while browsing the library shelves (never a good pastime for me as I end up walking out with more books than a reasonable person can read) and figured based on the first book I’d give this one a try as well.

I didn’t enjoy it as much. I don’t know if that’s the book’s fault or mine. I had some preconceived notions about what it was about, who Gabe was, etc. And I was trying to figure out how it all works together and such for most of the book. So I couldn’t fully engage in the story as a result.

Additionally, while the moral is really good, I did have a lot of the plot figured out before it happened.

That being said, I still think it’s worth the read. Although I caution about some of the language in the book. It’s enough to be a obnoxious. The underlying message of the book is one that I certainly need a reminder of…frequently. Time is precious. I can choose how to use it, but I will never get more.

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