Author: Danielle Steel
Read: June 27, 2014
Summary: On a June day, a young woman in a summer dress steps off a Chicago-bound bus into a small midwestern town. She doesn't intend to stay. She is just passing through. Yet her stopping here has a reason and it is part of a story that you will never forget.
The time is the 1950s, when life was simpler, people still believed in dreams, and family was, very nearly, everything. The place is a small midwestern town with a high school and a downtown, a skating pond and a movie house. And on a tree-lined street in the heartland of America, an extraordinary set of events begins to unfold. And gradually what seems serendipitous is tinged with purpose. A happy home is shattered by a child's senseless death. A loving marriage starts to unravel. And a stranger arrives—a young woman who will touch many lives before she moves on. She and a young man will meet and fall in love. Their love, so innocent and full of hope, helps to restore a family's dreams. And all of their lives will be changed forever by the precious gift she leaves them.
The Gift, Danielle Steel's thirty-third best-selling work, is a magical story told with stunning simplicity and power. It reveals a relationship so moving it will take your breath away. And it tells a haunting and beautiful truth about the unpredictability—and the wonder—of life. goodreads
Review: Let's start this review with a little backstory. When I was younger, I want to say maybe 6th grade, my best friend read this book. Now this friend, was in the middle of six kids and she knew a lot more than I did about most things older siblings teach you, if you know what I'm sayin'. She read this book, loved it, and recommended it to me. I think I vaguely knew what it was about but not really. Now, little naive, innocent, me asked my mom if I could read this book. Why did I ask my mom? Why didn't I just get it out of the library like all of the other books that mom never knew I read? I don't know! But I did. And she shot that idea down quicker than you'd ever believe. She told me it was not age appropriate and I couldn't read it. Now, don't get me wrong. My mom was not one of those crazy moms who shelters their kids and doesn't tell them anything. She answered all sorts of crazy questions that I had at that age (such as inquiring whether she was a virgin) but she had decided I didn't need to read this book. I get it now but I was pissed then and vowed that I would, eventually, read this. Well, now I have. 15 years or so later...
And my verdict is, meh. Yes, to a 6th grader, this was probably a very intriguing and deep book. To adult me? Not so much. This is a very sweet, simple story about a smart girl who makes a dumb decision. We can all understand why she makes this mistake but this mistake now will affect the rest of her life. We also meet another sweet 1950's family who is grieving the loss of a loved one. This girl and this family just happen to find each other and it works out perfectly. Everyone gets what they want and need and they each grow a little and learn a little more. What more could we ask for? If you're looking for a heart wrenching, life changing book or an amazing love story, a lot! But if you are interested in a simple, quick romance novel that takes very little brain power to read, this is a great book for you! Looking back on it, I'm not sure reading this book would have changed my life in 6th grade but I respect my mom's decision. I was definitely less cool because I hadn't read this book but hey, at least I didn't give birth to any "special gifts" in my teenage years (which must have been my mom's (and every other mom's) fear, poor woman.)