28 Dec 2015


The fourth book read for the 2015 Christmas Spirit challenge which can mean only one thing .... drum roll if you'd be so kind .... yes, I've achieved yet another level.


Amazon.co.uk Blurb: If you could wish for one gift this Christmas, what would it be?

Lou Suffern wishes he could be in two places at once. His constant battle with the clock is a sensitive issue with his wife and family.

Gabe wishes he was somewhere warm. When Lou invites Gabe, a homeless man who sits outside his office, into the building and into his life, Lou’s world is changed beyond all measure…

An enchanting and thoughtful Christmas story that speaks to all of us abut the value of time and what is truly important in life.

FIRST SENTENCE {Chapter 1: An Army Of Secrets}: If you were to stroll down the candy-cane facade of a surburban housing estate early on Christmas morning, you couldn't help but observe how the houses in all their tinselled glory are akin to wrapped parcels that lie beneath the Christmas trees within.

MEMORABLE MOMENT: See 'My Thoughts' below.

MY THOUGHTS: 'And so he raises his arms above his head, pulls back, and with all his strength pushes forward and releases the object in his hands. He stands back to watch, with bitter joy, as a fifteen-pound frozen turkey smashes through the window of the living room of number twenty-four. The drawn curtains act once again as a barrier between him and then, slowing down the bird's flight through the air. With no life to stop itself now, it - and its giblets - descend rapidly to the wooden floor, where it's sent, spinning and skidding, along to its final resting place beneath the Christmas tree. His gift to them.' - Page 3.

What  a great start, I had such high hopes for this novel, but alas I'm afraid from here on in it was down hill all the way.

Put in mind of one of those old black and white Christmas movies (but minus that heart-warming 'Christmas feel' and characters you actually felt something for). If nothing else I should have relished the moral at the heart of The Gift but instead felt myself left cold by what I felt was the authors rather patronising tone.

Character wise ....

In main man Lou Sufferen we have a kind of Ebenezer Scrooge if you will. A miserly character of sorts, a womaniser and workaholic, who, mean with his time as far as his wife and family go, puts business before them until one day he finds himself visited by the ghosts of 'Christmas Past', 'Christmas Present' and 'Christmas Yet To Come'. Whoops! I mean having given the homeless Gabe a job finds his attitude being challenged - before its too late. 

Gabe being a sort of like Clarence Odbody (It's A Wonderful Life) individual EXCEPT we don't ever get to find out if he is actually a Guardian Angel .... or do we? 

To be honest, a book I eventually only went through the motions of reading as, my heart not in it, I lost any interest I might have had in either the plot or characters.

A plot I hasten to add that I found increasingly implausible. The authors penchant for the supernatural somehow just not working for me (maybe because of the pretentious tone of the writing?). The supposedly tear-jerker of an ending failing to move me in anything other than the most rudimentary way. 

Call me cynical but I can't help but think there was something rushed about this book. That maybe the author had a remit to write a 'festive' novel in time for Christmas.



Trac~ said...

Awww.... well it sounded like it had such promise! Sorry to hear it turned out to be such a dud. Hope you have a great day and thanks for stopping by to wish me a Merry Christmas last week. :) Hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday too! xo

Kelly said...

I'm sorry all your Christmas selections have been so disappointing this year. Having achieved another level, I think I'd be tempted to stop. But, it appears from your "currently reading" in the sidebar that you're plowing forward with more. I hope at least one will deliver what you've been looking for.

Anna Soliveres said...

I hate when that happens. The first few chapters/sentences start off so strong, and then the excitement or energy seems to dwindle. (shrugs) On to the next one!

Sherry Ellis said...

Sorry this was a disappointing read. It started off well. Too bad it didn't continue.

Literary Feline said...

Yay to achieving another level! I am sorry the book was on the disappointing side though. I just finished one that turned out to be disappointing. I'm hoping my current book will prove to be much better.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Too bad it didn't work for you. I think patronizing tone would totally upset me and I know I wouldn't like it. Hopefully the next will be so much better for you.

Gina R said...

Ah shucks. Well it's still on my list as I've enjoyed previous works by this author. Thanks for the share!

Brian Joseph said...

Too bad this was so disappointing.

Though I think that I can say that folks around me do not think that I am miserly and mean, I can relate to battling clocks and not having enough time in the day.

Mary (Bookfan) said...

Sorry it didn't hold up for you. The beginning sounded promising.