The Gift

By Cecelia Ahern

24,668 ratings - 3.7* vote

Step into the magical world of Cecelia Ahern.If you could wish for one gift this Christmas, what would it be?Everyday Lou Suffern battled with the clock. He always had two places to be at the same time. He always had two things to do at once. When asleep he dreamed. In between dreams, he ran through the events of the day while making plans for the next. When at home with h Step into the magical world of Cecelia Ahern.If you could wish for one gift this Christmas, what would it be?Everyday Lou

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Book details

Hardcover, 305 pages
August 20th 2009 by HarperCollins

(first published 2008)

Original Title
The Gift
ISBN
0007284977 (ISBN13: 9780007284979)
Edition Language
English

Community Reviews

Fatema Meamari

Cecelia Ahern is a very clever, creative writer. I really admire her work. It's pretty awesome. When you look at her covers, you don't expect much (At least that's how it was with me). You expect just another romantic comedy with all the gooey, cheesy, lovey-dovey romantic parts. Trust me, that is FAR from the case.
Her books are wonderful. They deal with serious issues and serious problems. Real-life, every day shit. She also throws in a little bit of magic and intrigue. Her books have this creepy, eerie effect that I love. And most importantly they are not stupidly and hopelessly romantic in any way. *Insert cheers and applause here*

About this novel. The ending was very sad. It's a moralistic kind of novel, and I liked that about it. I especially loved the final paragraph. It was very.. Shaking. I didn't really hate Lou, like I thought I would when I heard about the book and all. I actually pitied him. He lost track of his life and was living for nothing.. He didn't experience true joy or happiness and lived for his work. He hurt himself and the people around him on a daily basis. It was really unfortunate. But, he got a second chance. He got "the gift of time". He got a chance to make things right before he was gone for good. And I think everyone would want that. But, unfortunately we can't really have that most of the time. And the point of this book, I think, is to rattle us and make us aware of that. That time is slipping away, and that we won't get a second chance to make it right, we won't get extra time.. We need to make things right.. now. We need to be happy and live for a reason and not just watch our lives waste away. No matter how young or old.
I don't have much to say except that Cecelia is a very clever writer. And she writes meaningful things, not stupid, sappy, pointless, romantic crap.

Mary S. R.

5 STARS! Perfect for Christmas.
My first book by Cecelia and I LOVED it.

A lesson finds the common denominator and links us all together, like a chain. At the end of that chain dangles a clock, and on the face of the clock registers the passing of time. We see it and we hear it, the hushed tick-tock, but often we don’t feel it. Each second makes its mark on every single person’s life—comes and then goes, quietly disappearing without fanfare, evaporating into air like steam from a piping hot Christmas pudding. Enough time leaves us warm; when our time is gone, it leaves us cold.

Time is more precious than gold, more precious than diamonds, more precious than oil or any valuable treasures. It is time of which we do not have enough; it is time that causes the war within our hearts, and so we must spend it wisely.

Time cannot be packaged and ribboned and left under trees for Christmas morning.

Time can’t be given. But it can be shared.

I was gonna post this on the night of 25th, right when I finished the book (literally eating it up in one setting), but the internet is flimsy here right now due to political reasons.

So I'll say it now:

Merry Christmas and happy new year ?✨

RTC.

Ashton Jade Gibbs


The Gift – Cecelia Ahern



Admittedly, I, like so many others before me, seem to associate Cecelia Ahern with lovely, girly books, especially with the gorgeous covers her books always have. This is far from the case. Her books are incredibly touching, the writing is clever and this book in particular is a fabulous example of how her books can be moralistic with a magical touch.

The Gift centres on the story of Lou Suffern, as told through the eyes of someone else. Lou is your stereotypical over-working business man; he constantly needs to be in two places at once, strives to always be bigger and better, and relieves himself with his womanising ways. As a result, his family take a backseat and suffer, all the while standing by him waiting for things to change. And things may just change once Lou meets Gabe, the mysterious homeless man who sits outside his office building…

“One thing of great importance can affect a small number of people. Equally so, a thing of little importance can affect a multitude. Either way, a happening big or small can affect an entire string of people.”

Ahern is a wonderfully gifted writer with a writing style that is easy and enjoyable to follow through her magical tales. I found myself submerged in her story telling straight from the opening chapter. During the beginning of the book, she describes the warmth and calmness of Christmas with beautiful imagery, and manages to get you to feel that warmth inside as you read along. Although this book is set at Christmas time, it’s not exactly Christmas themed, though that didn’t stop me feeling the Christmas spirit as I read the first three paragraphs.



The interesting thing about this book is that the protagonist is not necessarily likeable and can be difficult to empathize with, yet we, as a reader, find ourselves willing him to succeed in improving himself. Personally, I continued to dislike Lou throughout the full book, and yet I found myself completely invested in him, and found I was rooting for him for his family’s sake rather than his.
“A lesson finds the common denominator and links us all together, like a chain. At the end of that chain dangles a clock, and on the face of the clock registers the passing of time. We see it and we hear it, the hushed tick-tock, but often we don’t feel it. Each second makes its mark on every single person’s life comes and then goes, quietly disappearing without fanfare, evaporating into air like steam from a piping hot Christmas pudding. Enough time leaves us warm; when our time is gone, it leaves us cold.”
This is a magical tale, a wonderful Christmas read, and although far-fetched, it definitely gets the intended message across - there is nothing more valuable than time. Time can’t be borrowed and returned, you can’t buy it back. Once your time is spent, there’s no grabbing it back, and for that reason, we need to value it more than anything. The issues addressed in the book are real life issues, and all of the characters were so realistic and believable. It was enough to bring a tear to my eye in closing chapter. I’m just a big softie!

So if you’re looking for a touching Christmas read when the time comes along this year, I highly recommend this book, and if you’ve already read it, I’d love to know what you thought of the ending? :)
“Time can’t be given. But it can be shared.”

~Jo~

I actually received this book as a gift last Xmas, but, it isn't the sort of book that I'd go and purchase myself, so I suppose I've been putting it off. I have seen Cecelia Ahern's works in the bookshops, but never, until now, read one of her works.
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It certainly wasn't amazing or anything, but it is evident that Ahern is a wonderfully creative writer, and instead of some cheesy romance like I was expecting, there were some real life issues in her story, which can cause one to stop and think.
I loathed Lou, the main character throughout most of the book. I thought he was a pretentious bastard, quite frankly. It was rather evident from the beginning that Lou only considered his own happiness important. But as the book reads on Lou is taught some valuable lessons, and nearing the end of the book I actually came to like Lou a little bit.
This book certainly wasn't perfect but it was an interesting christmassy read, and I may even pick up another book from this author in the future.

Jennifer

Cecelia Ahern's The Gift is a lovely addition to holiday fiction. It leaves readers with a beautiful message about how precious and impactful the gift of time is. Not just time on this earth, but the time you purposefully set aside for those who give your life quality and purpose. Nurture those relationships before you lose them. The Gift is worth the read. Check it out!

My favorite quote:
"Time is more precious than gold, more precious than diamonds, more precious than oil or any valuable treasures. It is time that we do not have enough of; it is time that causes the war within our hearts, and so we must spend it wisely."

Sara

This book is for you if:
you are in the mood for a good old Christmas-ly cry
you feel introspective and open to reflect on the sense of life
you want to reconnect with family values
you want something that will remind you what are the important things in life
This book is NOT for you if:
you need something easy-breezy with no drama
you DO NOT want to cry
you're looking for more of a happily ever after novel
you are looking for a girl-meets-boy novel

I enjoyed this book, it reduced me into tears, I was on a plane and had to contain myself not to sob loudly in front of everybody.
Ahern initial description of the quiet street on Christmas morning was sublime.
Overall, a sad book with plenty of moral... but one of the good ones

Anna

I found that book today on a bookself and it reminded me of some great time I had during reading it...

Lou is the main character, who is an arrogant and busy 24/7 man. He is not happy with his life, he always wants more, he tries to do more, but actually he forgets what he already has.... especially his family: his wife Ruth and their two young children. Especially his one year old son is crying when he approaches, not recognizing any familiarity with his father.

Life goes on, until one day, before Christmas, he meets Gabe, a homeless man - the good ghost from the tale - that changes his cosmos completely....

A heartbroken page-turner that reminds us that people in our life need to come first - BUT FIRST THINGS FIRST we need to be patient and careful whatever we do!

Julie

I wanted something easy to read on public transport and this certainly ticked that box. I finished it before even adding it to my 'currently reading' on this site!

The protagonist is fallible, something I always think makes a book interesting, and all the characters are somewhat believable, but it was very hard to find anything warm or likeable in them. The people and the settings made me feel uncomfortable somehow. Perhaps they was supposed to.

I suppose it's easy to be cynical about the character of Gabe in his mysterious guardian angel role, and I understand the whole point of this story is to emulate a type of Scrooge story in the city; a man who goes through an experience that forces him to see the world differently and prompts him to want to turn over a new-leaf. You have to introduce an element of magic and suspend disbelief to achieve that, that's fine. It's even set at Christmas time! It only narrowly avoids the cheesiness of a Hollywood Christmas movie by its ending, but by that point, I actually wanted to see the new leaf pan out and the characters to live happily ever after.

I felt Gabe was under developed and could have thrown in a couple of jokes just to make him more likable.

The concept that the whole story is being narrated between some barely connected characters based in a police station was distracting and did not work, to my mind.

This book left a bad taste in my mouth mostly because of the tone of the author. She patronisingly lectures about the lessons we ought to have learned on this insightful journey she has been so good to lead us through (!). I don't believe the message that time is precious and you should appreciate your loved ones was something most people needed to be told by an over privileged chick lit author.

I've neither read or watched PS. I Love You so I have no prior expectations except that I assumed since it had been so phenomenally successful, the writing of the author must be good. Unfortunately I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would, but perhaps if I'm basing my judgement on my perception of the success of another book, I ought to have read that one instead.

Mochizuki

After reading Cecelia Ahern's novels 'Book of Tomorrow' and 'P.S I Love You', I was looking forward to reading another. Her books are so easy to read and leave you feeling really uplifted and The Gift definitely does that.
I was a little dubious about reading a Christmas novel in July but towards the end I really got into the festive spirit! An utterly fantastic book that gives out a fabulous message about the gift of time which really made me think as I turned each page. The descriptive writing about the festive season made me feel like it was Christmas and I have to admit, I felt a little sad to peel back my curtain and see the sunshine outside!
I am very busy during the day but once I started reading I couldn't put it down.I was putting off chores to read 'just one more chapter' ! It keeps you engrossed from the onset, just wanting to know what was going to happen next. It may be a bit far-fetched but when you have finished the book you do really see things in life a bit differently because we are all guilty of 'being too busy' ! I highly recommend this book !

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