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The 1930s were a decade of enormous uncertainty - for the world, for America, and in particular for one lonely, struggling mother and her disabled son. Their story is one of love and enormous sacrifices in the face of circumstances horrendous beyond belief. When her husband leaves her for someone whose time isn't wrapped up in a silent, handicapped kid, Mary and little Jack are out on their own in a world that has no room for the poor and disabled. Especially not at a time when most Americans are simply trying to survive their economic woes and job losses. But then arrives The Gift...where has it come from, and why? How can a young boy who can neither hear nor speak provide comfort, direction, and sometimes challenges to seekers who learn of the special ability? Whatever the source, its presence brings a single shaft of light and hope to Mary and her beloved Jack. Will it be enough?
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Amazon Customer on 01-17-17
the narrator was one of the best that I have listened to. the story was ar times heart-rending . any one who reads this needs to keep in mind the era the story took place. just like in real life the book shows that life is not always fair. a great read.
By susan on 06-02-16
So offensive and ridiculous!!
What would have made The Silent Gift better?
To begin with, the Deaf boy could have had a personality and not just been a a wooden, emotionless, one dimensional character. Jack is a person in the first and last chapter-throughout the book he has no personality nor shows any emotion. He makes no attempt to communicate-that just isn't realistic. Even in the early 20th century a Deaf boy and his mother would have developed some form of communication besides her drawing a heart on his face and saying 'I love you.' It was annoying how often hearing people talked to the Deaf boy-they weren't trying to communicate with him-they were just talking to him as if he could hear. It was ridiculous how many bad things happened in this book-one thing after another-it was absurd.
Would you ever listen to anything by Michael Landon and Cindy Kelley again?
Yes. I picked this book because I enjoyed listening to him narrate Jan Karon's Mitford series.
What does John McDonough bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
I like the sound of his voice-
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
No-it was melodramatic, full of stereotypes and unrealistic. The mother in this book was ridiculously naive and the story felt contrived-evil father, sadistic doctor, circus animals, judicial system that is manipulated to punish the innocent and duplicitous people. I felt like every scene was contrived to elicit emotion-anger, sadness, remorse.... A build up until the last chapter when God fixes everything-and Jack can communicate.
Any additional comments?
If you have any involvement with the Deaf community you may find this book as offensive as I do. The Deaf character in this book is a literary tool who has a 'gift' but spends the whole time looking off into the distance or being dragged around by his hand by the adults in his life. The final words-I don't want to spoil anything-sent me over the top. My first reaction was that Deaf people CAN talk it's called American Sign Language- in the 1930's it would have been some form of sign language developed between the Deaf person and his family. I just expected a book published today would have had more sensitivity and knowledge about someone who was Deaf, even if the character lived in the early 20th century, that character would have had more personality and interaction with the world.