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Set at Christmastime in 1943, The Unfinished Gift is the engaging story of a family in need of forgiveness. With simple grace, it reminds us of the small things that affect powerful change in our hearts: a young boy's prayers, a shoe box of love letters, and even a half-carved soldier, long forgotten. This nostalgic story of reconciliation will touch your heart.
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By Carrie Fancett Pagels on 06-15-12
Easy and Pleasant Listen
I listened to this book as a download through audible.com where I have a platinum membership. I was sick when I listened to over half of it and was I ever glad that I had it. This is a nostalgia book, i.e., it is not set long enough ago to be a historical nor recently enough to be a contemporary. I imagine most people would say I am wrong and that this is a historical. So be it. Having listened to the second book in the series first, I was expecting some sort of romance. I am bad about listening to things out of order. This was an instance where the first book probably should have been read first.
The story is almost a men’s fiction, as the three generations relationships were pivotal to the storyline. We have an estranged WWII pilot, Shawn Collins, whose wife has just died leaving behind their young son, Patrick. The paternal grandfather, Ian Collins, is the closest living relative but he has never even seen his grandson. He’s a bitter, grumpy old widower with few redeeming qualities. Rigid is his middle name. He doesn’t deserve to have this sweet little boy in his home.
A social worker, Katherine Townsend, who is assisting with the Collins child, has become emotionally involved with the boy. An orphan herself, Katherine finds the irascible elder Collins undeserving of having his grandson in his custody. When Patrick goes missing, near Christmas, they must pull together to bring the child home safely.
I felt Patrick Collins was the most engaging character in the story. I wanted to know more about Katherine and I was dying to see Ian have some of his crustiness ripped away, which kept me listening. I don’t normally read this type of book. However, I think this is a great audiobook, especially for someone who is ailing. It is an easy and compelling listen.
The narrator was perfect for this book and did an amazing job, also.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By Byron on 12-18-12
Great Christmas tale of family, forgiveness,& God
This satisfyingly emotional story tells the tale of a seven year old boy and his grandfather at Christmas, in 1943 war time, in the United States. But instead of warm fuzzes between grandfather and grandson, this is about forgiveness and God's providence.
Seven year old, Patrick has just lost his mother in a car accident, but his father is a bomber pilot in Europe. With no other relatives, he is sent to live with his estranged grandfather until his father can return to care for him. Problems arise because his father and grandfather have been strangers since his parents married against grandpa's wishes. Grandfather is anything but compassionate, welcoming, or kind to Patrick.
A unfinished carved soldier, a box of letters between husband and wife, helpful strangers, and especially Patrick's prayers play prominently in this story of love, forgiveness, and the importance of family and God in one little boy's life! I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful story!!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful