Title: The Gift
Author: Cecelia Ahern
About the book: Lou Suffern's successful career demands that he be in two places at one time -- and neither of those is with his devoted wife and children. One frigid morning Lou meets a homeless man named Gabe and buys him a cup of coffee. . . then gives him a job -- a surprising random act of kindness. But soon Gabe is meddling uncomfortably in Lou's life, popping up at the most inopportune times -- as if Gabe actually can be two places at once. With Lou's personal and professional fates at important crossroads and Christmas looming, Gabe resorts to some unorthodox methods to show his stubborn patron what truly matters and how precious the gift of time is. But can he help him fix what's broken before it's too late?
My thoughts: I read this for the TuesBookTalk Read-a-Longs at Goodreads. I have been part of this group forever but this is only the second book that I have read "with" them - or as much with them as I can. This was the December book and I just finished it last night. I must say though, that this was a great book to read in December.
While it is Lou's story, it is actually being related to a young boy who has gotten in trouble and is waiting for his mom to pick him up from the police station. I would get so engrossed in the story that when they would go back to the police officer telling the story it was like - "oh yeah - I forgot about them!"
I felt a little sorry for Lou, especially in the beginning. He had such little will power in certain situations, and even though he thought he was in control, I think the situations were really controlling him. He didn't even understand his own motivations toward Gabe when he gave him the coffee and offered him the job. He quickly resented Gabe when he felt like Gabe was getting attention and praise that he deserved, but at the same time he came to feel that Gabe was one of the few people that he could trust. You see, Gabe gave him a pill that allowed him to be in two places at once - so he was able to attend two important meetings, staying out late with one of them, but also going home after the other one and tending to a sick wife and daughter. Even though he didn't understand how that was possible, he didn't question the accolades that he received on his accomplishments at the two meetings. It wasn't until later that he began to appreciate the time that he had been able to spend with his family while he was "split".
This was a really good book with a good lesson about the gift of time, and spending it with those that really matter. But first you have to decide what it is that really matters to you.
Challenges: Unfortunately this book does not count towards any challenges as it was started in December.
Publisher/Publication Date: Harper, Nov 2009