The Unfinished Gift by Dan Walsh is an unexpected treasure. Patrick Collins is having a terrible Christmas. His mother killed in a car accident, his father fighting the Nazis overseas, he's sent off to wait for his father's return with a grandfather, Ian, he's never met. Ian is Scrooge personified: angry at the world, curmudgeonly, stingy, and holding on to a burning anger at Patrick's father that spills over into his relationship with the seven-year-old Patrick. Kathleen Townsend, Patrick's social worker, is doing everything she can to care for the sweet little boy, but when bad news comes, no one can protect him from the consequences. Walsh's rendering of Ian is that of a harsh almost brutal man, who turned his back on anyone who refused to do things his way. Patrick is a lovely, sweet boy who wants nothing more than to please the adults around him, but there's no pleasing Ian. Walsh reminds readers that Christmas is a time of second chances and to offer forgiveness. Keep tissues handy while reading this one!
I absolutely loved this book! about a time when many family's were split up because of the war (story was set in 1943) and a young boy finds himself with out either of his parents. He's sent to live with a Grandpa he's never met, who's not the friendliest guy! God uses this little boy in an amazing way. This story tells of how God can use those bad situations that happen in our lives and use them for good! The story is very sad and you'll need a box of tissues beside you to read it, but well worth the read! I started this book and couldn't put it down, the story is so captivating. It is very well written especially considering that its Dan Walsh's first novel!! Its a great Christmas book and would be a wonderful gift for the book readers on your list! I have nothing bad to say about this book, I loved every bit of it! Thanks for a great read!!Available now at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group
Dan Walsh's debut novel was impressively written for a first book. The story reminded me of one I'd read several years ago by Tracie Peterson that took place during WWI. It was titled Silent Star. That story also made me tear up toward the end. I really enjoyed this book and the author's characterization of Patrick and his grandfather even though I'm not a big fan of Christmas stories. The WWII setting, including the role of the social worker and the police in the story, felt genuine to me. While reading my mind was firmly set in the 1940s and stayed there for the entire book. That was very well done. I also liked how the author showed the reality of the times. There were things done in those days that would never be allowed in the modern era. My how times have changed. And the transformation in the hearts of bitter and confused characters rang true to me. All in all, this was a great book to read in front of the fire over the holidays and would make a great Christmas gift for people who enjoy nostalgic stories set during the Christmas season. *note* It looks like their is a sequel coming out for this book and I am definitely going to read it. I was hoping their would be one and was delighted to see a sequel listed.