Monday, November 30, 2009

Review: The Unfinished Gift by Dan Walsh

The Unfinished Gift tells the story of Patrick and Collins. Patrick is a seven year old boy whose father is fighting in the second world war in Europe and whose mother has just recently passed away in a car accident. Until Patrick's father can be located, he is sent to live with his grandfather. His grandfather, however, has not spoken to his son in years and harbors a deep bitterness towards him and his daughter-in-law. He is less than welcoming to Patrick making it a very difficult time for Patrick.

I really wanted to enjoy this story, but for me it was very predictable. Which is fine and almost expected in Christmas stories, but I still hope for nice delivery. The characters all felt very one dimensional to me, (Patrick was the perfect child! He shoveled the snow instead of playing in it!) and the writing felt simple. The Christian messages are in your face and talked about by the characters in mini lectures rather than shown in their lives. But even more than these flaws, I simply couldn't understand the rift that had developed between Patrick and his father. And finally, this book seems to adopt the "Catholics aren't really saved" approach.

There were some nice period touches, however, and a great big snow storm which is always pleasant in a Christmas book. Also, I felt like there were a few loose ends so I'm curious as to whether or not this is the beginning of a series?

If you are looking for nothing more than a comfort read heavy on spiritual dialogue and themes than this might work for you. In fact, I'm sure a lot of people will enjoy it and I think it would make a lovely made-for-TV movie. If you'd like to get a sample of the book for yourself please visit this link where you can read an excerpt and see if the writing is more to your style than it was to mine!

Rating: 3/5
Things You Might Want to Know: Christian Fiction
Source of Book: Received from publisher for review
Publisher: Revell (a division of Baker Publishing Group)



brizmus said...

Sounds almost as if it was. . .unfinished.
I love Christmas books, but I might skip out on this one.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I don't mind predictable either, but if the author goes down that path, they better make everything else supporting the premise really really good! If one of the main issues in the story is the rift, then we need to understand it! Thanks for your honest review!

Julie P. said...

I agree that the book was very predictable, but that didn't bother me because I don't expect more than that from Christmas books. I have to say that you gave me some food for thought on the messages being too in your face though. I don't think I've read enough Christian lit to know what's "right." I think I almost expect the messages to be conveyed that way. You've definitely give me something to think about as far as what my expectations should be!

As a Catholic, I wondered if there was a message about the "not being saved" thing, but I decided to give the author the benefit of the doubt! LOL!

Virginia said...

I loved this book.

Anonymous said...

This book sounds like its loaded in possibility but I feel like it probably isn't for me. I'm glad that you got some enjoyment out of it!

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