The Gift - Cecelia Ahern

I haven't read Cecelia Ahern's more popular PS I love you. Occasionally, reading the gist of some books seem sufficient to me. Also, sometimes for no particular reason, I don't read books/authors which I always see on the shelves. Both the reasons hold good for me not going in for her books. 4th March was World Book Day and the whole month was full of book sale, film nights with movies based on books etc in the library. "The Gift" occupied one of the coveted space for "great reads" in the past month, and I took the chance to read the author for the first time. (This would most likely be the last time as well).

The book starts off with a teenager, in a fit of anger throwing a turkey on the window of his dad's "other woman's" house on Christmas Day. He is detained for this act, and the police chief Raphie, in an effort to put some sense into the boy's head, tells him the story of Lou.

The character "Lou" is no strange one in today's world. He is an ambitious guy, with a high flying career, is married and has 2 kids. He has no time for his family because "Job could fire you, but family will not". He has given his family everything except him, his time and his fidelity. (Bored already?)

Here comes the (supposedly) interesting twist in the tale. One morning on his way to work,he offers his coffee to a man called Gabe, shivering in the cold Irish winter, begging. He's impressed by the young guy and eventually offers him a job in his office. Soon Gabe gets into the good books of everyone in the office. Lou, who always has 2 things to do at the same time, two places to be at the same time,
finds the efficiency and agility of Gabe intimidating. Its almost like Gabe is omnipresent.

Till this point the book seemed promising.

Gabe seeks to help Lou double up (literally) by offering him some pills so he could satisfy his family, while being there at office as well. Lou becomes a star at personal and the professional front. Now, things happen in such a way that make you wonder just WHO this Gabe is. Is he God Himself or a product of Lou's hallucination or a man with powerful knowledge in science and research? You tend to sift through the pages again but will not get any answer. Although I do like it when the reader is left to guess, I dislike it when the reader is left confused, or do I say even betrayed. However, that the ending is a sad one, is a clever move by the author. If not for that, one would definitely tend to dismiss the book as a boring preachy and philisophical sermon. The book does pick up pace here and there but one would prefer a subtle approach to what we all have heard over and over again in our Moral Science classes (value of time etc), than saying time is precious, in so many words. We have never liked advices, have we?

I'm not sure of Cecelia's other books, but this is not the best book to try start reading her works. Because I've read this first, Its going to be difficult if not impossible for me to try her other works.

rating : 2.5/5