Julie wants only one gift this holiday season, but it’s going to take a Christmas miracle to make her wish come true.
Julie Hamilton loves Christmas. It’s her favorite time of year, from the cinnamon smell of freshly baked mince-pies to the excitement of buying gifts for family and friends, decorating the tree, and hanging stockings for Santa Claus on the mantelpiece.
This Christmas promises to be extra special because she’s expecting the perfect gift–her first baby–on Christmas Eve.
However, a chance encounter turns her world upside down, and soon, she’s praying for her very own Christmas miracle.
Can the spirit of the Christmas season and the kindness of strangers find a way to make her wish come true?
Julie is especially looking forward to Christmas this year as she expecting the arrival of her first child (on Christmas Eve no less!) She can’t help herself imagining the joys of spending Christmas with her family and her very own son, certain it’s going to be magical.
As Julie is about to be taken into hospital to be induced due to dangerously low iron levels we then meet Casey. Living alone in London, Casey’s life is very different to that of Julie’s as she follows in the footsteps of her parents and ends up turning to alcohol. After losing her own baby Casey formulates a plan which will unexpectedly bring the two women’s live crashing together and will leave one of them heartbroken…
I was expecting The Gift to be a nice, jolly, warm novella but what I got instead was suspense, drama and tension in abundance. Fear not; there’s also plenty of Christmas to this novel and I love the way that Joanne Clancy combines the heartbreaking storyline with the hopefulness of Christmas as Julie and her husband Shane, turn out to be in great need of a Christmas Miracle this year.
I very quickly became immersed into this novel and felt involved with the characters, perhaps a little too much, as I still really want to know what happened to Casey at the end of the novel. Aside from that I thought it was a brilliant novella and completely different to your usual type of Christmas short story.
You’ll have no trouble identifying with Julie and Shane, even in the short space of time that you get to know them. You’ll find your heart breaking for them both as you hold your breath desperately hoping that they get the miracle that they deserve.
Despite The Gift being a mere 76 pages long, Joanne Clancy captures the tension, emotion and suspense that these characters are subjected to so well.
All in all a hugely enjoyable and fairly unusual take on a Christmas novella. It’s engaging, suspenseful and with an underlying theme of the importance of love and family, not just at Christmas, but all year round. It’s also a brilliant demonstration of both the darker and the lighter side of human nature.
I’m thrilled to have discovered Joanne Clancy. I think it shows real talent when an author can make you care so deeply about their characters in such a short space of time, but I got completely swept up in the story and I can’t wait to get immersed in more of Joanne’s novels…
Written throughout the whole of December, there was plenty of Christmas content amongst all of the tension, drama and suspense whizzing round this story. There’s a Nativity, baking, stockings on the mantelpiece and Julie has got her heart set on a perfect Christmas as she regularly day dreams about how wonderful the festive season is going to be in the run up to the birth of her baby. Then when something awful happens, urgently requiring the need for a Christmas Miracle, you’ll find yourself reading one very thrilling (yet Christmassy) novella…
I’d like to say a massive thank you to Joanne for very kindly sending me a copy of The Gift to read and review. ♥