Friday, December 26, 2014

The Gift by Danielle Steel

photo courtesy of
Released: Christmas 1994

This may be the second novel by Danielle Steel I've ever read in my entire life. I've always felt that her stories are predictable and reminiscent of the movies aired on the Lifetime Channel. Before reading The Gift, I think the only other Danielle Steel novel I've read all the way through was Ransom, which I had purchased at an airport right before take-off.

The Gift was included in a bulk box of books I purchased at a yard sale. If this were any other title, I would have tossed it in the donation pile, however, I have a soft spot for holiday books, so I kept it around.

Dreamworld's Synopsis

The novel opens with the background of 5-year-old Annie Whittaker and her family. Annie's mother Elizabeth was 41 years old when she gave birth to Annie, who apparently, according to the narrator, was the sweetest, most angelic child in the world. Unfortunately, Annie dies from meningitis a few days after Christmas. In the year following Annie's death, Annie's parents and brother Tommy drift apart as they cope with their grief.

A few months after Annie's death, in a small town just a few hours away, 16-year-old Maribeth goes to a school dance and leaves with a popular senior jock to make out at the local lookout point. When Maribeth learns she's pregnant, her father kicks out her out of the house and sends her to a convent to give birth. Feeling lonely, unhappy, and unloved, Maribeth runs away again in pursuit of a new life and a fresh start.

Shortly after settling into a new town as a waitress at a local diner, Maribeth meets a man named Tommy Whittaker and they fall hopelessly in love with one another. When Maribeth is welcomed into the Whittaker home with open arms, she learns more about what she really wants from life following the birth of her baby.

Dreamworld's Review

Danielle Steel has an interesting writing style. In the middle of paragraphs, Steel has a tendency to switch character perspectives. For example, the first half of a paragraph will describe Tommy's thoughts, and the second half of a paragraph will describe Maribeth's thoughts. As a result, I become easily confused. I found The Gift somewhat difficult to follow, and not very great.

However, this story is fairly predictable. The Gift could be classified a happy, feel-good holiday read. There isn't anything phenomenal about the story, and I'll probably never think about this book again. I'm sure anyone can read the synopsis and guess what happens to Maribeth, her baby, Tommy, and the rest of the Whittaker family without having to read the novel in full. Unfortunately I find it highly unlikely I'll ever read anything else by Danielle Steel.

Danielle Steel is an international bestselling novelist. Her latest novels include:
Blessing in Disguise (2019)
Lost and Found (2019)
The Dark Side (2019)
Child's Play (2019)
Spy (2019)

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