Monday, November 30, 2009

Book Review: The Unfinished Gift

Ian Collins is an old man without his son. Patrick Collins is a young boy without his father. On his Christmas list are only three items. He wants the army to find his father. He wants to leave his grandfather's house. And he wants the dusty wooden soldier in Grandfather's attic-the one he is forbidden to touch.

Set at Christmastime in 1943, The Unfinished Gift is the engaging story of a family in need of forgiveness. With simple grace, it reminds us of the small things that affect powerful change in our hearts-a young boy's prayers, a shoe box of love letters, and even a half-carved soldier, long forgotten. This nostalgic story of reconciliation will touch your heart.

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a gentleman at Graf-Martin Communications who asked me if I would consider reading a couple of books and reviewing them right here on my blog.

Being that I love to read and to give my opinion, I said yes.

The first one I read was The Unfinished Gift, by Dan Walsh.

I knew I was going to like this book when I read the quote on the cover of this book. "Make sure you have a tissue nearby, because you are going to need it!"

And I did need a tissue. A few of them in fact.

Patrick is a 7 year old boy who has just lost his mother in a car accident. His father is overseas, flying a B-17 in the second world war. With no one to care for him, he is brought to the home of his grandfather - a man he has never met - by Child Services.

Ian Collins is an old man, bitter and broken by the loss of his beloved wife and falling out with his son. He has never met his only grandson Patrick.

I found the author to be quite gifted at getting the reader to not only see the events of this story through Patrick's eyes, but also through the eyes of the hardened grandfather as well. I easily found myself sympathizing with Patrick, yet after reading just a few pages from Collins' perspective, I sympathized with him as well, and loved watching his heart open up.

While it is an easy read with a predictable storyline, I did find it charming, heartwarming, and perfect for the season. I wasn't in love with this book, but I certainly enjoyed it. Who doesn't love a happy ending?

I was surprised that this was Dan Walsh's first novel. I googled him to check him out a bit and was happy to read that he will be releasing a sequel to The Unfinished Gift called The Homecoming which is scheduled for release in June 2010.

I hope I get asked to review that one too. Just sayin'.

Available now at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.



  1. Fantastic review Kate!!

  2. You're so smart. Look at you all professional and reviewy and stuff! Good for you!

  3. I'm going to have to check this book out. I love a good read and especially the tear jerkers! Great review Kate!


  4. Sounds like an interesting read. I like "heartwarming" and books especially ones involving kids.

  5. Wow! What a book! I love stories of reunited families. I'll have to look into checking it out soon!

  6. Melissa5:14 p.m.

    The book sounds great! I'm currently reading The Christmas List - I can't wait to find a few minutes to sit down with it again tonight. :)

  7. Melissa10:59 p.m.

    The book sounds great! I'm currently reading The Christmas List - I can't wait to find a few minutes to sit down with it again tonight. :)