Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Book Review - The Perfect Gift by Emma Hannigan

Amazon UK
Title:  The Perfect Gift
Author: Emma Hannigan
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Headline Review
Publication Date: 18th February 2016
Rating: 5 Stars

Happy Birthday, darling girl...

Ever since she can remember, Roisin has received a birthday card in the post. Signed with love from the birth mother she has never met.

Brought up by her adoptive parents, Keeley and Doug, Roisin has wanted for nothing. But on her thirtieth birthday a letter comes that shakes her world.

For Keeley, who's raised Roisin as her own, the letter reminds her of a secret she's been holding for thirty years.

And for Nell, keeping watch in the lighthouse, the past is a place she rarely goes. Until a young runaway arrives seeking shelter, and unwraps the gift of hope for them all...

I'm incredibly impressed by The Perfect Gift, it is one of those books that starts off quite well, and had me very interested, and I think it was about two fifths of the way in when I realised that the story was just getting better and better with every passing chapter. 

At all times I was drawn into the book, and was impressed with the depth of feelings and how relateable all the characters in the various threads really were. I felt as though I was living in their Irish town alongside them all. 

In fact Roisin's shop Nourriture sounds brilliant, it sells all sorts of of foods, both in a cafe style, but also as food items and ingredients that you can take home and use yourself. It was a real food emporium and seemed like a engaging place to work. 

Roisin always knew she was adopted, and each year on her birthday she gets a letter from her birth mother. It is the one that she received on her 30th birthday that really affected her and leads to a lot of what happens in the book. Liv her sister also read the letter, and it triggered changes in her too. 

Meanwhile Keeley, who raised Roisin, is feeling more and more like an unpaid slave of the family as the others are all taking advantage of her. She runs a B&B and feels guilty over something in her past that no one knows about. 

Then there is Nell, who lives in a lighthouse and is a virtual recluse. She takes in a runaway when Mouse shows up on her doorstep and between them, both of their lives changes. 

I loved Nell and Mouse's storylines, and they way they spoke to each other gave a load of interesting back story to both characters, which I was intrigued by. There were less chapters I think focusing on these characters than in Roisin's family, but I was always looking forward to the next installment from Nell. 

With a book that encompasses business struggles, struggles with parenting, illiteracy, adoption, loss, and all sorts of family themes, The Perfect gift is an emotional story that captivated me and captured my imagination, as some secrets come out, and the various generations of the family try and reach a better place in their lives. 

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Headline for this copy of the book. This was my honest opinion. 

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