THE GIFT

Cecelia Ahern

Lou Suffern’s successful career demands that he be in two places at one

time—and neither of those is with his devoted wife and children. One

frigid morning Lou meets a homeless man named Gabe and buys him a cup of

coffee . . . then gives him a job—a random act of kindness that

surprises Lou most of all. But soon Gabe is meddling uncomfortably in

Lou’s life, popping up at the most inopportune times—as if Gabe actually

can be in two places at once. With Lou’s personal and professional

fates at important crossroads and Christmas looming,

more …

Lou Suffern’s successful career demands that he be in two places at one

time—and neither of those is with his devoted wife and children. One

frigid morning Lou meets a homeless man named Gabe and buys him a cup of

coffee . . . then gives him a job—a random act of kindness that

surprises Lou most of all. But soon Gabe is meddling uncomfortably in

Lou’s life, popping up at the most inopportune times—as if Gabe actually

can be in two places at once. With Lou’s personal and professional

fates at important crossroads and Christmas looming, Gabe resorts to

some unorthodox methods to show his stubborn patron what truly matters

and how precious the gift of time is. But can he help him fix what’s

broken before it’s too late?

less …
  • Harper Perennial
  • Paperback
  • October 2011
  • 336 Pages
  • 9780061782091

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About Cecelia Ahern

Before she embarked on her writing career, Cecelia Ahern completed a

degree in journalism and media communications. At 21, she wrote her

first novel, P.S. I Love You, which became an international

bestseller and was adapted into a major motion picture, starring Hilary

Swank. Her successive novels—Love, Rosie; If You Could See Me Now; and There’s No Place Like Here—were

also international bestsellers. Her books are published in 46 countries

and have collectively sold more than 10 million copies. She is also the

cocreator of the hit ABC comedy series Samantha Who?, starring Christina Applegate. The daughter of Ireland’s former prime minister, Ahern lives in Dublin, Ireland.

Praise

“A winning

tale of magic and redemption. . . . Ahern’s an accomplished storyteller,

and her writing chops elevate this far above the normal holiday fare.

There’s magic, but it’s not campy, and the sentiment is real.”—Publishers Weekly

“Light holiday

fare with a lesson . . . [that] encourages readers to appreciate the

important things. . . . Ahern has a way with character.”—Kirkus Reviews

“[A] holiday

treat . . . This clever twist on the guardian angel story will appeal to

Ahern’s fans and lovers of holiday fiction.”—Library Journal

The Gift is a tantalizing tale wrapped in a tale that I devoured in one sitting. It’s a perfect treat for the holidays.”Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants

Discussion Questions

In the opening pages of the book it is revealed that this story is about “people, secrets, and time.” How do these themes play out in the experiences of various characters throughout the book? How do the various plots intersect? 

Raphie tells The Turkey Boy that Gabe gave Lou the gift of time (p. 297). Are there other “gifts” that Gabe gives Lou? 

Has the rise of social media such as Facebook and Twitter given us more flexibility with time—being able to be in two places at once, like Gabe—or has technology made us busier and actually limited our accessibility?

Lou is a complex character: hard and ambitious but with moments of vulnerability, such as his reaction when hearing Ruth cry (p. 75). What are your impressions of Lou? Do they change over the course of the novel? Use scenes from the story to support your viewpoint. 

Lou always wishes he could be in two places at once, a wish Gabe fulfills when he gives Lou the pills. Why does Lou want this ability? What happens when he takes the pills? Was this “wish come true” what he thought it would be? What are the drawbacks to being in two places at once? If it were physically possible, would you do so?

When Lou steps back from his life, he gains some important insights into who he is, how he behaves, and what his impact is on those around him. Have you ever had the opportunity to step “outside” of your life to see if you like what’s going on? What was the experience like? 

Gabe has “special” qualities—moving as quick as light, predicting things before they happen, reading people’s feelings. Do you think he’s human or something more supernatural, such as an angel? Would you like to have a special ability—if so, what would it be? 

What insights did reading The Gift hold for you and your own work-life balance? Like The Turkey Boy, what did you take away about timing? 

If you could have a special gift, what would you want?