Ahern, Cecelia. The Gift. Harper Collins, 2008. ISBN 978-0007284979 pp. $
This story within a story opens with a teen being arrested for tossing a frozen turkey through the window of his father’s–and stepmother’s–home on Thanksgiving. While waiting for the boy’s mother to pick him up, the arresting officer weaves a tale about a workaholic man named Lou who befriends a homeless man named Gabe that slowly insinuates himself into Lou’s life. Lou is given opportunity after opportunity to spend time with his family, but he’d rather take a “headache pill” (provided by Gabe) that conveniently clones him.
Characters are stereotyped and very black and white. The writing is nothing notable, the plot didactic and ending, predictable. The message about time being a precious gift and making the most of your relationships is obvious and heavy handed in a Richard Paul Evans way.