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The Gift    by Richard Paul Evans order for
by Richard Paul Evans
Order:  USA  Can
Simon & Schuster, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover, CD
* *   Reviewed by Lori Waddington

When it comes to the Christmas season, most people tend to overindulge. They shop for gifts, go to parties, eat too much food, and generally have a good time. Nathan Hurst is not one of those people. When Nathan was eight years old, a terrible tragedy occurred on Christmas day that tore his family apart. Nathan believes that it also precipitated his Tourette's syndrome. Twenty years later, Nathan still lives with Tourette's. He manages to make it through Christmas by treating it as just another day. Nathan has no idea he is about to meet a family who will change his life.

Addison Park is a young mother with two children, six-year-old Lizzie and nine-year-old Collin. Collin suffers from heart problems and he also has leukemia. During one of Collin's recent heart surgeries, he was considered clinically dead for several minutes, and ever since then, he has been able to heal people with just the touch of his hand.

When Nathan first meets Addison and her children, he is suffering from a terrible case of bronchitis. When Collin puts his hand on Nathan's shoulder, Nathan experiences something coursing through his body that he cannot explain. Within seconds, his bronchitis and his Tourette's have miraculously disappeared. Addison explains to Nathan that every time Collin heals someone, it makes him sicker and she begs Nathan to keep Collin's gift a secret. Unfortunately, someone else finds out about Collin. As demands on the nine-year-old boy build to a feeding frenzy, Nathan and Addison find themselves falling in love while they struggle to keep Collin out of harm's way.

Richard Paul Evans has written a heartwarming tale of hope and healing. I found it admirable that the author discloses in his foreword that he himself suffers from Tourette's syndrome. I am sure it was not easy to include this personal information. And while there were times I found it hard to suspend my disbelief when it came to Collin's gift of healing, I highly recommend picking up a copy of this book. The Gift is an inspiring novel that makes a great holiday read.

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