Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The First Gift

GIVEAWAY

HERNE, RUTH LOGAN
THE FIRST GIFT

Five-year-old Cassie Carruthers fends for herself while her father drinks himself into a stupor. But her isolation has not gone unnoticed as a northern Appalachian works to rescue the neglected little girl. Kerry McHenry, the kindergarten teacher, sees her own tough upbringing in Cassie's dire situation. As she throws herself into helping Cassie become everything God wants her to be, she finds herself torn between a commitment-phobic doctor and a widowed deputy sheriff still angry with God. As the stakes grow ever higher and the characters' lives intersect in unexpected ways, each will face a true test of faith - and come face-to-face with indisputable evidence of God's love.

My Review:

I'm suffering from the woe-is-me-I-read-that-book-way-too-fast-and-now-I'm-going-to-miss-it blues. Sniffle. But that's the kind of book The First Gift is. You can't stop yourself from reading at a voracious speed even though you want the story to last forever. Such a reader dilemma! And Ruth Logan Herne does it to me every time because she writes from the heart and I love an emotionally charged novel.

This is complex, true-to-life stuff with all the gnarly bits included. Cassie's story moved me to tears -- of both sorrow and joy. In fact, I'll just issue a five tissue box alert right here and now. I sobbed at the end - a ragged crying jag because this book messed with so many emotions I just had to get it all out. Very cathartic. It left me with a better understanding of how God really does direct our paths, even at the unlikeliest of times. How His big picture is so much better than my narrow-minded view. The First Gift is worth the read just for Hannah's sage wisdom and down-to-earth counsel. Not to mention Father Cumming's no nonsense approach to spirituality. Loved them both to pieces.

This story reminds me of the African proverb, "It takes a village to raise a child." And, you know what? In the process the child raises the adults to a higher level -- including the reader.

There's a lot to celebrate in this novel: racial diversity among the characters, the power of God to change hearts, the encouragement to find hope even during the darkest times. And I haven't even touched on the romance! Which is just as gnarly and realistic as the rest of the book. My heart raced. My knees buckled. And it hurt, a lot, before it got better 'cause I just wasn't sure if I trusted Ruthy to make it right the way I wanted it to be right.

What more can I say except if ever a book begged to be turned into a movie script -- this one is it!

My deepest gratitude to the author for providing me with a copy of this book.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY:

 If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of  The First Gift please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday September 11  2016. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!

47 comments:

  1. I've not read any of Ruth's books yet. This one sounds like a great one. d[dot]brookmyer[at]yahoo[dot]com

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    1. OOoohhhhhhh....you must, Donna. Good luck!

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  2. This sounds like a "must read" for sure! Thank you, Kav!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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  3. This sounds like such a beautiful and inspiring story! I love when books deal with real-life issues.
    I can't wait to read it!

    samanthabis23 at gmail dot com

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    1. It's so moving, Samantha. I can't begin to describe it. Good luck.

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  4. Love her story lines. cheetahthecat1986(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. She's all about keeping it real. Good luck, Kim.

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  5. Oh my goodness, I want this one! LOL. I love her and cannot wait to read this. :)
    lattebooksAThotmailDOTcom

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    1. Isn't she awesome? Good luck, Susan!

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  6. Just finished reading it!! Awesome, fantastic read.
    Words can't describe what a great writer Ruth is!! I enjoyed your review, Kav, and agree with you! Your winner is in for a real treat!

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    1. Sqqquuueeeaaaallll! I want to book talk with you right now!!! Wouldn't it make a great book club selection? So much to discuss! Thanks for stopping by and sharing, Jackie.

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  7. I am hanging my head in shame and not sure I should admit this but here goes... I am the only one on our blog who has not read a book by Ruthy. They always have a spot saved for her on blogger before me, so I just hop to another book. So this is a must read for me! I want to be able to hold my head up once more! :o Fabulous, tantalizing review btw, Kav!

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    1. Oops! dianalflowers(at)aol(dot)com

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    2. Gasp....followed by stunned silence. She has 34 books out...at least that's what I've read so far and I'm pretty current and she has two more...maybe three more?...coming out before the end of the year. There's time to get on the bandwagon, Diana. Good luck!

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    3. Well, your response certainly lessened my guilt. LOL!

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    4. Bwahahahahahaha! So glad I could console you.

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    5. Too bad they don't have emojis on blogs. Let's just pretend we do and I just posted one with my tongue sticking out and my fingers in my ears wagging at you. LOL!

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  8. Ih my goodness I so want to read this book!!! Bookwormgal2011@yahoo.com

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  9. Sounds like a great book! I would love to read it! :)

    rosebudsinjune at gmail dot com

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  10. I'm usually not drawn in to contemporary books, but this review definitely drew me in right from the first couple of words. I'm a teacher, and a widow, so I'd love to read this book. Plus, alcoholism has also raised its head somewhere in my family..........I'd love to read this book!
    susanlulu@yahoo.com

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    1. Oh yes, you'd get this book. Good luck, Susan.

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  11. I've not read any of Ruth's books yet. KAV, thank you for the wonderful review.
    psalm103and138 at gmail dot com

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    1. Ooohhhhh, you must rectify that. Good luck, Caryl.

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  12. I read Back in the Saddle by Ruth. I would so love to read this book.
    CherylB1987 AT hotmail DOT com

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  13. I love Ruth's books and this one sounds so good! Thanks so much for your review. Can't wait to read it!
    pwestfall7 at hotmail dot com

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    1. She never disappoints. Good luck, Pam.

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  14. Life is not black and white and all those colorful complications make the best stories, as far as I'm concerned. This one sounds like a memorable experience so, yes please, I would love to win. Thanks Kav. 😃
    Dblaser(at)windstream(dot)net

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  15. This sounds like such a great book. I want to read it so bad! ;) I added it to my wishlist. If I don't win a copy, I will buy it for sure. It sounds amazing!
    Thank you for the giveaway!

    melodybissonnette AT gmail DOT com

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    1. It really is amazing. Good luck, Melody.

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  16. Sounds great. TY for the chance. God bless!

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  17. This sounds like an unusual story. I like the fact that it reminded you of the proverb.
    Dianna

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    1. It's a larger-than-life kind of story. So touching. So hopeful. Good luck, Dianna.

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  18. I knew from the moment I saw this was a Ruthy book it was going to be good...I didn't even need to read your review :-)

    teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. I know, Ruthy doesn't write duds. LOL Good luck, Trixi.

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  19. I need to be entered please. Sounds great! Nancycooks4u(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. You're entered, Nancy. Good luck!

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  20. I know the feeling. I want to read it fast but I want more and wish they would go on!
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

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    1. Yes -- but you can't bear to be stuck in the middle so you just race through. Argh. Good luck, rubynreba.

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  21. I love Ruthy! Thanks for the chance to win and for your lovely review, Kav!

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    1. betherin02 AT gmail DOT com
      ;-)

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    2. seriously -- is there anyone on this earth who doesn't love Ruthy??? Good luck, Beth Erin.

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