‘This Summer three women will unwrap a secret that changes everything’
The Perfect Gift is the latest book from Irish writer Emma Hannigan. Published by Headline Review, I received my copy from Francis Gough in exchange for my honest review.
I do hope you enjoy!
‘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 guilty secret she’s been hiding for thirty years.
And for Nell, keeping watch in the lighthouse, the past is a place she dare not go. Until a young runaway arrives seeking shelter, and unwraps the gift of hope for them all..’
The Perfect Gift is a very fast-paced novel so be prepared!!
There are a lot of characters in this novel, all with a different story to tell, but these stories are intertwined in a very heartfelt manner.
Roisin is the main character in this novel. Roisin has a very strong personality and is quite an ambitious individual. Adopted, as a baby, by Keeley and Doug, she seems to have struggled to find her place. She has travelled, loved and lost before finally returning home to set up her own business. Roisin is full of ideas for her business. Her enthusiasm is infectious and almost jumps off the page at you.
But…..Roisin has a past she has kept hidden from her family. I think Roisin sees herself as the lynchpin holding the family together and feels it is almost her duty to put everyone else first.
Keeley and Doug run a very successful Bed & Breakfast. After adopting Roisin, they were fortunate to have Liz naturally, so their family was complete. Neither Roisin or Liz were ever left in any doubt as to the love their parents had for them. Being raised in a very happy environment in a small village by the sea on the West Coast of Ireland, Roisin and Liz had a very encouraging and supportive upbringing.
But, like Roisin, Keeley has a secret that she has kept close to her heart, not ever revealing it to anyone, including Doug.
Every year Roisin receives a beautiful letter from her birth mother who she has no memory of. These letters are a reminder to Roisin, as she grows up, that she knows nothing about her past.
Keeley and Doug are very accepting of these letters, yet they both claim to having no knowledge of Roisin’s birth mother, as her adoption took place in a time where questions weren’t asked and was carried out through a convent in Galway.
Out in a lighthouse near where they live, resides Nell. Nell is a very sad, introverted lady. Originally from Dublin, Nell chooses to live a very remote lifestyle away from everyone. Her only company is Mo, her cleaner, who pays her a weekly visit and brings the papers.
Nell also carries a past. A previous life that she rarely revisits. She has chosen to push her memories right to the back of her mind…but can these memories ever truly be hidden?
Nell makes a discovery one day of a young runaway. This young girl is lost, afraid with nowhere to go. She becomes the catalyst that slowly unravels the past for more than just Nell.
Roisin, Nell and Keeley are three women all struggling with their own secret. A secret they are forced to confront. New faces appear in their lives causing unexpected ripples in a small community that up to this point had been a cocoon for each.
All had built their lives, covering themselves in a protective shell to prevent further hurt.
The unexpected revelations open a whole different world for all as they are all presented with ‘The Perfect Gift’.
How they deal with these revelations and how this gift unfolds and enters their lives is up to you the reader to discover.
The Perfect Gift is the book you want to read on a Summer’s Day by the beach, the pool, in the back garden. It’s always lovely to lose yourself in someone else’s life for awhile, an escape from the daily realities of your own life.
The Perfect Gift is an easy, relaxing read, that provides you, the reader, with that escape.
It is a heartwarming tale of love, both lost and found, and of new beginnings.
Time to meet Emma:
Emma Hannigan is the author of ten bestselling novels including The Secrets We Share, Driving Home for Christmas and the bestselling memoir Talk to the Headscarf which charted her journey through cancer. Emma lives in Co. Wicklow with her husband, two children and a dog.