Daily Review: Unexpected Gifts by S. R. Mallery
August 1, 2017
UNEXPECTED GIFTS is as captivating as Forest Gump, as compelling as We Were Soldiers, and as impressive as Saving Private Ryan.
A TRUE AMERICAN FAMILY SAGA: Can we learn from our ancestors? Do our relatives’ behaviors help shape our own?
In Unexpected Gifts that is precisely what happens to Sonia, a confused college student, heading for addictions and forever choosing the wrong man.
Searching for answers, she begins to read her family’s diaries and journals from America’s past: the Vietnam War, Woodstock, and Timothy Leary era; Tupperware parties, McCarthyism, and Black Power; the Great Depression, dance marathons, and Eleanor Roosevelt; the immigrant experience and the Suffragists.
Back and forth the book journeys, linking yesteryear with modern life until finally, by understanding her ancestors’ hardships and faults, she gains enough clarity to make some right choices.
By Author/Reviewer Geri Ahearn
A young woman, who attends college becomes more-and-more confused as she continues to make decisions, while repeating the cycle of dating Mr. Wrong, and finding herself on the helpless road that leads her to no-where.
In her desperate search to find herself, she winds up finding much more than she ever dreamed of, when she began reading diaries and journals from her ancestors. The more Sonia read, the more she began to understand how hardship and uneasy times affect not only those who lived through them, but the next generation, who deeply felt the results from those who survived.
Master storyteller S.R. Mallery creates a colorful portrait of the past as she takes the reader through an incredible time-machine from one generation to the next, while we witness unforgettable, historical events that come to life, along with unique characters. The treasure that Sonia found, a discovery of her roots, was the golden key that unlocked the secret door, which helped to shape her own life through the experience and lessons learned from her ancestors.
The author has a remarkable gift. The amazing ability not only to bring rich, historical events to life, but also the ability to perfectly blend different generations, showing how they all connect. As I read through the intriguing and bittersweet pages, the heartfelt stories within the pages of this book not only brought me back to my generation as a Babyboomer, but also to the flashbacks down memory lane of my own father’s stories about his Purple Heart and his touching stories about Pearl Harbor, and survival from turmoil during his generation. This book will be thought-provoking, long after we close it.
UNEXPECTED GIFTS is as captivating as Forest Gump, as compelling as We Were Soldiers, and as impressive as Saving Private Ryan. Highly recommended to all those who enjoy historical fiction.
By Amazon Customer
Wow, this is one of the books you don’t want to miss! Unexpected Gifts is not your usual love story; it’s a complex mosaic of memories, emotions and feelings, all interconnected and interrelated and creating a unique world that you can’t help but feel immersed into.
Sonia is a psychology student struggling with OCD, even though she doesn’t want to admit it to herself. One day, visiting her father, who was left handicapped after the injury that he sustained in Vietnam, Sonia comes across “a treasure chest” together with her mother Lily, and soon her travel down memory lane begins, uncovering family secrets and providing so much needed insights into her own problems.
Slowly, day by day, diary after diary, Sonia starts understanding herself more and more, and not without her fellow student Harry’s help. I absolutely loved how the author made Sonia relate to her ancestors’ fears, troubles and shortcomings, and make her own right decisions based on their experience.
The events of the past, described in the diaries, are obviously meticulously researched and deal with many important themes, such as feministic movement, civil rights struggle, immigrants’ struggles, the Vietnam War and many more.
All in all, Unexpected Gifts is a true gem that I’ll certainly be re-reading in the future. Great work!