My 4* review:
Jenna was happily living her life, she was a vet nurse and in a happy relationship with Sam. But all that changed in a flash when Jenna got sick, so sick that her heart was giving up and she needed to have a heart transplant. Having been happy and healthy, life is suddenly very different for Jenna, she’s reliant on medication that has difficult side effects, the strain of her illness caused her parents to separate and for Jenna to break up with Sam, believing that he was better off without her.
Jenna also wants to know more about her donor, whose heart now beats in her chest? Frustrated with the boundaries that rule any official contact between the recipient and the donors family Jenna hires a private investigator and contacts the donors family herself. At first she feels positive about this, she just wants to know more about Callie, the donor, and there can’t be too much wrong with that?
But gradually Jenna starts to loose her grip on reality, she is having dreams and flashbacks that she is sure are Callie’s memories. Is Callie trying to tell her something? Jenna researches this and comes across cellular memory a theory that supports Jenna’s belief that she is experiencing Callie’s memories. Everyone Jenna tries to tell about this thinks that she is simply experiencing the side effects of her medicine but she remains convinced that Callie is trying to tell her something, especially when she learns that there are some questions around how Callie died.
I found the premise of The Gift really interesting, I firmly support organ donation and both myself and my children are on the register for this, and the idea that the recipient changes because of the donor’s organ is fascinating.
I have to admit that when I was reading The Gift I couldn’t help but think that it would not be a good book for someone who is waiting for an organ to read, and I did wonder whether it would put people off donating. However, I have read that the author has been contacted by people who say that after reading The Gift they have joined the register which is blooming fantastic.
As the book progresses Jenna really loses her grip on reality, she thinks that she is being followed, she is obsessed with Callie and her fiance Nathan and she can think of little else. An attempt at returning to work doesn’t go well and Jenna is gradually pushing everyone around her away.
Things come to a head in a gripping finale and I have little doubt that by the end of the book Jenna wishes that she had respected the boundaries when contacting Callie’s family. It is definitely a case of all not being as it seems.
The Gift is a great read, it is gripping and keeps the reader guessing. Definitely a good choice for any fan of the psychological thriller genre. Louise Jensen skillfully weaves a tale that keeps the reader engaged and wondering.
I received a copy of The Gift from the publishers, Bookouture, via Netgalley but was under no obligation to review the book. All thoughts are my own.
The perfect daughter is dead. And a secret is eating her family alive…
Jenna is given another shot at life when she receives a donor heart from a girl called Callie. Eternally grateful to Callie and her family, Jenna gets closer to them, but she soon discovers that Callie’s perfect family is hiding some very dark secrets …
Callie’s parents are grieving, yet Jenna knows they’re only telling her half the story. Where is Callie’s sister Sophie? She’s been ‘abroad’ since her sister’s death but something about her absence doesn’t add up. And when Jenna meets Callie’s boyfriend Nathan, she makes a shocking discovery.
Jenna knows that Callie didn’t die in an accident. But how did she die? Jenna is determined to discover the truth but it could cost her everything; her loved ones, her sanity, even her life.
A compelling, gripping psychological thriller with a killer twist from the author of the Number One bestseller The Sister