Linda M. (Three Oaks, MI)
Gifts of War
Gifts of War is a touching love story set against the brutal backdrop of the first world war. Its the story of a man whose depth of love for a forbidden woman is clothed in a dark secret and portrays the lengths we will go for those we love. The story line navigates between the scarred landscape of war torn Europe and the relatively peaceful English countryside and depicts with exacting detail the difficulties of trying to live everyday life during war time. Ford cleverly employs the use of a series of letters between Hal and his sister, a nurse stationed at the front, to depict the horrors associated with the trench warfare. As for Hal and Sams relationship, I was never sure where it would go with each turn of the page, but it certainly was a worthwhile journey seeing it progress.
Cynthia B. (Puyallup, Washington)
Gifts of War - Mackenzie Ford
I thought this was a very intriguing book and that it offered many depths. Aside from the enjoyment of reading about England during WWI - or rather ANYTHING on The Great War - as it is not as popular in literature as other wars & battles - the detail is rich with imagery and easy for the reader to immerse into the story.
Having said that, the only nick I have - is that there were many moments when the narrative ran dry - the structure lost its lyrical rhythm and was, well, choppy at times.
Nonetheless, an enjoyable read and should be a very discussable one for groups regarding the ironies of war - while it takes away so much, it also offers opportunity and bounty to those who are willing to grab for it. However - the main discussion point is as it well should be - the value of one's word or a promise. For without your word, what have you then?
Karla S. (Dana Point, CA)
Strong love as a Gift of War
Start with a promise betrayed, deception, then guilt. Set during England at war there is a suspension of conventional virtues. Each new turn of this story comes close to upsetting this keenly balanced scale of lies and love. It will keep you reading to see what else could possibly happen.
Vy A. (Phoenix,
Gifts of War
Gifts of War is the type of story you want to read ideally at one sitting, perhaps snowbound near a cozy fire or laying on the beach for days where you can be totally immersed in the setting of World War I and the havoc it caused in countless lives. Its one I didnt want to put down. I was captivated from page one with narrator Henry (Hal) Montgomery as he begins his story with the 1914 Christmas Truce on the Western Front. That day, Hal, as a British soldier, comes face to face with a German soldier. They exchange gifts and make a pact that will change their lives forever. For the next four years Hal harbors a secret, creating constant tension for the reader, wondering if and when he will be found out. This book will appeal to both men and women with its details of history, espionage of warfare, and an exquisite love story.
Anna R. (Oak Ridge, TN)
Hard to Put Down
When I started "Gifts of War" I couldn't stop reading. It is well written and the plot is fascinating. It is a book that you will think about long after you finish it. I couldn't imagine how it would end and trust me, the ending is not what you expect. I consider this book a "must read." Book groups will have a field day discussing it. It is a wonderful book.
Doris (Angora, MN)
Gifts of War by Mackenzie Ford
This is a good read. It starts out a bit slowly but I would encourage the reader not to give up.
The author tells a fascinating story about how WWI affected the people living in London. By starting off with the famous Christmas Day truce he continues to tie in the feelings of the people from England and Germany.
Gifts of War would lead to interesting discussions in a book club. Readers who enjoy historical fiction should consider reading this book.
Catherine H. (Nashua, NH)
An "okay" gift.
Despite being well written with excellent WWI research, I just found this "love story/spy/pacifist" story hard to believe.
This book is definitively not "All Quiet on the Western Front" and if turned into a movie, it would not be "Paths of glory".