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The Gifts

A Novel

by Liz Hyder

The Gifts by Liz Hyder X
The Gifts by Liz Hyder
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There are currently 20 member reviews
for The Gifts
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  • Bonne O. (Hartwell, GA)
    Women Rise Above
    The Gifts was a pleasure to read. The format was ideal for gradually getting to know the aspirations and struggles of each character during the 1840 time period. Many of the books themes such as misuse of religion, deadly ambition, greed and misogyny are alive and well in today's society. Despite being hampered by social mores of the time, it was heart warming to see how cleverly the collective women used their instinctive intelligent and talents to reach a conclusion.
  • Gerrie B. (Carmel, IN)
    Magical, riveting, empowering.
    I enjoyed The Gifts, it pulled me quickly into the Victorian era and spun a story from which I could not disentangle myself. The Gifts speaks to the power of women to chart their own destiny in the face of societal norms and oppression and despite the established entitlement of men. It celebrates the intelligence and resiliency of women and the added strength we can find when women help each other. Those who enjoy historical fiction with an added touch of magic will be enthralled. I would recommend The Gift for book clubs, as there are many nuances to discuss. Those who enjoy reading books where women are not ancillary to the plot but fully developed, interesting, characters would also enjoy this book.
  • Lydia M. (Richland, OR)
    A work of art.
    Liz Hyder has painted us a vivid world with words, she is a magician, using her story to create a world you can feel, see and breathe. So absorbing, as to take over your everyday. She was purposeful in the creation of characters. There are no wasted words, no characters that are not pivotal to the story. All leading to a finale the reader does not see coming. You are rewarded with a vision that surpasses all expectations.
  • Diana C. (Boca Raton, FL)
    A remarkable tale
    As the author explains in her end of book conversation, The Gifts is a book about many things. The lush Victorian-era English backdrop is the perfect setting for a serious, heartwarming and oftentimes fantastical account of diversely gifted women navigating through the suffocating constraints of a patriarchal society. This includes a character based on the real life daughter of a freed slave and a plantation owner. It is exquisitely told and the brilliant chapter structure had me wishing this book was 1,000 pages long.
  • Lorraine D. (Lacey, WA)
    Mystical, Tense, Capitvating
    "The Gifts" by Liz Hyder is a mystical, tense, captivating glimpse into the lives of four women whose diverse paths or stories fatefully cross. The events occur in19th century England when women had few rights and male status and competition was supreme. "The Gifts" explores prejudices, the influence of religious beliefs when distorted, and the impact of manic greed and ego. The unfolding story is beautifully and sensitively presented - a page turner from start to end. Excellent read!
  • Laura C. (Woodworth, LA)
    The Gifts
    Although a major theme of The Gifts is storytelling, to me the story actually gets off to a slow, even confusing start. But the reader who sticks with it will not be disappointed! Four talented, determined, intelligent women, way ahead of their time, eventually team up in 1840s London to right a terrible wrong being perpetrated by a surgeon blinded by greed and fame. He discovers a woman with huge wings on her shoulders (a "fallen angel" perhaps) and sees only the acclaim and fortune that he will enjoy when he reveals her to the world. Character development is rich and the descriptions of nature throughout add much to the story. The ending is brilliantly constructed and immensely satisfying. The Gifts should be a big hit with book clubs. I absolutely loved it. Just have a little patience at the beginning!
  • Julie B. (Fort Worth, TX)
    Plots and subplots
    I have to admit the opening left me a little uncertain if I'd like this book but am so glad I turned the page. I devoured it in about four days. The main story line was so imaginative with well rounded characters and included sub plots that helped you see more into the characters. The dialogue is very good for the period when others might make it sound silly. Terrific!
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