THE UNFINISHED GIFT
BY DAN WALSH
Can a gift from the past mend a broken heart?
Ian Collins is an old man without his son. Patrick Collins is a young boy without his father. On his Christmas list are only three items. He wants the army to find his father. He wants to leave his grandfather's house. And he wants the dusty wooden soldier in Grandfather's attic--the one he is forbidden to touch.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dan Walsh is the senior pastor of Sovereign Grace Church in Daytona Beach, Florida, a church he helped found 23 years ago. He is the author of The Unfinished Gift and lives with his family in the Daytona Beach area.
A Word from Dan Walsh
I’d like to personally thank you for considering taking part in our upcoming Christmas blog tour. This is a busy time of year with many things clamoring for our attention, but I think your readers will really enjoy this experience and I hope you will even more.
Christmas is my favorite time of year, always has been. The idea for my novel, The Unfinished Gift, actually came at Christmastime a few years ago. I had been deeply moved by one of the classic Christmas stories we read each year and wanted to write a book that at least had the potential to affect people the way these stories affected me. The tale of little Patrick Collins and his family emerged from there.MY REVIEW:
This wonderful book, that I found out is written by a pastor in my own town, is set in World War II. It is a tug-at-your-heartstrings story and perfect especially for Christmas. Young seven-year old Patrick Collins is taken to stay with his grandfather who he has never met. Patrick's mother was killed in a car accident and his father is off fighting in the War. Patrick is to stay with his grandfather until his dad comes home. Patrick's needs are simple and his list of Christmas wishes are as well. He just wants his Dad home, and to not have to live with this grandfather he doesn't even know, or think he likes. He also, with typical child-like inquisitiveness, wants the dusty wooden soldier in the attic that he has been told he is not to even touch. Naturally, that makes it even more desirable.
Grandfather is a bitter and angry man who just feels like nothing has gone right in his life--very much a "half-full glass" attitude. The arrival of his grandson just adds to his self-pity and his anger. He hasn't spoken to his son in years and feels nothing but bitterness toward his once alive daughter-in-law. I think her dying even makes him dislike her more as now he is stuck with the kid.
When a telegram arrives that lists Patrick's father as missing in action, the grandfather yells at Patrick out of emotions he doesn't know how to handle and the scared and sad little Patrick, unable to handle all the emotions he is feeling, runs away. A social worker is also part of the story as she adores Patrick and is not happy with the circumstances that have caused the child such pain. She is determined to see that Patrick's young life be watched over by someone who cares at least until his father comes home as Patrick has taken up a spot in her heart already.
What happens to Patrick and does his father come home? Will Grandfather ever get past whatever it is that is making him such a bitter old man? What of the wooden soldier and is there indeed more secrets in the dusty old attic? And what role will the social worker play in the story? This will all be revealed in this simple and quick read and wonderful story. It is nostalgic and will make you laugh and cry and be angry, often all at the same time. A perfect holiday read. Kudos to my own Daytona Beach author, Dan Walsh!
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