The Forgotten Gift by Kathleen McGurl is a marvellous dual timeline that had me gripped from the start.
The novel is set in present day and in the form of a diary from 1861 as we follow two main characters.
A desire to explore one’s family history and to seek out the two names in an old will leads to uncovering age old secrets as we explore what really does constitute a family. Family is not always bloodline. Family is made up of people who love us. We see different types of family within the novel.
We witness a character searching to be loved. Sometimes no matter how hard we try, no matter what we do, we just have to accept that we cannot earn love. Love must be freely given. It cannot be forced. Sacrificial love is shown as a character puts their own well-being behind them, sacrificing even their personal safety.
There is the theme of parents. Not every parent puts their child’s well-being first. We witness examples of how not to parent within the tale.
In 1861 England had a strong class system. We see how those of the lower orders were abused by those of higher rank. It is horrific to witness the liberties taken by masters and how there is never any come-back.
We observe the theme of second chances. It is beautiful to witness it unfold. There are some very warm and welcoming families.
The characters were realistic and well drawn. I found the main two characters easy to relate to.
I really enjoyed The Forgotten Gift. The tale enthralled me from the start. I love Kathleen McGurl’s novels.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.