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Overview (Barnes & Noble)
New York Times bestselling author Cecelia Ahern spins a witty, warm, and wise modern-day fable of love, regret, hope, and second chances.
The extremely successful executive, Lou Suffern is always overstretched, immune to the holiday spirit that delights everyone around him. The classic workaholic who never has a moment to spare, he is always multitasking while shortchanging his devoted wife and their adorable children. And ever since he started competing for a big promotion, he has barely seen his family at all.
One frigid morning in an uncharacteristic burst of generosity, he buys a cup of coffee for Gabe, a homeless man huddled outside his office building. Inspired by his own unexpected act of kindness, Lou decides to prolong his charitable streak and contrives to get Gabe a job in his company's mailroom. But when Gabe begins to meddle in Lou's life, the helping hand appears to be a serious mistake. Gabe seems to know more about Lou than Lou does about himself, and, perhaps more disturbingly, Gabe always seems to be in two places at once.
With Lou's personal and professional fates at important crossroads and Christmas looming, Gabe resorts to some unorthodox methods to show his stubborn patron what truly matters and how precious the gift of time is. But can he help him fix what's broken before it's too late?
Product Details (from Barnes & Noble)
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication date: 10/25/2011
- Edition description: Reprint
- Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.72 (d)
This wasn't a book with which I feel in love with right from the first chapter. I love the way Cecelia writes, and I loved all of her novels I've read before, so I was starting to feel a little frustrated because I've always wanted to read this one.
During the first chapters the reading was slow and I had to force myself to read. Maybe it was only because I was feeling a little more tired than usual, but I didn't feel that excitement I usually feel when reading a good book (all always felt when reading one of Cecelia's books).
But then things start to really happen and I started to really get interested in the story. The book started to get better and better, and the ending was simply surprising.
Lou, the main character, is difficult to empathize with, but at the same time it is easy to understand him. Usually I can connect with the characters she creates, specially the main character, but I couldn't connect with Lou. I don't know why, it simply happened. It doesn't mean I think that the character is not believable; men like him do exist, with the same ideas, problems, points of view. When he meets Gabe, an homeless man who is always near the building where he works, his life starts to change.
At the same time we read about Lou's life, some chapters show us another story line in which a policeman tells Lou's story to a teenager who made an mistake that day, so he is waiting for his mum to pick him up. I think it was a good idea to have this story line behind the main story, even if we don't see the connection to the rest of the story in the beginning.
Also, the attitude of Lou's wife towards his actions (you have to read it if you want to know) made me feel a bit angry with him and sorry for her. I know this happens in real life but I couldn't help myself to feel this way while reading the story.
Like always, I loved the way the story was written, although I think that this book didn't seem as magical as Cecelia'as other novels. It kind of disappointed me in the beginning but I think the the last chapters (from the moment of the Christmas party at the office) make the reading worth it.
(since it's between 3 and 4 but it didn't get to my expectations)