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Pub Date 11 Nov 2021 | Archive Date 11 Nov 2021

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'Warm and uplifting storytelling: a delightful treat'
Clare Chambers, author of Small Pleasures

'An ode to the strange and wonderful time that is Christmas'

'A gorgeous festive tale... Beautifully written and highly emotionally intelligent'
Daily Mail

'I loved The Versions Of Us by Laura Barnett and her new novel is just as wonderful... The ideal warm, bittersweet read to get you in the festive spirit'
Good Housekeeping

'Full of warmth, poignancy and a huge dose of Christmas spirit'

Twelve people
Twelve gifts
One Christmas to remember

Maddy runs the bookshop on Market Square. She's struggling to choose a gift (a watch? a wine subscription? a weekend bag? all too much?) for her old school friend Peter, who's just moved back from London following a messy divorce.

Peter doesn't have a clue what to get for his teenage daughter Chloe - furious with her mother, she's decided to up sticks and move to Kent with him, but he worries that he really doesn't know her at all.

Chloe wants to buy something special for her grandmother Irene, who lives alone on the other side of town.

Irene doesn't get out much these days, but she'd really like to find the right gift for Alina, who's so much more than a carer, really - always stops to chat for a bit, have a cup of tea, even if it makes her late.

And Alina, meanwhile, has her eye on something for...

From the no. 1 bestselling author of The Versions of Us comes a novel about how wonderful and sad and difficult and happy and strange Christmas can be. Stories to inspire, move and comfort.

'He felt it: the lightness, the expansiveness, the anticipation, the sense that something good was coming. And it was, wasn't it - though the world was still licking its collective wounds and there was still suffering everywhere, suffering and loneliness and sadness. Despite all this, it was good: it was kindness, it was giving without thought of recompense, it was light in the darkness'

'Warm and uplifting storytelling: a delightful treat'
Clare Chambers, author of Small Pleasures

'An ode to the strange and wonderful time that is Christmas'

'A gorgeous festive tale...

Available Editions

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ISBN 9781474624398
PRICE £14.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 27 members

Featured Reviews

It's coming up to Christmas. There are presents to be bought. A group of separate, yet connected people through degrees of separation. And their stories, the stories which arrive at the point of the presents chosen and why. Wonderful

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I loved this festive book with a difference. It was so lovely reading the different stories of how people chose gifts and why. The characters were relatable and the stories were heartwarming and emotive. I really enjoyed it.

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A bittersweet collection of interconnected tales of love and loss. Through the first story we meet Maddie, divorced and childless. She’s moved back to her hometown in Kent and has opened up a bookshop. From Maddie the stories segue through childhood friend, colleague, etc. all with touching personal experience. Not a collection of short stories, more a connected tale from several different perspectives. Not so much a Christmas tale, but more the year round love for one another. We learn to appreciate what we have, and to accept what we can’t have. I recommend this. Many thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review.

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I'm not sure I've ever read a book that's more fitting, more perfect, for a moment in time than this one. Gifts is a series of tales woven around interconnected lives, at Christmas. Not any Christmas; rather, this Christmas to come, in a new (hopefully) post-lockdown world. It's the stories of those kept apart by restrictions, emerging (as are we all), blindsided and blinking into this 'new normal'. It's about the searing losses, the re-evaluations, the gratitude and the confusion that we have all, to some degree, have been left with. Do not think for a moment, however, that these are pandemic tales - they are informed by it, rather than being about it. The ghost of Christmas 2021, if you will, always at the heel of the eye, the spectre at the feast, even as we plan and purchase and meet and make merry, all the things we could not do last year. Gifts is raw and real and true, never mawkish or saccharine, its glorious cast of characters running the gamut of what it is to be human. Strained marriages, tender sibling relationships, ageing parents, grieving daughters, joyful lovers; the unconventional and the polar opposite; residents of grandly bohemian country houses and boarded-windowed, leaking caravans. All human life is here. Gorgeously and sensitively written, Gifts shimmers with a festive message of exactly the right kind for how we live now. A mesmerising exploration of grief, love, loss and reconciliation, of hope and redemption, of tolerance and acceptance, it resonates deeply. I will make this beautiful book a part of every Christmas, from now on, a new tradition to add to the old. Looking forward, while looking back, which is what Christmas - and Gifts - is so much about. If you read only one book this Christmas, make it this one. My thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Gifts by Laura Barnett a charming selection of stories. Gifts are quite literally gifts in written form, this is like a daisy chain of stories and gifts. Each story gives us something different, I really like the hope in this story, the hope of what is to come. I don’t want to go into detail about each of the stories as they all give us something different and I will not do them justice. This encapsulates Christmas and will put you just in the mood to be swept up in lights and festive smells.

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