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The Gift Giver: A True Story
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The Gift Giver: A True Story

3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  145 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
The sudden loss of her husband empowers a young widow to open herself to a path of true acceptance. An accomplished athlete, businesswoman, and mother, author Jennifer Hawkins believes she has everything, until one morning she wakes up to find her husband's lifeless body lying in their bed. Shaken to the core of her being, Jennifer struggles to put her shattered world back ...more
Paperback, 253 pages
Published June 1st 2011 by Emerald Book Co (first published May 25th 2011)
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Jennifer Hawkins
May 09, 2011 Jennifer Hawkins rated it it was amazing
I wrote it so I guess I'm a little biased. (smile)
Jul 05, 2011 Michelle rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I’m trying to find the right words to describe how I felt about this book. It wouldn’t seem quite right to say that I enjoyed it. Who can enjoy a book in which the author details her experience in having to somehow find a way to bear the unbearable? It’s thought-provoking and sob-inducing in equal measure, a book about finding a way to move on in the face of the devastating, the heartbreaking and the unexplainable.

I started to read The Gift Giver while lying in bed beside my sleeping husband, w
Magda Gregorski
Apr 04, 2011 Magda Gregorski rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sara Smith
Jul 15, 2011 Sara Smith rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heidi The Hippie Librarian
Jennifer Hawkins was able to take a horrific, life-changing event and turn it from a nightmare into a gift. Even if the reader doesn't believe that her husband was speaking to her from beyond the grave, if perhaps the trauma caused her to have a psychotic break of some kind, it is undeniable that the voice she was hearing brought her comfort and understanding in her grief.

Some of the moments that Jennifer relates in The Gift Giver stretched my imagination- such as the day that she was experienci
Jan 24, 2012 Bunny added it
Recommended to Bunny by: Jennifer Hawkins
Shelves: review-copy-arc
**Originally posted on**

Before I start out let me just say that I have always had a hard time reviewing non-fiction work. I am not sure why, but something about it not being “made up” makes it hard for me to form opinions on it. I mean, it HAPPENED. So, there ya go. LOL.

With that being said: a little warning on this book.

This book is sold as a non-fiction, true story, memoir. It is about a woman who loses her husband, and after his death hears his voice and continues to have
I am reading this slowly as I tend to read many books at once, and also, this is a sad one so far, so I can only read so much at once.

Having gone farther, it just seems to remain too long in the immediate after-death phase. I think it gives an incredibly great insight into the reality of losing a cherished partner, but as mentioned above, it is hard to read because it's sad and a bit depressing. Lost my place, and in skimming to re-find it, I saw more sad/depressing stuff. There are little words
Melissa Loomis
Jul 05, 2011 Melissa Loomis rated it really liked it
Wow - what an amazing memoir. I won this book from and I'm so happy that I did. I don't think this book would have caught my interest otherwise based on the nature of what it is about. But, like I said - I'm so glad that I did because it is a true treasure of a book. The book is about a wife and mother of two young boys that loses her husband in his sleep and the terrible year afterwards. But as you read you find that it isn't as terrible as it seems because she feels her husband a ...more
Oct 13, 2012 Allison rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Adults
Recommended to Allison by: Neale Donald Walsch
This was a great, albeit sad, love story. The author has written what she believes to be a true account of her experiences after the loss of a loved one. Personally, I am not sure that I believe the experiences to have actually happened but I most certainly believe that they were very real for her. And, given how close they were, even if her subconscious was telling her what she wanted to hear, it was probably accurate.

I would be concerned with psychologically fragile folks reading this book. Ho
Aug 04, 2011 Anna rated it liked it
I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway. This was an easy book to read and my rating is a 3 1/2 stars. I found the message to be inspiring and I took away a renewed spirit of living the best we can each day as we never know what the future holds, nor should we dwell on the past. I admired Jennifer for her fortitude throughout her dealing with the loss of her husband, and while she often experienced great pain and loss, I didn't get the impression that she felt sorry for herself. She seemed ...more
The Gift Giver is interesting and very well written. Having said that, it just isn't the book for me. I had to put it down several times and take a break before reading more. I do most of my reading in bed late at night, and I found it very hard to read about the death of Jennifer's husband while my own husband was sleeping right beside me. I can see how some may find the story comforting but for me it was just too depressing and a little creepy at times. I am a firm believer in heaven and I lov ...more
C.E. Hart
Jul 15, 2011 C.E. Hart rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
The Gift Giver, by Jennifer Hawkins

Too much of a description will take away from the reading experience, so I’ll be brief.

This is a true story of tragedy, heartbreak, and inspiration. Jennifer’s story is told in a sensitive and honest way that I found stirring. Though some of the events are dismal and sorrowful, the message is still insightful and moving.

Pros: I like the simplicity and ease of the writer’s style. This story is easy to get lost in. It pricks the emotions, yet doesn’t wring them o
Michele Minor
Sep 26, 2011 Michele Minor rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This is the true story of a young widow, whose husband died in his sleep. This tells how she copes with his death and raising two young boys on her own. One night while alone she hears her husband’s voice who tells her that if he had lived that another person would have died whose death would have caused dire consequences. Her late husband’s voice and the sense of his presence helps her to deal with his death. This book is unusual in that she hears the voice of someone close to her who died and ...more
Sep 09, 2011 Denise rated it really liked it
I won this book through a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. While I have not lost someone in the capacity of what the author did, I really liked the book. It was a very quick read and contained many 'life lessons' that people should remember every day, not just in the wake of losing a loved one. While the premise of the story was sad, the messages were very enlightening, and ones that, myself included, sometimes people need to be reminded of. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wa ...more
Jan 08, 2013 Doris rated it liked it
Well intentioned and sweet, but the "big reveal" of the reason her husband died (which comes from him three days *after* his death) is a let-down until it is explained, painfully slowly, throughout the rest of the book. I'm not a doubter that Jennifer communicated with her dead husband, and her skill at describing *how* she did saves the novel. Near the end, the story appeared to be going toward a "Happily Ever After" ending, and I won't give it away. Happily ever after is relative, after all.

May 07, 2012 Cindy rated it it was amazing
This is a True story of a young mother of two young boys and the sudden and unexpected loss of her husband. It deals with her experience from the moment seeing him lying dead in their bed all through the process of grieving, moving forward and ending at the year anniversary of his death.
You will find so much of this book sad but very inspiring, the love of friends and family ever present and her undying love for her husband; that transcends earthly bounds.
I suggest this to anyone who may have
Aug 18, 2016 PRINCESS rated it really liked it
What if you were to wake up one morning and find out that the person you were so close to without any notice, any goodbye, any message and no clue had died?
Her two sons came to their room and jump to the bed to awaken their dad and it was shocking for Jennifer Hawkins to find out that her husband body is lifeless. She began to question why it happened? Why he had to die? Why?
“The Gift Giver” is a true story of Jennifer Hawkins journey of finding the answer of valuing life and death.
Jul 09, 2011 Monica rated it really liked it
I received a copy of The Gift Giver: A True Story through the Goodreads Giveaway program. This does not in any way affect my review of the novel.

I LOVED this book. I cried from the beginning when it was sad and smiled at the end. I admired her strength to continue and share her inside thoughts.
Jul 20, 2011 Tamara rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book from Good reads. I found this book to be well written, and very thought provoking especially since it is a true story. I want to hug the author and applaud her on her parenting skills.
Jul 08, 2011 Sandy added it
I really do believe in what Jennifer Hawkins has written here! I think one can "hear" the voice of someone who has passed. Her husband talks to her and explains the necessity of his death and the choice he actually had to make to protect his family. I really did enjoy this book.
Charmayne Orton
Oct 18, 2011 Charmayne Orton rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club-read
This book was heart wrenching. I constantly had to think how I would deal with something like this. I'm pretty sure I'd have to be committed.
Teri Rainey
Jan 16, 2016 Teri Rainey rated it it was amazing
Wow! Get your tissue box for this one. I cried through the entire book. A sad but profound story of love, loss and living. Many life lessons in this one.
Jul 25, 2011 Charlotte rated it it was amazing
: This book was wonderful. I read it on a Sunday afternoon/evening. It made me think about how I live, I did however cry all the way thru the book.
Aug 12, 2012 Angie rated it liked it
A story of perseverance and hope. Makes you realize how others in your life are able to offer help even when you don't know you need it.
Apr 03, 2013 Chica114 rated it liked it
I cried... a lot. Unbelievable story of loss and the courage to live life to the fullest despite life's curves.
Aug 21, 2012 Joan rated it it was amazing
Quite a book about love and the glad I read this book!!!! Mind opening! Faith promoting!
Malcolm rated it it was amazing
Jan 31, 2014
Tami Wright
Tami Wright rated it it was amazing
Jul 08, 2011
Jan 23, 2014 Nicole rated it liked it
Decent. A bit hard to get into at times but overall a good read.
Janice rated it it was amazing
May 29, 2012
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Jennifer Hawkins grew up in Southern California. For more than a decade, she was a competitive swimmer, earning a spot at the Olympic trials in 1988. In 1991, she moved to Texas where she became a successful realtor, investor, and author. In 2000, she met her husband Mark and soon after started a family.

Jennifer still lives in Texas with her two boys, Connor and Brannon, and the many friends that
More about Jennifer Hawkins...

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