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Hannah's Gift

4.36 of 5 stars 4.36  ·  rating details  ·  722 ratings  ·  115 reviews
Every once in a while a book comes along that can change your life–a book so special, it is destined not just to be read but to be cherished, to be passed from one reader to another as a precious gift. Filled with wisdom and grace, tears and laughter, Hannah’s Gift is one such book. Within these pages Maria Housden shares the transformative lessons in living she received f ...more
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Published December 23rd 2009 by Bantam (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,293)
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Eva Leger
Feb 17, 2009 Eva Leger rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents who have lost a child, strong memoir readers
Recommended to Eva by: found it on bookmooch
I have never in my life cried while reading a book. I've gotten choked up and maybe even shed a tear, but never, never have I actually had tears streaming down my face.
If I had one tenth of the strength Maria Housden had I'd be above average in the strength department. How Mrs. Housden manages to go on after losing Hannah and then to help others is beyond me. I honestly don't think I could do it. I'd lay down and die.
On page 3 I started crying. I was on and off crying until about three quarter
...more
Robyn
I couldn't put it down and it was a very easy read. It was well written. I really recommend it. It's a non-fiction story of a 3 year old girl who has cancer. The book is truly moving. As I turned every page I began to feel like I was there with Hannah and her mother going through every moment with them. This book made me laugh and as well, it made me cry. And I am not talking about normal crying. I'm talking about full-on-sobbing. Hannah's Gift had me hooked from the very beginning and t is trul ...more
Chloe
This is an incredible story about the powerful impact of the life of a child, and the pure strength of a mother and family to take the most difficult of situations and learn how to be better people as a result of it. This book was a true, honest account of a mother's struggle through her daughter's battle with cancer and it was laced with humor, honesty and unconditional love. It was a true privilege to take a walk in the author's shoes, and it is written in such a brilliant way that you feel li ...more
Mel
Wie ihr ja in meinem Nachschub - Beitrag sehen konnte, war dieses Buch bei meiner letzten Rebuy - Bestellung dabei. Nachdem ich heute morgen Berlin Requiem, zu welchem in den nächsten Tagen noch eine Rezension erfolgen wird, erfolgreich beendet habe, habe ich das schöne Wetter um die Mittagszeit genutzt und dieses Buch gleich noch hinterher geschoben.
Maria Housden erzählt in ihrem Buch die Geschichte ihrer kleinen Tochter Hannah, welche mit 3 Jahren unheilbar an Krebs erkrankt.
Ihren Leidenweg, i
...more
SimplyGabriela
This was an amazing book. And it seems that this book was exactly what I needed to read at the very moment I read it. There were passages that I highlighted, those messages are important for me to revisit. There were parts that I read where I felt like I could clearly picture Hannah in her red shoes. A beautifully moving life story, one that can draw out raw emotions, tap into the basic fears most, if not all, parents share. Thank you for sharing Hannah's Gift with all of us.
Jenny
Though very emotion-evoking and even acutely painful to read at times, I found the lessons worth the tears. Little Hannah's message is so important to those of us who live with tragedy. She squeezed joy out of nearly every day of her life even after her inoperable cancer diagnosis. She lived. Her mother somehow survived it, and shared her journey (that even included growth!). I want to remember Hannah's strength when I'm at my lowest. I want to remember the signs Hannah sent to her family. I wan ...more
Lisa
I loved parts of this book, which is a true story about how the author lost her daughter at a young age to a serious illness. I like how the author brings you into her world, helping you understand how hard it was to help her daughter (and her son) get through her daughter's illness, what other people said and did in reaction, etc. I also like her positive celebration of her daughter's life.

However, I didn't rate this book higher than 3 stars because I didn't like the format of the book - little
...more
Emy
Hannah's Gift is the story of the last year in the life of Hannah Martell, a 3-year-old girl diagnosed with an aggressive, rare cancer, as told by her mother, Maria.

This is actually the second time I've read this book. I read it a long time ago in my pre-Goodreads era and, for some reason, I've been thinking about it a lot recently due to events in my personal life. I finally gave in and began to read it again.

With this kind of book, you know the end going in. You know that Hannah is going to di
...more
Emily
Oh my gosh!! This was a brilliant book. It is a true story and it is SO sad. It is about a three-year-old girl called Hannah, who is diagnosed with cancer. She has these red shoes and she refuses to take them off. When she has surgery, she is told she has to take them off, but she stubbornly says no. The surgeons take her shoes off after she has the anasthetic, and they put them back on before she wakes up. The surgery is successful, and all is well for a while. But then the cancer returns. She ...more
Kelly
There's nothing more I can say about this other than it's devestating and heartbreaking. Imagine having to watch your three year old daughter slowly fading away, and knowing you can do nothing to save her, and that's what this book is about. It's not a fluid story, but rather, snatches of moments and memories that particularly stand out in Maria Housden's mind, from the day she found out Hannah had leukemia, through Hannah's last year of life, and out the other side of her death, and how the fam ...more
Suzanne
This is a great read that will make you laugh and cry at the same time. The thought-provoking words that 3 yr. olds come up with are hilarious. Hannah knows that she is dying but that doesn't stop her from living life to the fullest. She knows what she wants and nothing is gonna stop her from getting it. We see that when she is determined to wear her red patent-leather shoes into surgery. Her brother,Will who is 5, is amazing also. They get along so well & have deep conversations about her i ...more
Audrey
This is a true account told by the mother of a little girl who suddenly develops a rare cancer and has a year to live. The diagnosis comes about a month before her 3rd birthday and she passes away 2 weeks before her 4th. Contrary to what it may sound like, this book, though at times heartwrenching, is truly a tale of hope, love, and life. Despite her mother being fairly honest with her in response to her questions, Hannah lives happily, fully, and without fear of her imminent death. The parents ...more
Eccentrika
Una storia triste e commovente, soprattutto per il fatto che viene proposta come una "storia vera". Io ci credo che, purtroppo, sia un fatto realmente accaduto, ma allo stesso tempo penso che ci siano elementi troppo sovrannaturali per essere veri. Ma forse chi è profondamente credente avrà meno difficoltà a capire questo libro.
Michelle Baldwin
this was truly a gift... I got this book many years ago as a gift as I was going into hospital... the person the bought it didn't know I'd never read a book before..... This book did change my life.I've read over 300 books and ill never ever forget this mum's bravery to open her heart and share her precious daughters life xxxx
Natasha Mairs
This is such a sad book but at the same time makes you feel so thankful. Was crying at nearly every page. I first read this book a few years ago and tried to re-read it last year, but just couldn't as my daughter is the same age as the little girl Hannah, and I just couldn't bear reading it
Rachel
I cried, and loved it!
I dare not imagine how hard it is to watch one's child die, so KUDOS! to Maria Housden, and all the other mothers (parents) who have gone through such pain, but still find the courage to move on, and even share such moving stories with the world,... thank you!
Vanessa Thompson
Hannah's Gift was a gift to the public!

This is a story on how a three year old girl handled her fate in dying. The emotional rollercoaster that one gets when a family member or themselves are going thru the death process. I enjoyed the book, it prepared me for my sister's death.
Madi
Mar 05, 2014 Madi rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like sad books, or who like to laugh.
I loved it! If I could do more than 5 stars i definitely would! It took me less than 24 hours to read. This is definitely my new favorite book. I cried and had to close the book a couple of times to regather my emotions. I was laughing and crying at the same time. I loved it!
Vanessa Largie
My mother bought me this book, when she was dying of brain cancer. Mum has now gone and this beautiful, heartfelt book is still in my belongings. I often read it again. Maria Housden writes beautifully.
Stacy
Once I started reading this book I didn't want to put it down. It's a very easy to read book.

I have never cried reading a book before, but this one made me bawl my eyes out, and I’m not kidding! It was so heart wrenching to read about the pain, and suffering someone so young had to go through, and how the family had done so much to make sure their dying little girl was comfortable.

Hannah was a brave little girl, and although her life was cut so short she touched a lot of peoples lives.

This book
...more
Stephanie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erica
What a brilliant book and written with such emotion. She managed to let you walk the journey with them.
Betty
Three year old child dying of cancer- just wasn't in the mood for this.
Ilse Luts
Heel aangrijpend mooi!!
Joana Doko
I absolutely love this book
Susan
Story written by the mother who dealt with her dying daughter at a very young age. Hannah had an advanced cancer which is very rare in children.
Its a sad story; but very gripping. Well written. I couldn't put it down and read it in one day. The child was very mature for her age and things she would say to her mother and the doctors was amazing of her insight.
Also after she passed away, she found a way to 'stay' in touch with the family and the other kids were very aware of her.
Amazing story.
Nina Mielke
Dieses Buch ist wahrhaftig ein Geschenk!
Einfühlsam, voller Trauer und voller Glück über die Momente erzählt Maria Housden die Geschichte von Hannah, die nur ein kurzes Leben auf dieser Welt verbringen durfte. Hannah wurde nur 4 Jahre alt, bevor sie an Krebs starb und mit sich all ihre Worte, all ihre Gedanken genommen hat. Doch dank ihrer Mutter werden diese Worte und dieses kurze Leben immer weiter leben in den Lesern dieses Buches� Ein wundervolles Werk!
Becciejade
I read this book quite a few years ago and I can say it's one of very few that have stuck to the heart strings., it is such a powerful story that it has never left me and I have recommended to many of my friends that have also loved this book ! it is so inspirational yet heartbreaking and had me in tears it is a book that is definitely made for the heart and I have occasionally skipped back to this book through difficult periods of life.... absoloutly amazing x
Kay
A weepy about the life and death of a child, but i found it to be very positive instead of just dwelling on the sadness. It tells us to make the best choice that we can in any situation which the information we have at the time, then to go forward and not look back. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but we can only do our best in the present with what we have available. A thoughtful read.
Vassilissa
I liked the humour and the honesty and lack of self-pity, and the focus on Hannah's life and personality. The medical details were matter-of-fact, which is what I want in a cancer biography. And I was impressed with the religious details as well - they permeated the whole book without being intrusive or prescriptive. It was emotional and sentimental without being manipulative or gushy.
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“Death is a butterfly in it's cocoon waiting to fly . . . ” 28 likes
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