The Unfinished Gift
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The Unfinished Gift

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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  998 ratings  ·  170 reviews
Dan Walsh is the senior pastor of Sovereign Grace Church in Daytona Beach, Florida, a church he helped found 23 years ago. Walsh lives with his family in the Daytona Beach area. This is his first novel.

Can a gift from the past mend a broken heart?

Ian Collins is an old man without his son. Patrick Collins is a young boy without his father. On his Christmas list are only thr...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Revell
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Shari Larsen
This story is set at Christmas time in 1943. Patrick Collins is 7 years old, and has just lost his mother in a car accident. His father is in England, a fighter pilot who is missing in action. He wants the Army to find his father, and he wants to leave his grandfather's house, who is a bitter and grumpy man. He had a falling out with his son Shawn, Patrick's father, before Patrick was born and has never met his grandson, until the social worker brings Patrick to him, to stay until his father is...more
Becky
I won this book through Goodreads First Reads.

Okay, I finished this book a few weeks ago but I was unable to jump on and update/review.

I really loved the story behind the book, some parts of it felt a little "preachy", but the novel was written by a preacher!! Really, the book is great and even though parts of it feel "preachy" the story isn't lost. It's a great story, especially around Christmas.

The book is about a Grandfather/Father that seems to be an old crochety man with no hope just anger...more
Dierdra Byrd
The unfinished gift is a Christmas story about a seven year old boy whose mother gets killed in a car accident, and his father is fighting in the war. Patrick is then sent to live with his grandfather who really does not want him there.
The story is predictable, and the writing was nothing special. I still liked the overall story, even if it was a bit cliché. The book is Christian fiction, which I personally enjoyed. Just keep that in mind before picking this up if you do not like that sort of th...more
Ruth
It’s December 1943, and seven-year-old Patrick’s world had been rocked by the sudden death of his mother in a car accident. Sent to live with Ian Collins, the paternal grandfather he’s never even met, and who disowned Patrick’s father for his marriage and renewed faith in Christ – Patrick’s wishes are simple. He wants his father to come home and save him from his cold, unfeeling grandfather, and he wants the unfinished, hand carved wooden soldier hidden in his grandfather’s attic. The wooden sol...more
Mandy Hoffman
Nov 14, 2009 Mandy Hoffman rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: blog-reviews, fiction
Little, seven-year-old Patrick Collins is on the verge of becoming an orphan with a newly deceased mother and his father now missing in action. His fate rests in the hands of a tenderhearted social worker and a cranky, old grandfather he has never met.

Dan Walsh takes you back in time for a heart-wrenching Christmas story set in the early 1940's during World War Two. It's the story of a brave boy, a grumpy old man, a caring neighbor, and an unfinished gift.

Will the last wish of a a wife, mother,...more
CatherineMorland
The Unfinished Gift was a bittersweet story about a 7-year-old boy named Patrick. When his mother dies in a car crash, he's sent to live with his grandfather who he's never met. His grandfather is cold, distant, and verbally abusive and Patrick feels alone. His only friends are the older Italian woman next door who shows him kindness, and Miss Townsend, his caseworker. Patrick's only hope is that his father will return from war and take him away from this prison. But then they get a telegram tha...more
Sandra Lassiter
Wow!! This is my second Dan Walsh book, and he knocked it out of the park again!

I was almost afraid to read this book--afraid I'd be let down after the last book I read of Mr. Walsh's. I needn't have worried. Once again, a quiet story that wraps itself around your heart and won't let go. I read this book in one sitting because I just couldn't put it down! The characters are well rounded and feel real--like someone I could sit down and chat with awhile. There wasn't huge suspense, and I could gue...more
Annette
A truly lovely story about life and love in World War II.
Patrick is a little boy whose Mother has just died in an accident. His Father is a pilot in England doing bombing raids on Germany. There is one family member left and that is where Patrick is being taken. To stay with a Grandfather he has never met.
The characters in this book are interesting. Patrick is a wonderful little boy who feels that his entire life has fallen apart. His Grandfather Ian is a bitter man who has not one iota of love...more
Tina Weaver
I found this book to be a joy to read. I liked the way the story starts from Patrick's point of view of meeting his grandfather for the first time. The reader is immediately drawn to the sad boy and his observations. The story progresses and the emotions and sympathy for Patrick grow.
His harsh, gruff grandfather's attitude is offset by Mrs. Fortini who senses the boy's fear and sadness at losing his mother. She stands between the grandfather and the boy as their guide through this rough adjustm...more
Ane Mulligan
Set in 1943, The Unfinished Gift is an engaging story of broken relationships and sorrow. Patrick is the age when a child still forgives easily and responds to love without reserve. While Walsh portrays that side, we also see Patrick as a little boy moved by a child's whims.

Patrick's grandfather is a bitter man who has cut off his son and his family. When Patrick arrives on his doorstep, he has no idea what to do with him. The child's very presence brings to the surface long-buried pain.

The so...more
Helensvale Library
Okay I admit that I'm a bit of a soft touch when a book says to make sure you have a tissue nearby before reading. The story is based on a young boy who has just lost his mother, his father is a fighter pilot serving in World War 2 and he has no other family members except a grumpy old grandfather who he's never met. I found the story very enlightening as it was a very gentle reminder about judgement, and forgiveness within a family unit that almost seemed lost for good. And yes you will need ti...more
Nenette
This book comes before The Homecoming which I read before I picked this one up. I agree with the comment that though the second book can stand on its own, this book should be read first. There's just this tiny bit of regret that I bought this book. If was good but not quite as good as the second book; it's probably because I read them in reverse order. Lesson learned; just don't grab any free book; always do some research.
Steven
The Unfinished Gift is a story of incredible loss and redemption. Set during World War II, Patrick's father is fighting in the war when his mother is killed in a car accident. This sets the stage for Patrick to live with his grandfather who has been at odds with his son (Patrick's father) for years. What follows is a tale of one man's battle with loss and bitterness. Amazing read!
Heather
The story of a young boy who loses his mother and his father is a WWII fighter pilot, who is sent to live with his estranged paternal grandfather. Very cliche and totally predictable. Meant to be a tear-jerker, but because it is so cliche, it's just contrived. Not a bad read for a "feel good" Christmastime story.
Sue
Debut novel about a little boy who melts the heart of his crusty grandfather, family tragedy and Christmas miracle. Pretty standard tale. This was the bookbub.com edition on Nook; pages kept getting scrambled.
Kat
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
April
This book drew me in immediately and I had a hard time putting it down - excellent story with great characters!
Stephanie Waterhouse
My book club had chosen another book by Mr. Walsh, but I couldn't find it at local library overdrive, and I wasn't sure I wanted to invest in the book from Amazon...so I borrowed two other books (including this one) written by Walsh.

This was a nice story, but so predictable. From the very start I knew the ending and I wasn't disappointed...was what I thought it would be.

Did love how forgiveness was discussed in this book, and I fell in love with the little boy Patrick. His parents, especially mo...more
Lori
Dec 04, 2009 Lori rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: christian fiction fans, Christmas stories fans, romance fans, historical romance
I wasn't sure what to expect when I agreed to review this book for Revell, but it was a Christmas-themed book, so I decided I couldn't possibly go wrong. Well...I was correct...this is an awesome book!! It's my favorite Christmas book, so far, for 2009! If you haven't read this book yet...I highly recommend it. It will bless your heart as it has blessed mine.

The Unfinished Gift is a very heart-warming, emotionally-charged Christmas book. There was not a dull minute to be found, and it was very h...more
Dailycheapreads
Traditionally, the Christmas holiday is a time of family and togetherness. Tragically, Christmas can also be a time of uncertainty and anxiety.

Dan Walsh’s novel, The Unfinished Gift, is the story of Patrick, a seven-year-old boy whose mother has died in an automobile accident while his father is serving in the Army Air Corps in England during World War II. Christmas is just a few days away when the social worker is forced to leave Patrick with his only relative in Philadelphia – his estranged gr...more
Elaine
What drew me in? I find wartime stories to be interesting. It being the Christmas season and all, the “Unfinished Gift” seemed to be a good choice and I’m not disappointed.

Because young Patrick’s mother was just killed in a car accident and his father is overseas flying a plane in the war, he’s sent to live with a grandfather he’s never met. After he meets the man, he realizes it wasn’t much of a loss. His grandfather Ian is grumpy and mean - an old man as bitter as the cold outside during the h...more
Tarissa
Dec 21, 2009 Tarissa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teens, young adults, parents, grandparents
I really enjoyed reading this book! It's a Christmastime story that takes place during World War II.

Little 7-year-old Patrick only has 2 Christmas wishes. He hopes his dad comes home soon from the war. And he wants that handcarved wooden soldier that he found one day in his grandfather's dusty attic. He's sure his grandfather doesn't want to keep it, but why won't he let Patrick have it?

Patrick has had a lot to happen to him recently. His mother just passed away. He was sent to live with his gra...more
Renee
This was a poignant Christmas story where my heart broke for Patrick and I shook my fist in anger at the way his grandfather treated him. The ending didn't surprise me as I knew things would get worked out or it wouldn't be promoted as a book about redemption and forgiveness.

I'm not sure why the author felt it necessary to have Catholic characters in his book especially since he doesn't seem to understand our faith. During a conversation between Shawn and his dad, Shawn feels he didn't learn abo...more
Carly
Every once in a while a very special book comes along that touches your heart on a deeper level. The Unfinished Gift is one of those books. This is the perfect book to read during this Christmas season. It has filled me with hope and warmth. I found myself thinking about this book, especially thinking about young Patrick, even when I wasn’t reading. There were so many times when I just wanted to reach into the pages of this book and wrap my arms around Patrick. He is such a sweet little boy who...more
Clockstein Lockstein
The Unfinished Gift by Dan Walsh is an unexpected treasure. Patrick Collins is having a terrible Christmas. His mother killed in a car accident, his father fighting the Nazis overseas, he's sent off to wait for his father's return with a grandfather, Ian, he's never met. Ian is Scrooge personified: angry at the world, curmudgeonly, stingy, and holding on to a burning anger at Patrick's father that spills over into his relationship with the seven-year-old Patrick. Kathleen Townsend, Patrick's soc...more
Voni Harris
It started out with my thinking, boy did this author get himself in over his head writing from the point of view of a little boy. But that only lasted a moment. The heart-winning little boy has lost his mother to a car accident and is being sent to live with the grandfather he’s never met as he awaits his father's return from his duty station in WWII Europe.

Why has he never met his grandfather?

Why does his grandfather hate the boy…and even his own son, the boy’s father?

Will his father even get...more
Carrie Pagels
Audio review of “The Unfinished Gift” by Dan Walsh

I listened to this book as a download through audible.com where I have a platinum membership. I was sick when I listened to over half of it and was I ever glad that I had it. This is a nostalgic fiction, i.e., it is not set long enough ago to be a historical nor recently enough to be a contemporary. However, some publishers consider pre-1950 to be historical fiction. Having listened to the second book in the series first, I was expecting some so...more
Casey
Just the title alone is enough to strike a cord of interest. A little boy without a home, being sent to a surly grandfather, who wants nothing to do with him. A father hundreds of miles overseas fighting for his county, trying to survive for his little boy. The common, fragile thread holding this family together? An incomplete wooden soldier, nestled under dust in the attic and the catalyst that draws them together again.
This is Dan Walsh’s first novel; I found the story intriguing and captivat...more
Michelle
Dan Walsh's debut novel was impressively written for a first book. The story reminded me of one I'd read several years ago by Tracie Peterson that took place during WWI. It was titled Silent Star. That story also made me tear up toward the end. I really enjoyed this book and the author's characterization of Patrick and his grandfather even though I'm not a big fan of Christmas stories. The WWII setting, including the role of the social worker and the police in the story, felt genuine to me. Whil...more
Ronna
This satisfyingly emotional story tells the tale of a seven year old boy and his grandfather at Christmas, in 1943 war time, in the United States. But instead of warm fuzzes between grandfather and grandson, this is about forgiveness and God's providence.

Seven year old, Patrick has just lost his mother in a car accident, but his father is a bomber pilot in Europe. With no other relatives, he is sent to live with his estranged grandfather until his father can return to care for him. Problems aris...more
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Dan Walsh's debut novel, The Unfinished Gift, rec'd a 4.5 Stars/Top Pick rating from RT Book Reviews and won 2 Carol Awards. It continues to be an Amazon bestseller during the Christmas season 4 years later.

With the sequel, The Homecoming, book reviewers began to liken his writing to NY Times bestselling author, Nicholas Sparks. Dan's 3rd novel, The Deepest Waters, earned his 3rd Carol Award for...more
More about Dan Walsh...
Remembering Christmas The Discovery The Reunion The Homecoming The Deepest Waters

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