Cailean's Reviews > A Secret Gift: How One Man's Kindness & a Trove of Letters Revealed the Hidden History of the Great Depression

A Secret Gift by Ted Gup
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Mar 29, 12

Read from March 13 to 29, 2012

I wanted to love this book! The premise was unique and inspiring. I sympathized with the author's uncovering of his grandfather's background, and the discovery of his charitable gift. However, I soon realized the book was too disjointed to allow the stories to shine through. I recognized he wanted to weave the stories of those struggling with the Great Depression's hardships along with his grandfather's background and secrets, but it was not done well. The chapter segues were awkward, and he repeated the same sentiments (sometimes with the same identical words/sentences) too often. I have a feeling his past successes as an author made it so this one wasn't edited much, or at all. Sometimes it felt like each chapter was a newspaper article vs. an entire book written as its own entity. If you are at all interested in the Depression, in Ohio's history in the '20s-'30s, or in early immigration then you might find some gems in this book. Had this book gone through a few more edits and some reorganization, it could have been fascinating.
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