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An Exchange of Gifts

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,696 ratings  ·  110 reviews
When Meanne, a princess of the realm, runs away from her father's castle and an unwanted suitor, little does she realize the hardships and difficulties that lie ahead of her. Loneliness is the worst part -- until she finds a fellow ref
Paperback, 92 pages
Published July 24th 2006 by Wildside Press (first published June 28th 1995)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,696 ratings  ·  110 reviews

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Len Evans Jr
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
While not McCaffrey at her very best, this novella was still quite good. This whimiscal story has the feel of a fairy tale, though without a wicked step-mother, big bad wolves or a fairy godmother. I found the simplicity of the story for me made it work better than if it had more complexity. It was light-hearted, humorous at times and an enjoyable read. There were parts of it that reminded me in a very good way of "The Princess Bride". All in all I think the author managed to pack a lot of ...more
Dee Arr
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though its been many years since I have read any of Anne McCaffreys work, I had always thoroughly enjoyed her books and thought this short tale would equal what I had read in the past. Sadly, while a decent story, An Exchange of Gifts didnt measure up to what I expected.

The plot concerns the relationship of two runaways (Meanne and Wisp) who meet at a rundown cabin in the woods. Though written on a dictionary level that I would consider to be aimed at adults, the tale itself feels more like it
Deborah O'Carroll
A bite-sized fantasy novella (complete with illustrations) which I quite enjoyed. :) It reminded me a little of The Princess and the Goblin, and The Ordinary Princess, though less fairy-tale-ish, and more realistic/older. (Like YA instead of Children's?)

But it did have an intriguing fantasy element which I liked -- the way the Gifts were woven in was really neat. The mysterious sort of twist to it was interesting.

Meanne (the heroine) was quite well written (although I kind of thought she was a
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
A perfect little novella. I loved it!
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, novella
Sweet little novella about two runaways, set in a fantasy world where everyone has "gifts" - small magic powers. Meanna is a young lady escaping an unknown past, and she meets Wisp, a young boy escaping a harsh master who beats him. They struggle to make a life of their own, respecting each other's silence on the past left behind, until it catches up to them.

I liked this world, and wouldn't mind reading some more stories set in it, but unfortunately this seems to be a one-off, and a short one at
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rather good brief tale

Though it would be nice to know if it is part of a larger continuity. In any event, again, nicely done...

Author died in 2011; this short story/novella written/published in 1995.
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2015
(Fantasy 1995) This is a very short book (ninety pages) about the princess Meanne, a young princess who runs away from home to avoid an unpleasant arranged marriage. She makes her way to an abandoned house in the forest of her father's kingdom, and begins her life. The next day she is joined by a young man who has also left his home. They set up the house, combining their skills (he is a hard worker and good salesman, she is able to grow plants, fruits and vegetables quickly) and learn to live a ...more
Austin Wright
Dec 26, 2014 rated it liked it
Simple Fun Innocent Fantasy.
Mar 25, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-lit
Interesting little fantasy story, but not up to McCaffrey's usual par. I was disappointed there wasn't more to this book.
Kenya Starflight
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Anne McCaffrey has long been one of my favorite authors, but somehow I missed this slim little volume of hers. And while I'm far more used to her writing epic, unique, well-realized science fiction sagas, I found this fairy tale -- written for a granddaughter of hers -- to be a charming fantasy outing from her. It's unexpectedly sweet, and while a little predictable I couldn't help but love both it and its characters.

Meanne is a princess who seeks to run away from her father's castle to escape
Apr 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75 on Amazon; 3.25 on Goodreads. Mainly cute, but hasty ending after revelations.

I read this cute little fairytale-esque novelette years ago (I'll clarify here that there are only Gifted humans involved, to avoid misleading you into expecting fey or such), and I picked it up recently on sale for Kindle. I enjoyed it still, but not enough to be willing to round up to 4 stars on Goodreads too bad we can't do half stars! ETA: The Kindle edition lacks the illustrations (incl. borders) of the
Tammy J Rizzo
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly free of surprises.

I could only give this book four stars because I grew up on Pernicious books and love Ms. McCaffrey worlds.

I still love her world's, but I have come to the realization that all of her stories are the same. There are no surprises anymore in her writing, which makes me sad. I loved her books as a pre-tee,and well into my adulthood. The I started studying the craft of writing and realized that all her books are the same story, though set in either well built worlds,
Det Cornforth
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exchange of ideas

I have read all the dragons of pern series many years ago and loved reading and enjoyed reading each and everyone. I am not up to date with all the other books. But I'm adding to my collection even as we "speak".
An Exchange of Gifts was okay, but just too short for me personally. I felt the story could have given a lot more. It seemed empty, like something was missing.

Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Written in 1995, McCaffrey presents us with a princess who wished for independence and the ability to follow her passion. A wonderful novella, I only wish it were longer. I was left wanting more world building and character development. I also would have preferred more a buildup to the romantic ending, which seemed more obligatory than a natural development. It is really a lovely story, it just needed a bit more development. I wish to know more about Meanne and Wisp, where they went from there ...more
Annette McIntyre
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A story of two runaways

Meanne and Wisp run away from their homes as they were unable to who they truly are. They meet for the first time in the hut that Meanne knew of in the forest from a visit there as a child. Together they build a life that they want but it is all threatened when heralds come to the nearby village.
This is a lovely gentle story though the trite (but unexpected) ending spoils it somewhat.
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice short story, but the ending felt a little too abrupt (although it was a happy ending). Even though this story has six chapters, chapter six is literally only a few paragraphs long.

Also, the text of the ebook must have been scanned in from a print copy and not proofread. In addition to the various typos, there's one clear instance near the end where the main character's name, Meanne, is mistakenly spelled Mearme, an obvious goof from the word recognition software.
Dina Bushrod
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very entertaining short story

This is the first non-dragon book I've read from Anne McCaffery. Although I missed the dragons, I loved this different but sweet story of a young Princess who runs away just so she can be her true self. Read of her learning to cope with a peasants life and the boy who helps her along the way
Sandra D
Dec 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very short cute story. I enjoyed all the characters, and the simplicity of the story all together. My only problem was that the ending was a bit rushed. I would have loved it if different aspects of it was explored a bit more. I also love the pages border illustrations, it really added to the story.
May 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This charming novella has been sitting in the bookcase for ages and I decided to read it again as I didn't remember it. Memory refreshed, I would give it 3.5 stars. The characters are interesting and, typical McCaffrey, it has an intriguing plot. However, the ending seems hurried after the big reveal.
Mattie Ford
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Wonderful, whimsical fairy tale that truly touched my heart. It was so soothing to my yearning heart. This story of two runaways who found love while finding themselves was so wonderful. It is a must read👑
Marjorie R. Huse
Two young people have run away

This is a very good and usual offering from Anne McCaffrey. I was immediately drawn into the story. I was slightly disappointed that the story was so short. It is a worthwhile read. The way that Wisp and Meane found each other was unique.
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was amazed to find one of Anne McCaffrey's books that I had not read! This one is a novella, and very good it was too. Nothing like any of the series she wrote, like the Pern or The Rowan books, but just as good.
Dorajane Grummer
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sort book, well written, but not enough adventures. Seemed to stop without botice.

The chatacters have gifts that should have been explored more. The readability was good, but wanted more. This author has magic writting skills.i like her books
Aviva Godfrey
Sep 02, 2018 rated it liked it
A little understated and half-built, but I like the potential this has. I'm sorry to see it's such a short story, since it seems as though it could continue building from there, but a good read over all.
Kitty Collins
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fine short romance

Set in a fantastic time and place, the story catches you quickly and takes you to a place where things are not what they appear. The ending is a little abrupt, but the reader wants to cheer for the couple, so it's okay that they all love happily ever after!
Cassandra Johnson

Beautiful and touching two people who just want to be themselves. Heartfelt exciting, kept me enthralled to the very end. Anne McCaffrey is a favorite author. Since I discovered her Pern series.

Thanks again for a great read.
Stephen C. Exley
Great Book

I just read this for the first time. I have enjoyed Anne McCaffrey's books for a few decades now. Her passing was a great loss to the literary world. Read her books and be lost in them
Pam Kirst
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a sweet and unexpected little fable, a nice launching board to thoughts about our gifts and how we use them....I haven't read Anne McCaffrey in a long, long time!
Rebecca Tousey
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
New to me!

I thought I read everything Anne McCaffrey wrote, but this one was new. Good story, a little like Snow White, but with Anne's special touch. Enjoy!
Emily Leathers
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A short story with some housekeeping and much inference. I wish I could have seen more of what came after.
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Anne McCaffrey was born on April 1st, 1926, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Her parents were George Herbert McCaffrey, BA, MA PhD (Harvard), Colonel USA Army (retired), and Anne Dorothy McElroy McCaffrey, estate agent. She had two brothers: Hugh McCaffrey (deceased 1988), Major US Army, and Kevin Richard McCaffrey, still living.

Anne was educated at Stuart Hall in Staunton Virginia, Montclair High

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