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Hannah's Gift: Lessons from a Life Fully Lived
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Hannah's Gift: Lessons from a Life Fully Lived

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  1,327 ratings  ·  177 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
Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 1st 2003 by Bantam (first published 2002)
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Average rating 4.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,327 ratings  ·  177 reviews

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Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
My best friend sent me this book for Christmas. But it’s no ordinary book, it is her favourite book and I’m pretty sure it is the best darn book I have read in a long time. This book is pretty hard to describe. It’s kind of like a biography, it’s kind of a religious book, but it is also kind of like a self-help book. The brilliant combination of all three genres are tied in so well in this book, it is a delight to read. I read it in two days. I honestly could not put it down and it is not the ki ...more
Eva Leger
Dec 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
May 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-bookshelf
Two and a half stars really......Such a sad story but written in very matter of a fact way. I felt like I was reading a "how to" guide rather than a story of a family's journey through such a harrowing experience.
Palatine Library
Jun 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen-reviews
This is a heart wrenching book with all types of emotion. Hannah is a three year old girl with cancer. Her mother learns so much through her time with Hannah. This is a book that leaves you thinking.

It will help anyone who has lost someone before and bring hope to their lives. Hannah’s mother has so many questions about Hannah and how to help her. Throughout Hannah’s life she forgets all of her imperfections and tries to live life with Hannah while she’s still there. This book will keep you glu
Dec 30, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Adina Yehudit
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a child life specialist working with pediatric patients the lessons from Hannah reflect many of the wishes, wants and needs of children during a time of illness or hospitalization. Many medical professionals and parents can learn a lot from Hannah's sassy attitude:
Introduce yourself to patients and their families. Say your name and why you are in the room. Don't approach a patient without doing so and ask permission before you touch them.
Incorporate stuffed animals and favorite clothing item
Jan 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Sep 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
Call me heartless but this non-fiction account of the death of a lovely little 3 year old girl didn't tug at my heartstrings. A mother shares her story of her child's illness and death but it was awkwardly written and way too religious for me. It's a quick read but feels like snippets from a story rather than a story with much continuity. It was probably cathartic for the mother and maybe for parents in similar situations.
Nicole Wallace
Mar 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
I saw this author on Oprah and decided I needed to read this book. It's very touching. I cried more than once. Beautifully told story of what this family went through.
Christine Fay
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
I started reading this memoir quite a few years ago, and could not muster the courage to get through it. It’s the wonderful story of a little girl, full of life, who was stricken with a cancer that came back not once, not twice, but three times. Her mother’s prose is simple, yet elegant, and when the inevitable happens, have the tissues ready. What a wonderful tribute to a special little girl. Loved this book!
Marissa Nichelle
Loved it

Having the background I have which includes losing both my siblings to Cystic Fibrosis and recently learning my father has cancer, it's a great read. I cried, a lot, remembering the ways certain things felt and how life is after losing someone you love so much.
Daniel Tsai
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful book

Felt like I was there on the journey with Maria. I felt her joys and sadness along resonated with her through processes. It's truly a remarkable book. Highly recommended!
Sam Poole
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book was recommended by my lovely friend Niki. I absolutely loved the story and although tears kept coming the story was so beautifully written I felt like I was there. What a brave girl Hannah !!
Lorren Goodyear
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
All I can say is wow. When I picked this book up, I must admit I didn't have very high expectations, but it honestly blew me away. The way this story is told by Hannah's mother and the whole attitude towards Hannah'a illness that it carries throughout the book is truly inspiring.
Trisha Bloxham
May 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Mixed feelings. I was expecting to read more about Hannah's thoughts and words, but it turned out to be about her mother. This is one of the few books I've read with tears streaming down my face though. Very sad in parts, but also very blunt about Hannah's death in others.
Mary Kinietz
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Wonderful but sad, of course.
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Literally could not put it down, finished it in one day. Heartbreaking.
Rachel pearson
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really a good solid 4.5 stars .
Jennie Diplock-Storer
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I think this is at least the tenth time I’ve read this book. I read it when I need it. It always helps. Thank you Hannah & Maria Housden ...more
Linda Tilling
My 5* review for Hannah's Gift (Lessons from a Life fully Lived) by Maria Housden a book that is heartwarming and heartbreaking all at the same time, and I am recommending to everyone.

I absolutely loved the way the book was split into sections dealing with Truth, Joy, Faith, Compassion and Wonder and the way Maria leads you gently through the last year of the life and ultimate death of her inspirational daughter Hannah. I loved Hannah who at aged only 3 insisting on wearing her new red shoes int
Tracy Marais
My Mom's got stage 4 cancer and I'm struggling with what this means for me. This book has given me comfort.

My gratitude:
Thank you Steve Hall. Thank you for lending me this book.  I needed these lessons.

These are the things I learnt from the story of Hannah's Gift...

1) Truth - tell it and live it:

What I need most isn't someone to make me feel better; I need people who are willing to stand with me in the face of the raw truth.

Sometimes I open my mouth and let the question fall out of my heart.

Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read after our daughter died and found it helpful.
Jun 25, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-story, 2013, memoir
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
May 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Sofie Pettersson
Sep 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have never in my life cried as much as I did reading this book, I had to turn my pillow because cause it was so wet from all my tears!
It's a beautiful book but a sad story of a little girl fighting to live!
Jan 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
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 illne ...more
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