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Hannah’s Gift: Lessons from a Life Fully Lived

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  1,014 Ratings  ·  148 Reviews
Transformative lessons in life learnt through a remarkable three-year-old girl's battle with cancer. From Hannah's story emerge five profound lessons – of truth, joy, faith, compassion and wonder – that have the power to change our lives.

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 cher
Paperback, 240 pages
Published March 25th 2011 by Element (first published 2002)
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Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  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
May 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nicole Wallace
Mar 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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!
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.
Sam Poole
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 !!
Mary Kinietz
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Wonderful but sad, of course.
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  ·  review of another edition
Read after our daughter died and found it helpful.
[☆] мєℓαиιє [★]
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
Jun 25, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Dec 30, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sofie Pettersson
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!
May 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Feb 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 i ...more
Sommer Beland
Jun 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a very easy read, well written, non-fiction piece and is absolutely heartbreaking. I was required to read this book for a class about Child Life in a hospital setting. I recommend you read this book in the comfort of your home because you will probably cry.

On the first page of the book you know what is going to happen to Hannah. This book is written by Hannah's mother and is the story of Hannah's life and death while she has cancer. As the events of the book are real, I don't have m
Dec 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kompilasi memori seorang ibu tentang anaknya yang menghidap kanser daripada hari pertama kelahirannya, sehingga detik-detik terakhir hembusan nafas. Hannah adalah anak dan anugerah yang tidak ternilai; jujur, ceria, tabah menghadapi hidupnya dan menerima kenyataan dengan hati yang terbuka bahawa dia tidak dapat hidup lama di dunia ini. Buku ini membawa perspektif berbeza tentang memori silam; apakah perlu dipadamkan ingatan tentang memori pahit atau punya sudut pandang yang lain, mengingati seti ...more
Sep 02, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nina Mielke
Jun 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OMH This book brought me to tears. I am so touched by one small child, may I always see the world through the eyes of Hannah. I have taught my daughter to always dance, dance, dance. Thank you Hannah for your courage and thank you Maria for telling us her story. She was a remarkable individual.
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