About the book:
Bringing to mind classics like Catherine Marshall’s Christy, society’s standards are put to the test and a Northern Appalachian town comes together to save a neglected child in Ruth Logan Herne’s new romance, The First Gift.
This poignant novel tells the story of five-year-old Cassie Carruthers, who lives in a bug-infested shack in the hills of Western New York’s Southern Tier. Her mother has died and Cassie spends her days fending for herself while her alcoholic father drinks himself into a stupor.
But Cassie’s isolation has not gone unnoticed in the tightknit community of Phillipsburg. When a concerned neighbor alerts the county, the community sets a plan in motion to rescue the neglected little girl. Through fundraising efforts, Cassie is tucked into the kindergarten classroom of independent, beautiful Kerry McHenry. Kerry has her work cut out for her in dealing with Cassie’s depressed father, but despite the child’s loveless start in life, she soon reveals herself to be an intelligent, eager student. Moreover, she possesses a resourcefulness that has saved her life more than once—and will be called upon again.
Kerry McHenry is nobody’s fool. She sees her own tough upbringing in Cassie’s dire situation, so she works tirelessly to guide the young girl, trying to help her become everything that God wants her to be. At the same time, she finds herself torn between a commitment-phobic pediatric oncologist from a nearby town and Phillipsburg’s widowed deputy sheriff, a complicated man who is still angry with God.
As the stakes grow ever higher and the characters’ lives intersect in unexpected ways, each will face a true test of faith—and come face to face with indisputable evidence of God’s love.
An absolute gem of a book! As I read the acknowledgments, I became emotionally invested. The author is very open about her personal life and also quite thankful to those who’ve helped her. She wrote one of the most stirring novels I’ve had the pleasure of reading.
Cassie was in such desperate need of the basic comforts that others take for granted and that was heart wrenching. She was a resilient little girl and that made me love her even more throughout the book.
I loved seeing how kindhearted people in the community offered her light in the darkness that surrounded her and letting her know she was loved.
Kerry was a character that I really liked and the role she played in Cassie’s life filled me happiness. I admired her spunk and her strong conviction. I liked the love triangle with Kerry, Jake and Ryan. I didn’t care too much for Ryan at first, but he did have some redeeming qualities that I admired.
Ruth Logan Herne is becoming one of my must read authors. This book moves at a wonderful pace, has well developed characters and the author writes from her heart.
A definite 5 star and must read book.
I received a complimentary e-copy of The First Gift through Netgalley and have given my honest opinion.