The Unexpected Gift is an easy read with a great message: give to others and you will receive more than you bargained for. The story follows the journey of a newly divorced (and slightly bitter) woman as she brings a gift of old baby clothes to a poor pregnant woman. She thought that was the end of the story, but after a couple of chance meetings, they develop an unlikely friendship. And both of them learn so much about themselves as life.
About the authors: Meaghan Gonzales Wagar and Michelle Bulmer Atha both received graduate degrees in education and have dedicated themselves to public education. Meaghan teaches fifth grade and is a mother of two. She is a native of Atlanta, a baseball team-mom and church volunteer, where she ministers to new moms with home-cooked meals. Originally from Milford, Conn., Michelle teaches Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, in addition to the second graders she teaches at an Atlanta area elementary school. In her classroom, students write letters and send care packages to the soldiers. She has two girls and is remarried.
As someone who has had faced difficulty (infertility), I learned that the best way out of hopeless and dispair is to give back. And I got back so much more than I ever gave. This book really resonated with me. The characters are believable. The plot line is entertaining, but also makes you stop and think. I read the entire book in just a couple of hours.
I need to give one caveat. Most of the books I write about are from a distinctly Christian perspective. Both characters express a relationship with God. However, there is some coarse language as well as a sexual encounter (not graphic) that caught me off guard.
I took the book with me to a work retreat, and my boss saw it on my bed. She's reading it now! :)
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