Parting Gifts Ebook
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Publication Date: April 2009
File Size: 1103 Kbytes
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When Kyra Latimer, a member of the renowned British theatrical Latimer family, loses her husband to a freak accident in Manhattan, she not only can’t absorb the fact of his absence, she also can’t imagine how she’ll be able to move into the future without him. But on the day of his funeral, a young woman with a small boy in tow shows up at Kyra’s home, claiming to be the child Kyra surrendered for adoption some twenty-odd years before. Refusing to accept the truth that she cannot possibly be a child of Kyra’s Jennifer Cullen insists on leaving her three-year-old son, Jesse, with his “grandmother.” If Kyra won’t take the boy, Jennifer will turn him over to Children’s Aid and that’s all there is to the matter. Touched by the boy’s visible neglect, and as deaf to reason in her own way as Jennifer is in hers, Kyra agrees to take Jesse in. After hastily drawn-up legal documents are signed by both parties, Jennifer goes hurrying off, and Kyra takes on a new role as a mother. As it turns out, Jesse is no ordinary child, and Kyra is no ordinary mother. In the course of their life together in London, surrounded by the illustrious and eccentric family members, Kyra and Jesse flourish and founder in unanticipated ways. Until, finally, Kyra is forced to confront a choice she’d prefer not to have to make at all: whether or not to honor the life-or-death decision of her adopted son. Hilarious and heart-wrenching, Parting Gifts deals with a remarkable boy and the woman who, in time, discovers not only how he came to be in her life but also a very special talent for parenting. Review: Review from Publishers Weekly A poignant story of parental love propels bestselling author Allen’s 35th novel. A newly widowed British costume designer, Kyra Latimer, 38, is confronted, on the day of her husband’s funeral, by a strident young woman who insists she is the daughter Kyra gave up for adoption 20-odd years ago. Although Kyra never had a child, she agrees to take in her alleged grandson, a ragamuffin three-year-old named Jesse, who would otherwise end up in foster care. Allen spins a compelling narrative in recounting how Jesse, who has been physically abused and neglected (a subject Allen first explored in her autobiography, Daddy’s Girl), profoundly alters Kyra’s life. Kyra, who has always felt that her own mother, a famous actress, never loved her, is fulfilled by being able to nurture a child. Jesse, it turns out, is unusually gifted; his extraordinary talents for observation and communication are manifest in a book he writes when he is only 12. But Jesse is soon diagnosed with kidney disease, possibly incurred when he was beaten as a toddler. Allen, who likes to inform as well as entertain, imparts much information about kidney failure, dialysis and alternative treatments … an inspiring story about how people cope when a loved one develops a potentially terminal illness, as well as a moving portrayal of the power of love to heal those who have been abused.
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