Monday, December 15, 2008

The Gift by Richard Paul Evans

Nathan Hurst works security for a music store chain as a house detective only not the kind that walks around watching for shoplifters. He watches the transactions in over 300 stores and catches employees stealing from the company. In so doing he travels to other cities to complete investigations and have employees arrested. Some people are surprised when arrested. Some are shocked that they would be caught. So Nathan has saved the company lots of money and even has had some merchandise returned by the thieves. It was in the airport when returning from one of his business trips that he met Addison, Collin and Elizabeth. The weather was awful with ice, snow, wind and bone chilling temperatures shutting down air travel. The prospect was time spent sleeping on the floor in the airport until flights would resume. When Nathan met Addison and saw her son, a chemo patient with surgical mask and very pale skin, he was moved to share his hotel suite with these desperate people. This was the beginning of an amazing relationship. Collin was not even ten but was wise for someone so small. Through his years of sickness and treatments for leukemia he had acquired an understanding of listening to other people and caring about them. He also was given the gift of healing. As he put it he could make life better for people. Sadly he was unable to heal himself and each time he touched someone transferring his healing energy to them he was sicker for days. Nathan continued his job of catching bad employees and travelling around the country. When the story of Collins' gift was in the newspaper, people flocked to his home, trying for a touch of his hand. Addison called Nathan and the police. Until someone broke the law the police could only keep the crowds off Addison's property. So Nathan helped them go elsewhere until the madness subsided. But it only got worse. Addison's ex husband tried to sell Collins' gift. He had approached several wealthy people who were in need of healing. Though he had been told what each episode did to Collin, he wanted the money and chose to ignore the warning. Early in the book Nathan says this is not a Christmas story. But it tells so much about the spirit of giving on several levels that I think it is a story about love and caring. And who doesn't need a good dose of both?

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