I received a copy of this via netgalley and was saving it for holiday last year, and I’m glad I did.
The Gift is the second novel by Louise Jensen. This is the story of Jenna who receives a donor heart after contracting an infection which attacked her own heart. The heart came from a young girl called Callie who died in a car accident. Whilst Jenna tries to come to terms with not only receiving a second chance at life, but also realising she only has a life expectancy of 5 – 10 years she starts suffering nightmares. Jenna believes the nightmares are actually visions of what happened to Callie. So she goes to visit the grieving parents. Jenna thinks that they are hiding something and she becomes even more suspicious when she meets Callie’s boyfriend. Jenna then becomes obsessed that Callie’s death wasn’t an accident and is determined to find out the truth.
This was a really good story. I thought at the beginning that it might all end up a bit supernatural which can, in my opinion, sometimes be a bit of an easy explanation for things. However this didn’t feel like that at all. The story focuses on the idea of cellular memory which was not something I had any prior knowledge of and for a sceptic does slightly ask the reader to suspend belief. However the story was very engaging and kept me completely gripped. The character of Jenna is a bit annoying but most people with obsessive issues tend to be like that. The ordeal she has been through makes you forgive her slightly hysterical nature. I liked the fact that the story almost seemed to start at what should have been the ending. Jenna was desperately ill, she gets a second chance of life so should just be grateful for that and enjoy what time she has left. However things are never that clear cut. This story is not only the story of what happened to Callie, but there is also a second element showing the impact that such a major operation has not only on the person it happens to but to all those around them.
I felt the writing was good, and it was a story that went along at a fast pace. It certainly helped pass a very long flight enjoyably. Louise Jensen’s first novel is called The Sister and I’ll definitely be giving that one a go.