Charlotte Vale-Allen Parting Gifts

ISBN 13: 9781892738455

Parting Gifts

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New York Times bestselling author Charlotte Vale Allen's 35th novel, Parting Gifts, introduces Kyra Latimer, who was reared in a Barrymore-esque family feeling like she never quite fit in with the rest of her beautiful, talented relatives. Devastated when her beloved older husband is killed in a tragic accident, Kyra can barely function, though her eccentric family does their best to help her cope. But Kyra quickly snaps back to reality when salvation arrives in the form of a dirty, bruised little scrap of humanity: a 3-year-old boy named Jesse. Literally dumped on her doorstep by his hard-eyed young mother, who claims to be the daughter Kyra gave up for adoption as a teenager--an interesting proposition, as Kyra is unable to have children--Jesse has seen and experienced too much ugliness in his young life and keeps warily silent. Given the choice of taking the tiny stranger into her home and heart or letting his mother place Jesse in foster care so she can move away with her boyfriend, Kyra begins negotiating the rough waters of teaching a child to trust again.

Thrown together by chance, this unlikely duo muddles along as well as it can. Kyra and Jesse simultaneously grieve their losses and learn to love the new opportunities they've been afforded just by being together. Along the way, the boy, who has no reason to trust others, especially a mother, grows into an exceptionally loving and talented young man. And Kyra, who once lamented her inability to conceive, devotes herself to nurturing and loving Jesse, thereby learning to nurture and love herself as well. As Kyra learns how to become a mother, Jesse learns to let her try--and sometimes fail--to parent him. But the biggest challenge of all lies ahead for Kyra and Jesse. Can a mother who loves her young son respect his life-or-death choice?

Canadian-born author Charlotte Vale Allen has never shied away from exploring less-than-admirable human behaviors, including incest and sexual abuse. In Parting Gifts, she turns her discerning eye to physical and emotional abuse, blended families, and the unique problems of foster care and adoption. Allen captures the day-to-day struggle of all women, making their problems and issues real and making readers care what happens to Jesse and Kyra. A captivating and touching read. --Alison Trinkle

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. But the plot goes awry when Kyra astonishingly allows the adolescent Jesse to make a life-threatening decision regarding his health-care treatment. This plot twist undermines the plausibility of what is otherwise 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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Book Description Paperback. Condition: New. 384 pages. When Kyra Latimer, a member of the renowned British theatrical Latimer family, loses her husband to a freak accident in Manhattan, she not only cant absorb the fact of his absence, she also cant imagine how shell 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 Kyras 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 Kyras Jennifer Cullen insists on leaving her three-year-old son, Jesse, with his grandmother. If Kyra wont take the boy, Jennifer will turn him over to Childrens Aid. Touched by the boys 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 shed 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. Reviews: Booklist: Tragedy and opportunity go hand in hand in this bittersweet tale of one womans ability to cope with life and death. In 1976 British costume designer Kyra Latimer loses her husband in a tragic accident. She is devastated and copes only with the help of her eccentric aunt and cousin. After the funeral, she arrives back at her apartment to find a strange young woman with a small child. The woman claims that shes the child Kyra gave up for adoption and that the three-year-old boy is Kyras grandson, and she insists that if Kyra wont take custody of Jesse, shell relinquish him to the child welfare system. Although she knows she isnt the girls mother, Kyra, who always wanted a child, agrees. Jesse has been abused, but, in spite of her aunts and cousins objections, Kyra and the boy develop a special relationship and Jesse thrives until, years later, he becomes seriously ill. Fortunately, Allens somber story is saved from becoming maudlin by a cast of wonderful auxiliary characters. Publishers WeeklyA poignant story of parental love propels bestselling author Allens 35th novel. A newly widowed British costume designer, Kyra Latimer, 38, is confronted, on the day of her husbands 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, Daddys Girl), profoundly alters Kyras 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 This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9781892738455

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