A Gift to Last Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of A Gift to Last

This is the story of passengers who are frustrated when their journey is cut off by a snow storm on Christmas Eve but they end up forming a big happy family hence making their Christmas memorable A Gift to Last
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It is Christmas Eve and people are travelling to their respective homes to celebrate Christmas with family. Len is a Navy officer in Bangor and is scheduled to take a flight to Texas in order to be with his parents and fiancÚe, Amy. Due to the snowstorm being experienced, flights between Bangor and Boston have been canceled and so travelers are forced to take the train to Boston, and then catch their flights from there. The situation at the station is not an appealing one because there are so many people, it is extremely cold and the train has delayed for over twenty minutes. Len hopes to be home before Christmas because he intends to propose to Amy. On the same train, there is an old lady, Cathy who has recently lost her husband Ron and is headed to Boston to spend Christmas with her youngest daughter, Madeline and her family. This is the first Christmas Cathy is spending without Ron and it is the most difficult time in her life.
Matt, another passenger in the train is a salesman with an IT company and is in a troubled marriage. His wife Pam is always complaining about him not being there for her and their two kids. This Christmas, he intended to be home but his new boss sent him on an assignment on the other side of town. He had an argument with Pam before leaving and for the whole week he has not called home. It is his wish that he will get home on time to celebrate Christmas with his family and prove to Pam that his absence is never intentional. Kelly and Nick, who are also travelling in the same train, are new parents and they are headed to Georgia. They are taking Brittany, their daughter to meet her grandparents for the first time and this journey is frustrating them as well. They are having trouble with the baby who is fussy and her cries seem to be bothering other passengers in the train.
All these people are hopeful that they will spend Christmas in their various destinations until they reach Abbott, New Hampshire and are informed of a track dislocation. The conductor informs them that it will take some time to repair but they remain optimistic that their journey will not be cut off. Len decides to call Amy to inform her of the mishap and she seems to understand. Cathy calls Madeline who sympathizes with her but assures her everything will be fine. Matt contemplates calling Pam after a week long silence but is afraid of the reception he will get, so he lets go of the idea. Night is falling and there seems to be no hope of continuing with the journey. They start interacting and before long, people who were once strangers are now friends.
The station master, Kemper provides them with cards to keep them busy while they wait and coffee to keep them warm. Out of his kindness, Kemper provides them with a Christmas tree which they decorate with their own hand made paraphernalia. He also organizes food and Carolers to cheer the stranded passengers. Before they know it, they are enjoying Christmas Eve at the Abbott train station and despite being away from their families; they have managed to create one big family. Len decides to propose to Amy over the phone and realizes Amy also had a surprise for him. She is two months pregnant and was hoping to break the news once Len arrived home. Matt on the other hand decides it is time to talk to Pam. He informs her that he quitting his job and apologizes for his absence. Both of them are ready to start over and make their marriage work. Cathy makes new friends and her Christmas Eve seems to be happier than she thought it would be. Kelly and Nick manage to contain Brittany and they manage to catch sleep while the baby is asleep too.
Best part of story, including ending: I like the story because it shows that it is possible to make the best out of the worst situation

Best scene in story: My favorite scene is when everybody realizes they need each other to make their night bearable because that is the point where they decide to work together.

Opinion about the main character: I like the fact that different characters such as Len, Matt, Cathy, Nick and kelly all end up a happy lot

The review of this Book prepared by Zipporah a Level 4 Yellow-Headed Blackbird scholar

Chapter Analysis of A Gift to Last

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   upbeat Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999 Other aspects:    -   best friends Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Ethnic/regional/gender life    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   2 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Texas Misc setting    -   moving train

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Debbie Macomber Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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