Friday 6 January 2023

Book Review | Gifts by Laura Barnett | prettylittlewriter


Maddy runs the bookshop on Market Square. She's struggling to choose a gift (a watch? a wine subscription? a weekend bag? all too much?) for her old school friend Peter, who's just moved back from London following a messy divorce.

Peter doesn't have a clue what to get for his teenage daughter Chloe - furious with her mother, she's decided to up sticks and move to Kent with him, but he worries that he really doesn't know her at all.

Chloe wants to buy something special for her grandmother Irene, who lives alone on the other side of town.

Irene doesn't get out much these days, but she'd really like to find the right gift for Alina, who's so much more than a carer, really - always stops to chat for a bit, have a cup of tea, even if it makes her late.
And Alina, meanwhile, has her eye on something for...’

I think this is probably going to be an unpopular opinion, but I didn’t enjoy this novel that much.


The idea of 12 interlinked stories is appealing, and at the start of the novel, I was enjoying it quite a bit, reading about Maddy and Peter, but then when it kept switching character after those two, I completely lost interest. I was invested in seeing Maddy and Peter get together, so I felt let down that we had no real outcome for them. I was also very sad that we didn’t have more from Jake, he deserved to have some happiness, and the small thing from Eddy just wasn’t enough IMO.


As it’s a fairly short book, I kept reading until I finished it, but I did stop enjoying it after about 50 pages.


I will say however, that Burnett has jammed some really interesting things into each chapter for each individual character, and you do get to know each of them quite well to say they only have a short section about them.

I think this novel will work really well for those that enjoy multiple different POVs, but personally, it just wasn’t for me.

2/5 stars

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