“The perfect daughter. The perfect girlfriend. The perfect murder?
Jenna is seriously ill. She’s lost all hope of getting the heart transplant she needs to live. But just as her life is ebbing away, she receives a donor heart from a girl called Callie.
Who was Callie and how did she die? Jenna is determined to find out.
The closer Jenna gets to those who loved Callie, the more questions arise about her untimely death. Someone knows what happened to Callie. Why won’t they talk?
Jenna is about to uncover the truth, but it could cost her everything; her loved ones, her sanity, even her life.”
Six months ago Jenna needed a heart transplant or she would have died. Now she feels the need to know who had saved her life by donating their heart. As Jenna begins to experience emotions and have dreams that seem to belong to someone else, the compulsion to know more about her donor, Callie, becomes ever greater. What Jenna does not expect is to become mixed up in the mysterious circumstances surrounding Callie’s life and death.
“A heart is not just an organ. The heart stores secrets and lies. Hopes and dreams. It’s more than a muscle. I know it is. The heart remembers.”
Louise Jensen follows up her bestselling debut novel The Sister with the thought-provoking novel The Gift, which is a completely different type of thriller. This one focuses on the idea of cellular memory. This a theory supported by some medical professionals that state some patients, after organ donation, can take on traits of the person they have received the organs from. I had never heard of cellular memory before but now I want to read more about it. I am fascinated by this theory; this novel is able to incorporate the phenomenon into a psychological thriller that will keep you hanging on a knife-edge.
The story is narrated in first person from Jenna’s point of view, with interspersed flashbacks and dreams. With the concoction of medication Jenna is taking to stop her body from rejecting her new heart she suffers from some unsavoury side effects, making her an unreliable narrator. The reader is constantly questioning her. Every character is suspicious, with red herrings throughout I was unsure who to trust and who not to, and changed my mind on characters many times.
When I hear books being described as an emotional roller-coaster it means I won’t normally enjoy them, that they will be soft and soppy, something my Mum would like, but with The Gift I can think of no other way to describe it. I think I felt every emotion possible, and did not expect to be moved so much by a book falling into the Psychological Thriller category. My own heart was aching for Jenna, for Callie and for everyone in the world who has ever lost someone. I thought I knew how this one was going to end, but Louise pulled a surprise out the bag at the last-minute, and STILL had me teary eyed on the last page.
I don’t normally say this, as I hate it when books are made into films, but I think The Gift would be great on the big screen. Louise’s writing was so powerful and effectively descriptive I could vividly imagine the whole story playing out in front of my eyes. Overall rating four fabulous stars, thanks to Louise Jensen, Bookouture and NetGalley for the advanced copy I have chosen to review.
About the Author
Louise is a USA Today Bestselling Author, and lives in Northamptonshire with her husband, children, madcap spaniel and a rather naughty cat.
The Sister is Louise’s debut novel and it reached No.1 on the Amazon Kindle chart in both the UK and Canada and No.1 on iBooks. Louise’s second book, The Gift, will be published on 16th December 2016.
Louise loves to hear from readers and writers and can be found at http://www.louisejensen.co.uk, where she regularly blogs flash fiction.