Book Spotlight - The Unfinished Gift and The Homecoming

I don't normally post book reviews on my blog, but I thought it would be fun to occasionally point to other World War II books on the market you might be interested in.

What better place to start than with Dan Walsh's books, The Unfinished Gift (Revell, 2009) and The Homecoming (Revell, 2010). Just this weekend Dan Walsh won the American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award for outstanding debut novelist, and The Unfinished Gift won the Carol Award for best short historical.

I hesitated to read The Unfinished Gift. After too much research into World War II, historical errors jump out at me and pull me from the story. Well, I didn't find any in Dan Walsh's books - he has a nice way of including just the right amount of period details and historical backdrop, which freed me to enjoy the story, the characters, and the writing.

Patrick Collins is a little boy who has lost his mother at Christmastime while his father is away at war. He gets taken in by his estranged grandfather, Ian Collins, who wants nothing to do with the boy. Patrick is sweet and well-behaved, but never "precious" - he makes normal, child-like errors in reasoning, which keep him real. Ian is wonderfully crotchety. I enjoyed watching these two find each other through the course of the story.

The Homecoming is the sequel, in which Patrick's father, Shawn, comes home with a thrilling war story (involving B-17s!) and is sent on a bond tour. A sweet and reluctant romance develops between Shawn and Katherine Townsend, the social worker who watches over Patrick. Both books stand alone, but you'll want to read both to see these four characters grow and interact.

These are heartwarming books but never simplistic or sappy. I thoroughly enjoyed both and hope you do too!

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