I'm not proud.
I'm sixteen, and soon to be homeless.
Weary of his life with his alcoholic, abusive father, sixteen-year-old Billy packs a few belongings and hits the road, hoping for something better than what he left behind. He finds a home in an abandoned freight train outside a small town, where he falls in love with rich, restless Caitlin and befriends a fellow train resident, "Old Bill," who slowly reveals a tragic past. When Billy is given a gift that changes everything, he learns not only to how forge his own path in life, but the real meaning of family.
Favourite Quote: "I'd go off alone, because you can't trust those who want to break the rules and you certainly can't trust those who make the rules, so you do the only thing possible, you avoid the rules."
Wow, I loved The Simple Gift. It is beautiful, touching and potent.
First off, The Simple Gift is written in verse. There is something about verse novels that resonates with me. Maybe because as a teen I often wrote my diaries in verse. I find sometimes simple words can capture so much emotion and this book is the perfect example of that.
The storyline deals with some compelling issues: friendship, love, living on the street, grief and family. Despite the hard issues it deals with this book made me feel happy and hopeful. The characters Bill, Old Bill and Caitlin creep into your heart and stay there. Maybe that is because when you reading this book it is like you are sharing the characters feelings.
There really are no words to describe how this story made me feel but I can tell you this is one of those books that I will keep forever.
Since, I am stuck for words how to describe my thoughts and I also because I love the writing, here is a favourite passage of mine:-
(from pg 127)
It was like falling headlong
into the clear waters
of the Bendarat River
and opening my eyes
to the beautiful
phosphorescent bubbles of light
and trying to capture those bubbles
in the new world of quiet and calm
that carried me along, breathless,
and too late, or too early,I surfaced
and broke the gentle tide,
and I gasped and rolled
and wished Caitlin and I
could return to the hush
of that special world
and we could float
safe for a lifetime
and hoping never
to be found.
Overall, The Simple Gift is a powerful story that will linger in your thoughts long after you have read it.
Recommend for: Fans of verse novels
Overall Rating: 5/5
Note: This is an Australian title that is available internationally through The Book Depository.
This week all reviews and posts have been about Aussie titles in celebration of Australia Day. I hope you are enjoyed it so far!