‘The perfect daughter.
The perfect girlfriend.
The perfect murder?’
The Gift is the second novel by relative newcomer on the block Louise Jensen. Louise’s first novel, The Sister , received great praise so I was eager to get my hands on The Gift. I was lucky to spot it’s availability on NetGalley from the lovely book publishing people Bookouture……..so what’s a blogger to do??
Released on 16th December, I decided to squeeze it in as one of my last 2016 reviews…nearly there folks!!
Jenna is given another shot at life when she receives a donor heart from a girl called Callie. Eternally grateful to Callie and her family, Jenna gets closer to them, but she soon discovers that Callie’s perfect family is hiding some very dark secrets …
Jenna is a lucky girl.
Jenna gets a second chance.
Following an illness that leaves Jenna urgently requiring a heart transplant, Jenna is very fortunate to be the recipient of a healthy heart, following the unexpected death of a young girl.
Jenna, struggling to get back to normal following treatment, is having strange dreams. She is no longer living with her boyfriend and the loneliness, combined with the medication, unsettle Jenna. She starts to see things, feel things, all unexplained, yet all very real to Jenna.
Jenna, ever thankful for the life given to her, decides to connect up with the donor’s family. Against the wishes of her friends and family, Jenna starts off on a journey that leads her down a road she least expected.
Her donor, Callie, is a young girl who appeared to have it all ~ the job, the adoring boyfriend, the loving family. Yet Jenna feels there is more to the tragic accident that took Callie’s life and undeterred, Jenna fixates on the events surrounding Callie’s life.
Jenna’s obsession results in paranoid feelings, extreme emotions, anger and frustration as she continues on her quest.
As Jenna soon discovers there is a truth to be told.
But can Jenna unravel this truth and untangle the web of lies and deceit that she finds herself soon tangled up in?
Louise Jensen has tackled a very serious topic in this novel, that of organ donation and the effect on the recipient.
Jenna has dreams, nightmares, feelings of someone/something being present with her at all times. With this is mind, Louise introduces us to the concept of Cellular Memory
‘The cell memory phenomenon, while still not considered 100 percent scientifically-validated, is still supported by several scientists and physicians. The behaviors and emotions acquired by the recipient from the original donor are due to the combinatorial memories stored in the neurons of the organ donated. Heart transplants are said to be the most susceptible to cell memory where organ transplant recipients experienced a change of heart.’ Source Medical Daily
How very intriguing!!
Jenna is almost driven insane by these continuous feelings of another presence. Features of her personality change over time and friends & family raise serious concern with her behaviour.
The Gift is a very unusual novel.
Billed as ‘a gripping Psychological Thriller‘, I would also include the paranormal in the description. Jenna is spooked by this other strong presence in her life. Her psychiatrist sites ‘Secondary Traumatic Stress’ as the reasons for her feelings but is this really the case or is there something else?
As a reader you will be racing to the end to see what does happen and if Jenna can find peace with her new heart.
The Gift will leave you with questions of a scientific nature, which in my book is always a good thing. A novel that can make you question your beliefs is definitely a book to consider reading.
The Gift is now out and is available to purchase ~ The Gift
Louise Jensen always wanted to be Enid Blyton when she grew up, and when that didn’t happen she got a ‘proper’ job instead.
Several years ago an accident left Louise with a disability and she began writing once again, to distract her from her pain and compromised mobility. But writing turned out to be more than just a good distraction. Louise loves creating exciting worlds, dark characters, and twisted plots.
Louise lives in Northamptonshire with her husband, sons, a madcap spaniel and a rather naughty cat, and also teaches mindfulness.