By Rachel Newcomb
Amazon Digital Services, Inc., $3.99, 271 pages
In the short Prologue of Rachel Newcomb’s The Gift, readers meet all three main characters. Elise, a successful editor of many bestselling authors, is preoccupied with her infertility. Celia is an inexperienced but ambitious Princeton undergrad student. And Peter, a Princeton graduate and Elise’s husband, is working on a dissertation. However, this is not a trivial love triangle. Completely different matter joins these three people together.
Always confident and knowing what she wants in life, Elise becomes desperate to have a child. She has never been a person who believes that only motherhood makes a woman fulfilled. Willing to do anything, Elise quits her job. She thinks that having a perfect child with could improve their relationship. When none of the infertility treatments help, she begins looking for an egg donor.
Celia, who wants to become a writer, is miserable with her ordinary life. She is being raised in South Carolina by her father. In order to impress her classmates and teachers she looks for unusual experiences. So she answers Elise’s want-ad. Partly curious, Celia, a scholarship student, is interested in the compensation to relieve her economic hardships.
Not all people involved in this story are dreamers, but Peter is. Although he appears to be working, in actually produces very little. He dreams of escaping to Morocco where he spent two years working for the Peace Corps and where he believes his life could be perfect.
Getting to know Elise and Peter definitely broadens Celia’s horizons but despite all good intentions, the relationships create a mess. Whether you like what happens and how Elise, Peter and Celia deal with this mess depends on you. But you will be challenged to figure out what gifts, if any, they give, receive or deny each other. Rachel Newcomb is certainly a gifted author.
Reviewed by Galina Roizman
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