Cover Image: A Secret Gift

A Secret Gift

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

A real" feel good "read, showing happiness is available to us all despite the bad times. I really enjoyed reading it.
Was this review helpful?
This book came at just the right time for me. I think almost two years of worries about family health and remembering restrictions imposed by the pandemic had begun to wear away at my faith and positivity. This book reminded me that often there seem to be other forces at work in the world providing co-incidences and meant to be meetings that allow new things to happen.

The heroine Joy is easy to relate to and Amanda James' writing is effortless to read as you are drawn along with the magical story of giving hope to others by trying to help them find a boost of the emotion they need to move them forward. Yes, you have to slightly allow yourself to believe something a bit out of the ordinary, but you won't be disappointed if you let yourself relax into the story and enjoy the ride. And who is to say there isn't more magic in the world than we know?

I love Amanda James' books and this one didn't disappoint.
Was this review helpful?
If you're looking for a book to raise your spirits and give you a warm, glowy feeling - look no further. This book made me smile throughout and was so uplifting.

Joy is not living up to her name. She is melancholy and grieving the loss of her husband Sean, a fireman killed at work. It's been three years but she misses him every minute of every day.

Working as a carer in a residential home, she is gifted some pebbles and a letter by resident Hope. The letter contains instructions that seem too incredible to be true. Joy has been gifted the ability to see auras, and to borrow some of their power. This power is then transferred to a pebble which is then passed on to someone in need.

To Joy's utter disbelief, it works.

And as she spreads joy and happiness, she finds her heart becoming lighter.

And even open to the possibility of loving again.

Wonderful friendships, new beginnings and gorgeous Cornwall make this a book to curl up with on a dark and dreary night and feel its magic weave its spell on you.
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed this book, although at times I felt it was a bit slow and boring in places.
Joy's life is tinged with sadness after the loss of her husband until she receives the gift of being a 'collector'. She is tasked with collecting and redistributing different emotions and energies.
Gradually through the different people she meets her life starts to slowly turn around until she looks like she is heading for her happy ever after, if she can overcome her guilt.
The story was inspiring in places but dull & dragged-out in others, which meant that I didn't feel the urge to finish it in one go.
Was this review helpful?
A heartwarming story of helping others and because of it, helping yourself to a new life of love and happiness when you could not find your way. Main characters are appropriately named Joy and Hope!
Was this review helpful?
What an uplifting read this was. From the beautiful cover that entices you inside to the lovely persona that is Hope. Apart from a first name, Hope is also the mood of the book. Hope that things will improve for all people in all ways. Hope that each day will get better and hope that love will find you.
Was this review helpful?
I have to confess this book just wasn't for me.  The story started off quite nicely, introducing the reader to Joy and Hope...and then we get to the pebbles.   That pretty much did it for me -  along with all the "feeling"  names!  Like the character Joy says, "I'm not into that stuff".
Was this review helpful?
I really wanted to enjoy this book but as the time went on I found it left me more frustrated than anything!

I absolutely loved it at the start when Joy was working in the care home and we were introduced to Hope but from then on I was a little peeved!

The gift givers names drove me insane - Hope, Joy, Charity and Grace all a bit twee - questions weren’t answered like why did they get the gift?

The story of Joy and Jowen was lovely on its own but it was a shame that the rest of it was so completely farfetched.

I apologise to the author for this downer of a review - I appreciate the hard work, the blood, sweat and tears that went into writing this story, which I am sure many people will love, but it wasn’t for me.
Was this review helpful?
A lovely magical book that has a real feelgood factor and is totally different to the type of books that I normally read but I really enjoyed it.   The concept is different and well written, a nice gentle book that leaves you with a warm feeling
Was this review helpful?
What a beautiful read this is and I love the cover!
Joy Pentire is still grieving the loss of her husband, Sean.
Oh she's getting on with life, just.
There isn't a time limit on grief and I think she's doing great but everyone can put on an act. 
Working at St Margaret's  care home, Joy is fond of the residents, especially Hope Trebarwith.
The two names are light itself, but what follows is a captivating, heartwarming and emotional read  that I enjoyed so much and can't recommend enough.
Hope leaves Joy a letter and a jar of pebbles. The two women are connected by much more than their cheerful names.
Joy, understandably, thinks that the nice old dear had maybe lost more of her mind than she thought. But not long after, she is propelled to do as Hope requested. 
Again, I can't stress how much I enjoyed this magical story. I loved the relatable characters and it didn't feel too far fetched at all. It was like an adult Fairytale, albeit a believable one!
I loved Joy's parents and a particular scene with her Dad brought a lump to my throat. No matter how old we are, we still need some fun in our lives.
The setting was perfect. I felt that I was sitting looking out over the Atlantic Ocean with Joy and a glass of red wine, with the smell of the Sea and the wind blowing through my hair.
I have read The Feud by this author and I really enjoyed it, and these books show how great a writer she is; to create stories in different genres.
I am certainly looking forward to reading more by Amanda James.
5 Stars isn't enough for this book.

This is my honest and unbiased review.
Was this review helpful?
The cover of this book along with the synopsis together grabbed my attention so I took the invitation up to join the tour for 'A Secret Gift'. 

I loved Joy! Such a warm character, she is still grieving her husband and has sort of fallen into the job of being a carer in a local care home, although she never planned to be a carer, she is a natural. She is very popular with the residents but Joy has a leaning towards Hope, a woman who doesn't have much time left. Hope knows this and passes on to Joy a gift. One that can change Joy's life and possibly others around her. Joy just needs the courage to use it. As the story unfolds we see Joy learning how to use her gift to help others. She finds she loves helping others who then can pay it forward to help even more people.
A wonderful, heartwarming and such an uplifting read, set in Cornwall which is one of my favourite places. I just loved being able to feel like I was back there, with such a lovely woman as Joy is for company. This is a story packed with love, kindness and hope that will make you want it to be based on a true story. 
There is also a dash of romance running through the book. It creates a lovely will they, won't they situation that gives the reader something to keep wondering about right until the end. 
I thoroughly loved the tiny bit of magic that seemed to be part and parcel of the story. In fact between the gorgeous Cornish coast, the characters who seemed almost real, the romance and finally a sprinkle of fairy dust. This is such a great read to forget about everything and immerse yourself in. I recommend this for anyone who wants to escape for a while.
Was this review helpful?
What a little gem, really enjoyed this story. Joy, the main character is dealing with her own sadness, but through her job she comes to terms with her sadness by helping one of the residents in the home where she works to fulfil her end of life wishes.
Was this review helpful?
This is an uplifting story about friendship, loss and second chances. Joy works in a care home and is grieving for her husband. When she receives an unexpected gift, her life begins to change. This heartwarming story explores themes of friendship, hope, healing and helping others. The characters are relatable, and there is a touch of magic running through it.  The reader is immersed in Joy's world as she realises that her life has a purpose despite her loss.

A lovely story.

I received a copy of this book from One More Chapter via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
A Secret Gift, by Amanda James, is a lovely, mystical story of Hope and Joy. Joy works as a caregiver in a senior living facility in Cornwall. One of her dear patients, a lady named Hope, is nearing the end. Before she does, Hope passes along a special gift to Joy, who she had identified as the perfect person to continue the mission of identifying those in need of positive energy and those with much to share. The jar full of pebbles Hope bequeathed to Joy was simply the vehicle used to transfer this energy from one to another.

Although Joy doesn’t immediately buy in to this “gift”,once she meets and helps a young man down and out she begins to be a believer. As she proceeds, Joy begins by thinking it was just a coincidence when the first transfer works, but eventually understands the gift she has received and the power it has to transform lives.

This is such a delightful story. One part mysticism, one part humanity, and all a wonderfully delightful story of hope and joy! I very much enjoyed this book and I definitely recommend it!
Was this review helpful?
I must admit when I started reading this book I didn't think I would enjoy it as not my usual sort of thing. I persevered though and couldn't put it down after a few chapters. Well done Amanda for a brilliant read, hope to read more of your books in the future.
Joy is a carer at a local residential home in Newquay. One of the residents is Hope, 94, who hasn't been well over the last couple of weeks. As Hope nears the end, she tells Joy a secret so that Joy can continue helping the people who need it most. A lovely heartwarming read for a cold autumn or winter day.
Was this review helpful?
I had not read any books by this Author before but I was invited to read this book via Netgalley by the Publishers.
This is a very unusual and original book. It is very well written and easy to read, it definitely won't be the last book that I read by this author. I really enjoyed reading it. It is a very heartwarming and feel-good read. I highly recommend it.
Was this review helpful?
What a strange storyline, but a surprisingly lovely read.
Magic pebbles  are what brings new friends, challenges, job, and love in this story.
I was pleasantly surprised with how I enjoyed reading this book and would love to read more from this author.
Was this review helpful?
You must read this book. It covers love, loss, being gifted a secret that can help people become less troubled and turn their lives around.
Set in Cornwall it is a book to consume on winter evenings with a mugs of hot chocolate and enjoy every word.
Fabulous.
Was this review helpful?
A beautiful story with an unusual storyline involving Joy who was given a gift from an old lady in her care.  I really loved the concept of this story and Joy's wish to help as many people as she could.  It was a heartwarming read with a touch of humour. It was unusual and very much an original story which was a joy to read.
Was this review helpful?
A cute and magical little read. I like the whole idea of being able to "collect" good auras and help people who have gloomy ones. I just wish some of the sections with certain characters were longer or more involved, because it seemed to move on to a whole new character rather quickly. Overall, though, a cute read.
Was this review helpful?