The Gifts

A Novel

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Pub Date 25 Apr 2023 | Archive Date 02 May 2023
SOURCEBOOKS Landmark, Sourcebooks Landmark

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Description

OUT IN PAPERBACK: DECEMBER 5, 2023!

It will take something extraordinary to show four women who they truly are . . .

October 1840. A young woman staggers alone through a forest in the English countryside as a huge pair of impossible wings rip themselves from her shoulders.

In London, rumors of a "fallen angel" cause a frenzy across the city, and a surgeon desperate for fame and fortune finds himself in the grips of a dangerous obsession, one that will place the women he seeks in the most terrible danger . . .

The Gifts is an astonishing novel, a spellbinding tale told through five different perspectives and set against the luminous backdrop of nineteenth century London, it explores science, nature and religion, enlightenment, the role of women in society and the dark danger of ambition. 

OUT IN PAPERBACK: DECEMBER 5, 2023!

It will take something extraordinary to show four women who they truly are . . .

October 1840. A young woman staggers alone through a forest in the English...


Advance Praise

"Fierce and touching, this extremely compelling novel follows its female protagonists through 19th century London where a surgeon struggles with the dark lure of scientific ambition while his marriage crumbles, a journalist pursues the mystery of the angel fished from the Thames and two young women find themselves inexplicably transformed in the depths of despair. Beautiful and riveting." ―Jennifer Saint, author of Ariadne and Elektra


"Fierce and touching, this extremely compelling novel follows its female protagonists through 19th century London where a surgeon struggles with the dark lure of scientific ambition while his...


Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9781728271705
PRICE $27.99 (USD)
PAGES 448

Available on NetGalley

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Average rating from 114 members


Featured Reviews

I absolutely loved this book so much, and cannot stop recommending it! It was truly a beautiful book.

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Thank you to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review. This review is wholly my own.

I was hooked with the synopsis. It sounded like a fantastical mystery/thriller and I wanted to read it ASAP!!! All books I've previously read with fallen angels, I've loved and this one was not an exception!

I really enjoyed this story. It had more of a historical aspect that most books of the "type" and I loved that. It was very atmospheric and easy to get engrossed in. I stayed up way past my bedtime to continue scrolling through to the finish.

The writing style was nice and it kept a good pace. I was invested in the characters and could not wait to see what happened next.

This was the second book I've read this week revolving around women - GIRL POWER!!!!! And I absolutely loved it! It is so much more than it appears in the synopsis and will appeal to all of your emotions.

I would highly recommend reading this one when released!

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The Gifts
by Liz Hyder
Pub Date: 25 Apr 2023

It will take something extraordinary to show four women who they truly are . . .

October 1840. A young woman staggers alone through a forest in the English countryside as a huge pair of impossible wings rip themselves from her shoulders.

In London, rumors of a "fallen angel" cause a frenzy across the city, and a surgeon desperate for fame and fortune finds himself in the grips of a dangerous obsession, one that will place the women he seeks in the most terrible danger . . .

The Gifts is an astonishing novel, a spellbinding tale told through five different perspectives and set against the luminous backdrop of nineteenth century London, it explores science, nature and religion, enlightenment, the role of women in society and the dark danger of ambition.

Was this review helpful?

When I first started reading The Gifts, I thought it would be a decent romp through Victorian England. The beginning didn't really capture my interest because it started out with the mundane. But I'm so, so glad I stuck with it because wow, I really loved this! I know this type of novel (historical fiction mixed with magical realism) might not be for everyone, but it was a solid 5 star read for me! The atmosphere, the characters and their motives, etc. felt as if you were alongside them as they try to figure out their predicament.

First off, I loved how the main characters embodied female empowerment in a time period where women's rights were minimal and they had to depend on their husband or father, etc. Mary, the budding journalist, was very spunky and driven and didn't let the naysayers stop her from investigating the story of the angels. Without going into any spoilers, I thought that Etta and Natalya were both unique and provided excellent foils to each other. While Annie wasn't one of my favorite characters out of the four women, her insight into domestic life as a wife in the Victorian Era emphasized how limited women's social mobility was during that time period. At the end, I really liked how she stood up for herself and came into her own. I honestly wish these women were my friends.

And now the men... I liked how the author pulled a bait and switch and the main villain isn't who you think it'd be. And his story, wow... He definitely deserved that ending imo. Mary's love interest, Richard, wasn't my favorite since he always seemed so skeptical of her investigation into the angels. But I pictured him as Matt Smith and Mary as Milly Alcock and that made everything so much better lol

The author's writing style is unique and I think it was part of the reason that I didn't put down the book. I liked the short chapters but I wish they would've been labeled with the character's name since the POV switches to a different character with each new chapter. If I had listened to the audiobook (which is my preferred style) I would've been lost. Even reading on my Kindle, sometimes it took a couple of paragraphs to figure out which POV it was. But other than that, this was a solid work.

Thank you to SOURCEBOOKS Landmark and NetGalley for this arc.

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Magical realism blends perfectly with historical fiction to tell the story of four different women striving to break free from the constraints of patriarchy.

In London, during the mid-nineteenth century, a surgeon acquires the body of a woman with wings. Obsession turns into mania as he becomes consumed with dreams of fame and fortune. Meanwhile, his marriage suffers, and an aspiring journalist races to solve the mystery of the rumored phenomenon.

It took a little time to settle into the flow of the story. It is told through multiple perspectives, and, at first, it was difficult remembering who each character was. Those problems did not last long though, and soon I was hooked by each woman's dilemmas. Their personalities and struggles were written beautifully. I loved that each one had a talent (or gift, you could say) that made her special. The little bit of romance was believable and sweet, but not overly so. The lead up to the conclusion was well-paced, and the ending was fantastic.

I'm not typically triggered by animal death in fiction. However, I think the animal cruelty in this book was taken a little too far. I understand it was to make a point, but it would have been made just as easily without crossing that line.

Overall, The Gifts was a touching and fascinating read.

Thank you Sourcebooks for the copy of this book to read and review.

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