This is the closest the book comes to telling a story, but it seemed more like an analysis than a story. I'm guessing that people who like essays and who liked history in school will like this book more than I did. I plan to pass my copy along to relatives who still live in Canton who may also find it worth reading for the bit of Canton history it provides. Feb 26, Sue rated it liked it. This book gave me a huge insight about the Depression. The author intermingles Sam's life story with the stories of the people who wrote the letters to Sam.
The letters were stored in a suitcase which was gi This book gave me a huge insight about the Depression. The letters were stored in a suitcase which was given to Sam's grandson after his death. He spent countless hours tracking down what happened to the writers of the letters and their descendants and shares their stories in each chapter. I seriously had no idea how hard things were for families who lost everything when banks failed and then lost their jobs.
The wisdom of storing food and other basic necessities is so prophetic and we would be wise to follow this counsel given by the church. Interesting quote about the role of the government at the time: It was called family, the church, or, at its most extended reach, the community.
But one in distress did not generally look to the government. In the government was still seen as distant and removed, and, given the experience of many immigrants in the Old World, so much the better.
Oct 20, Kay Wright rated it it was ok. Interesting idea, good New Yorker article but not enough there for a page book. The stories are all the same, there's no enlightenment about the depression and the grandson tries to make the story more exciting by hyping his grandfather's lack of citizenship. I can't decide if the book doesn't work because the story isn't there or because the writer couldn't find it. I compared it to The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks where the author, a college kid, who humanizes the entire Lacks family with her luminous writing. Maybe she could have found the right story in the suitcase.
Mar 13, Cailean rated it it was ok. I wanted to love this book!
The premise was unique and inspiring. I sympathized with the author's uncovering of his grandfather's background, and the discovery of his charitable gift. However, I soon realized the book was too disjointed to allow the stories to shine through. I recognized he wanted to weave the stories of those struggling with the Great Depression's hardships along with his grandfather's background and secrets, but it was not done well. The chapter segues were awkward, and he rep I wanted to love this book! I have a feeling his past successes as an author made it so this one wasn't edited much, or at all.
Sometimes it felt like each chapter was a newspaper article vs. If you are at all interested in the Depression, in Ohio's history in the '20s-'30s, or in early immigration then you might find some gems in this book. Had this book gone through a few more edits and some reorganization, it could have been fascinating. Apr 15, Lynn G. This book serves as a biography of a town, a time, and a man. However, the book transcends all of that and encompasses shared lives of hard times, secrets, generosity, and resilience.
It is difficult to read the letters contained within this book and not be changed by the accounts of abject poverty, tragedy, self-relianc This book serves as a biography of a town, a time, and a man. It is difficult to read the letters contained within this book and not be changed by the accounts of abject poverty, tragedy, self-reliance, self-respect, and hope. So many people were lifted out of the depths of utter despair, even if just for a brief moment, by one man's generosity to and love of his fellow human beings, the love of his adopted country, and his unbridled hope for the future.
The book was undertaken by the author as a means to solve the huge unknown that was his grandfather Sam Stone's past. Author Gup discovered that his grandfather was much more than the man he knew all of his life. He was flawed, he was a liar, he was remarkable. The Secret Gift is tough and touching. Nov 16, Holly 2 Kids and Tired rated it really liked it.
I enjoyed this story.
I enjoyed it so much that when it disappeared during my recent move, I was more than annoyed. I'm anxious to finish it as soon as it turns up, but my review will be the same, no matter what. Simply put, this is just a captivating book. It's a fascinating look into the lives of every day people during the depression. It's the story of a generous man, who wasn't immune to the troubles of the time, but a man who, during the Christmas of , found himself better off than most I enjoyed this story.
It's the story of a generous man, who wasn't immune to the troubles of the time, but a man who, during the Christmas of , found himself better off than most people. Because of that, he wanted to do something to help others. The letters what were sent to B. Virdot are tender and poignant. This was such a different time. People didn't want handouts, they wanted work to support their families. They were proud and honest. There was no sense of entitlement. An interesting and enlightening book about a dark and difficult time in America's history, but also a sentimental story of hope and the kindness of others.
Jan 14, Laura rated it liked it. I'd say this was 2. I liked it, but I'm not wild about. I love the premise and the idea of a generous man anonymously helping out those who needed it the most in the middle of the depression, but I somewhat annoyed with the writing. I felt like the author was somewhat spoonfeeding us the details of Sam Stone's background and I would have rather come to my own conclusions about his kindness. That's just me though. It was a bit challenging to keep all the people, dates, and locations straight but to make it easier you would have had to leave some people out.
My conclusion is good, but not as great as I had hoped. Jan 14, Lesley rated it it was ok Shelves: I was very excited about this book but it was a little bit of a let down. It was good when the author stuck to telling the stories about the people from the letters. But he often strayed from their stories to insert his own opinion and he seemed to feel the need to remind the reader how horrible the depression was which wasn't needed as just reading about the families and their dire situations as the reader it was very clear that they were in a depression.
At the end of the book the author prov I was very excited about this book but it was a little bit of a let down. At the end of the book the author provides his website where he has posted all of the letters, I would recommed just going there and reading the letters as they are the best and most interesting part.
Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. In a book grown out of a New York Times op-ed A Secret Gift: How One Man's Kindness--and a Trove of Letters-. Ships from and sold by linawycatuzy.gq In hard economic times like these, readers will find bestselling author Ted Gup's unique book uplifting as well as captivating. Inside a suitcase kept in his mother's attic, Gup discovered letters written to his grandfather in response to an ad.
Jan 13, Kelsey Bryant rated it it was amazing Shelves: I'm writing a novel that partially takes place in Canton during the Great Depression, and this was an absolutely fabulous book for my purposes. I love letters, family histories, and family mysteries as well, so it kept my interest riveted. It was touching and gave eye-opening insight into the mindset of the times. The details about life in Canton are invaluable to me. I will be rereading it! May 07, marcus miller rated it liked it. A rather interesting story which combines stories from the Great Depression along with some unique family history.
Gup tells the story of being given a box of papers belonging to his grandfather. When he gets around to looking through them he discovers his grandfather had made an offer in the midst of the Depression. Placing an ad in the Canton, OH newspaper, Gup's grandfather offered to give small amounts of money to people suffering from the Depression.
The ad was targeted towards those who h A rather interesting story which combines stories from the Great Depression along with some unique family history. The ad was targeted towards those who had been prosperous but who were now suffering.
The materials Gup had included the letters people had written, describing their circumstances and explaining why they needed help. Gup then sets out to find the descendants of the families who received help. He also describes some of the circumstances behind why the families needed help. Along with this part of the story, Gup also tries to find out more about his grandfather who kept part of his life hidden.
If I rated this book after the first pages I might have given it four stars, or maybe even five. By the time I finished I found parts of it to be repetitive to the point of becoming tedious. Still the book offers some valuable insights into the Depression and its impacts on families and the town of Canton. Reading it in the midst of our current recession makes it seem a bit more relevant. The book also offers a story of how one man, through a rather simple gift made a big impact on the lives of many people. The Christmas season has long been known as the season of giving.
When we think of holiday giving we usually think of what to give our loved ones, the boss, or perhaps to a charitable organization. During the Great Depression giving of any kind was an option for very few. The unique exemption was found in Canton Ohio in an ad placed by a Mr. A few days before Christmas Mr. Virdot placed an ad in the paper in which he invited readers to describe their hardships and seventy five reade The Christmas season has long been known as the season of giving. Virdot placed an ad in the paper in which he invited readers to describe their hardships and seventy five readers would be rewarded with a cash gift.
Over seventy five years later the letters made their way into the hands of investigative reporter, Ted Gup. The letters it seemed belonged to his grandfather, Sam Stone. Gup not only presents readers with an extraordinary account of the Great Depression he also painstakingly researches the lives of those who wrote letters and were the recipients of the cash prizes. Along the way Gup also uncovers some dark family secrets. A Secret Gift is a thought provoking look at the past as well as timely look at similarities between the current economic crisis and the Great Depression.
A Secret Gift will inspire readers to contemplate great suffering and hardships as well as great compassion and the importance of community. Feb 15, Natasha rated it liked it Shelves: Such a beautiful story of giving during the Depression.
Virdot's gift--a mere five dollars--that have its magic; not an act of governmental grandiosity but a gesture of human compassion. Aug 12, Jessica rated it liked it. May 29, Julie Durnell rated it really liked it. A true account of a benevolent gentleman giving money to 75 needy families during a Christmas of the Great Depression. The author is the grandson of this "secret Santa" and in discovering the suitcase containing the ad his grandfather placed in the newspaper as well as the replies he also uncovers his hidden family history.
I've not read much of this era and found the accounts of the people who replied both uplifting and admirable. They had so much pride in their work and keeping the family toge A true account of a benevolent gentleman giving money to 75 needy families during a Christmas of the Great Depression. They had so much pride in their work and keeping the family together; we should take notes from them. Initially, Gup wanted to understand why his grandfather undertook this singular act of generosity, but he found himself exploring why he invented B. Virdot at all That exploration led to a stack of secret upon secret, which Gup fans out like a deck of cards.
Driven by anti-Semitism, the family emigrated to the U.
Apparently to deny the legacy of his abusive father, Sam shed his last name and reinvented himself as man who, eventually, was able to make his way in Canton as a successful businessman. Hampered by the cratering economy and the troubled family he foreswore, Stone's path to success was never assured. The last two years have proved that to be the case all over again. But after the Great Depression, the U. Even the unfortunateare living in comparatively fortunate times. The letters, Gup writes, "reminded me of the difference between discomfort and misery, between the complaints of consumers forced to rein in their spending and the keening of parents whose children went hungry night after night.
A journalist discovers the anonymous generosity of his grandfather during the Great Depression. Sam Stone, in his mids, from the book "A Secret Gift. Seizure Led to FloJo's Death. Hunter has come to call in his favour. Through loneliness and a sense of debt, Ross agrees to join Hunter for one day only. What first appears to be a simple task becomes so much more. Ross is dragged back into the world of the gifted where a supernatural war is about to break loose. Ross must choose which side to fight on. Will he turn his back on the Guild forever? Or will he fight to save the Guild members who have kept so much from him?
Paperback , pages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Secret Gift , please sign up. Lists with This Book. May 12, Ray Kasai rated it it was amazing. This book nailed everything I wanted in a book. Thrilling adventure, a social life, love life, death and life situations, and best of all, something that can be related to me.
This book, the final book of the series I'm assuming will be my favourite series and books individually for a long time, and I don't think I'll be able to find a book this good. This series was just entirely thrilling and I was extremely excited and was very happy when I learned that this book had been released.
I had be This book nailed everything I wanted in a book. I had been waiting for a new series after the Hidden Gift and it was very interesting how this final series led Ross to still be in the guild but to slowly move away from it, away from Cathy and living on his own. The ending was very dramatic and I'm assuming he'll be back with Gemma since she knows how special ross is.
Sep 17, Jean rated it liked it. I think it could have been better. Sometimes I felt the reactions of the characters weren't realistic enough, and the ending wasn't epic enough for a book about people with powers gifts. But I didn't think it was a two star for me. Ruth rated it it was amazing May 09, Hannah rated it it was amazing Nov 09, Husnainzboss rated it it was amazing Nov 14, Ken rated it it was amazing Jul 28, Jasper Tong rated it really liked it Mar 29, Jean McQuillan rated it it was amazing Oct 02,