The last gift

Genre : Novel

Book ISBN number : 9781408821855
Pages : 288

Year : 2012
Principal country concerned : Column : Literature

Abbas is a 63 year old man living in the English town of Norwich, after emigrating to the UK from Zanzibar decades before. He is faithful to his wife Maryam, a mixed descent British woman orphaned as an infant, whose marriage to Abbas allowed her to escape from a troubled childhood. His relationship with her and their two adult children, Hanna and Jamal, is more formal and distant than warm and loving. Abbas collapses outside of his front door on the way home from work, and suffers a stroke that both weakens and severely disables him. leaving him mute and unable to walk for long distances. As part of his recovery process, he is encouraged by his medical team and Maryam to write about his past life before he came to the UK. In the process, he makes several comments to his wife that permits him to remember long suppressed memories and closely guarded secrets about his life as a child and young man that have continued to haunt and affect him. His children, particularly Hanna, reject their father's past stories as "immigrant drama", but as Abbas' condition worsens, the four family members attempt to reconcile their shared pain and differences. The Last Gift was a beautifully rendered novel about family, love and secrets, along with the struggle of immigrants to adapt to a new land and to come to terms with the past. However, I found it difficult to connect on a personal level with the characters, as all maintained an emotional distance throughout the book


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