The Thirteenth Gift by Charlene Costanzo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre: I would say Inspirational
Description from Goodreads: While on assignment in Eastern Europe, Claire, a U.S. journalist, learns of a local legend. The deceptively simple story about "the thirteenth gift" has a profound effect on Claire, which soon transforms her marriage, her work, and the way she sees the world. The Thirteenth Gift is both a cautionary tale and an inspirational fable as it shows a way through the perilous consequences of greed, arrogance, and abuse of power to an uplifted state of consciousness and community. The Thirteenth Gift invites readers to renew their own sense of wonderment, which can lead to freedom from fear and to a greater experience of hope, beauty, and joy in daily life. Like the message of the award-winning book, The Twelve Gifts of Birth, this novella from Charlene Costanzo reminds readers to see the dignity that is inherent in themselves and others.
Just after the birth of one of my children I was given "The Twelve Gifts of Birth". It has been well loved and well read. I came across a chance to review "The Thirteenth Gift" and jumped at the opportunity to read this novella.
"The Thirteenth Gift" recaps The Twelve Gifts and adds to it. The story is told within a story. Claire is visiting Bratislava for business when she comes across an older woman who tells her the story of a country that has long since ceased to be. The Godmothers in the country from the past proclaim the gifts of birth to royal children, but realize that all children possess the same gifts. They want to let everyone know about the divine gifts bestowed to all. There is opposition from noblemen to give the gift to anyone not of royal birth. The story is spread creatively.
It is the gift of this story that helps Claire realize mistakes in her own life and begins to change for the better.
The story was beautiful, but didn't seem to flow nicely. I would definitely recommend this story to all people. It is a great refresher on the wonderful things that we are all capable of. I would suggest that you read "The Twelve Gifts of Birth" first. I really prefer the first story to the second. The Twelve Gifts is in picture book format. After reading the Twelve Gifts, read "The Thirteenth Gift". I think that it helps add a deeper level of appreciation to read both.
I received a copy of this book to review from the author. All thoughts expressed were not influenced by the receipt of the book.