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The Gift

“A heart is not just an organ. The heart stores secrets and lies. Hopes and dreams. It's more than a muscle. I know it is. The heart remembers.” ― Louise Jensen, The Gift


This is my second book by Louise Jensen, and it won't be my last. She is good at creating characters I care about, and a plot that moves quickly, with lost of red herrings to keep you on your toes. I read a lot of psychological thrillers and crime fiction, but I think this one might stand out, because the premise is so unusual. Jenna needs a hear transplant is gets one after Callie, a young woman, dies in a car accident. Yet as she is recovering, Jenna has an urge to know more about her donor, and she seeks out the family. This is the beginning of the mystery, and Jenna's life becomes infinitely more complicated. I liked Jenna and I liked that she didn't behave too irrationally, the way some characters in crime fiction tend to. She wasn't willfully reckless, but still curious and at times quite brave. I also liked the way Jensen illustrated her relationships, and how what she had gone through changed the way the looked at the world. These small aspects of The Gift make it memorable, because I so often read a book in the genre, where the story is gripping, but the characters feel like caricatures. While I did find the ending to be a little much, and not entirely satisfying, on a whole, I thought this was absolutely a worthwhile read. Recommended to fans of Angela Marsons, Robert Bryndza, or Elizabeth Haynes!