Each Perfect Gift
post written by Esther Filbrun
Title: Each Perfect Gift
Author: Alicia G. Ruggieri
Series: A Legacy of Grace, book #1
Major Themes: Christian Fiction, Depression-Era Stories, Faith, Forgiveness, Grace, Women’s Fiction
Synopsis: Now that Ben is a Christian, he wants to learn all he can about being Christ-like. But when the one girl he doesn’t want to see again appears in his life, claiming she’s pregnant with his child, can he do what Jesus wants him to?
I’ve only read three of Ruggieri’s books, but each one has been amazingly well developed and encouraging. Each Perfect Gift was a continuation of one of her earlier series, and I appreciated getting to be in that setting again—even though I’ve only read the first one in the previous series! I felt like I was given just enough information from that that I wasn’t left out completely, but not enough that the previous stories are completely spoiled for me (I’m hoping I can read them soon—I now have both of the books I haven’t read!).
This is Ben’s story. Just six months ago or so, he met Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior, and though life hasn’t been just fine and dandy since then, he is trying to learn as much as he can and follow Jesus’ leading in his life. He’s looking forward to proposing to his girlfriend at Christmas when suddenly, his former girlfriend from before he was saved crops up in his life again, claiming the baby she’s carrying is his. As a Christian now, Ben feels like he can’t run away from his own mistakes. He must face this…somehow. Will his girlfriend (and hopeful fiancée) understand? Will Annie find acceptance in the town, despite her (and Ben’s) obvious mistakes? Can Annie come to know the one and only true Savior, too, who can help her with the struggles she is facing now?
Each Perfect Gift isn’t your typical depression-era fiction, but I feel like it has a lot to offer for a wide range of readers. Those of us who haven’t come from the “rough side of the tracks” so to speak would find the theme of redemption here compelling—challenging. And those who may have had rougher upbringings would find this encouraging in the fact that the Lord can and does change lives—it may not be a clap of a thunderbolt, but He works in unseen ways in our hearts to draw us to Himself, and He knows exactly what each one of us needs in our spiritual lives.
This isn’t an easy story to read, but I never felt like the past was rubbed in my face. I appreciated that, because some books can make you feel like you need an inward shower afterward to recover—this one gives just enough detail you know what happened, but never enters the scenes themselves. It also deals with a lot of hard questions, like what does God really want us to do with our lives? How does He expect us to bring restitution where it’s needed? What are our responsibilities before Him?
If you’re looking for a sweet, yet inspirational read, I’d recommend you check out Each Perfect Gift. As with last time, I was blown away with the writing quality and storyline, and can’t wait to read the next book I have from Ruggieri!
I requested a free review copy of this book, and this is my honest opinion of it.
WARNING: This book is not one for younger reasons. The results of sin are told—although in as clean of a manner as possible—but there are still mentions of a couple of main characters’ past lives, which may make it unsuitable for some.
One of the main characters in here is a single woman who is pregnant (with a few details about the pregnancy here and there), and multiple times through the beginning chapters, she is tempted to or told she should abort her baby. Drinking and smoking are alluded to at different times. Mentions of affairs (references to the past) also appear regularly throughout the story.
Chapter 1 has a nightmare with someone being attacked and choked and someone else being hurt. A woman tempts a man and they kiss, and someone says “sheesh-louise”. Chapter 2 mentions stealing. In ch. 6 a woman lies, and the phrase “like the di—s” is used. In ch. 8, a man remembers what it was like to touch and kiss a woman, and takes a woman’s hand. In ch. 9, a woman remembers being hit by a man, and a man thinks that a way out could be to drown himself. In ch. 13, a woman lies, and an unmarried couple touch each other. There is lying again in ch. 14, and in ch. 15 and 16, an unmarried couple takes hands again. In ch. 18, an unmarried couple touch again—the man trying to comfort the woman. In ch. 19, a man kisses a woman’s forehead after she has an emergency surgery. In ch. 20, a woman thinks about what she might have to do to support her children. In ch. 22, an unmarried couple hug. The word “h—k” is used in ch. 2, 3, 16, 18 (twice). The word “goodness” is used in ch. 9, and the word “d—n” is used in ch. 17.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults
Links to buy this book:
Keywords: Faith, Forgiveness, Grace, Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance, US History 1900-1950, North America, Books for Women