When Theodore’s best friend dies, the aging lawyer is left in charge of Red’s will. The most unique aspect of the will sends Red’s great-nephew, Jason, on a year long journey of gifts. Not ordinary, material gifts, but gifts of discovery. After a pampered, privileged life, Jason finds himself struggling to learn the value of money, family, giving and more. He must learn each lesson to Theodore’s satisfaction in order to continue his great-uncle’s challenge and obtain The Ultimate Gift.
This book is not a Christmas story, but I wanted to read it and the topic seems fitting for Christmas. I started reading this book with two expectations, and (largely because of my expectations) ended up feeling let down. I anticipated a highly emotional story (this was because I’d seen the movie) and I expected a strong faith element (because of the Christian publisher). When none of the gifts included anything about God and the ending just barely mentioned Him, I felt dissatisfied. I mean, any gift that doesn’t include Him falls short of “ultimate” in my book. My expectations aside, the book was ok. More of a fictional essay than an actual story, though. The narrative never goes very deep. All tell and Despite being written for adults there is nothing objectionable. I’d be perfectly comfortable reading this with young children. So, if you’re looking for an easy read with good morals, you might enjoy this. And while you’re thinking about it, watch the movie. This is a rare case of the movie being better than the book (I love the movie)!