In Depression-Era Canton, Ohio, a newspaper ran a remarkable ad offering cash to 75 needy families whose letters proved they were most in need of this strange gift. Incredible strains of hardship, family and dignity resulted in a series of letters collected by author and researcher Ted Gup. Gup traced every one of the distributed cheques to families with a wealth of history and information about the Depression years.
This unique patchwork of giving and humanity sews a compelling narrative and history lesson at once. Rather than another fact-laden exposition on the US depression years, Gup provides insight into the Human Condition through real stories. Equal parts tragedy and hope, A Secret Gift still resonates in today’s uncertain world. America, again, is under fierce economic strain and the stark joy of a small gift thoughtfully bestowed spans miles.
Gup’s meticulous research and overt passion (he traced families throughout the US and undertook numerous interviews ) help inform a triumphant and earth-shatteringly inspiring slice of history that reaches very close to Gup’s heart.
I was moved to tears and know that this is a book I will personally cherish; but also bestow on my loved ones. There is a communal meshing of worlds as every reader will relate to the cries of human despair echoed in the letters of these everyday people. An interesting parallel to the Canton letters is Gup’s presentation of the mysterious benefactor, pseudonym Mr. B. Virodot, whose own childhood as a Romanian Jew immigrated to America to seek his own American dream, is fully realized. From basic human necessity to seeming trifles which could inspire, help and save the soul, the letters and themes in A Secret Gift help fashion it as the ideal Christmas present.
For yourself or for a loved one, make sure that this amazing historical perspective finds itself somewhere near a stocking or Christmas tree.
My thanks to TLC Book Tours for the copy of this extraordinaire book
-Read more on A Secret Gift during tomorrow's tour stop at Knowing the Difference
-purchase A Secret Gift at amazon.com or your favourite online retailer
-learn more about Ted Gup and A Secret Gift's remarkable story at the book's official website