Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Unexpected Gifts by S.R Mallery : A Review

 Blog Tour Schedule + Giveaway: UNEXPECTED GIFTS by SR Mallery

Welcome to my stop on the Blog Tour of Unexpected Gifts by S.R Mallery.  
"Unexpected Gifts" is the story of a confused college student who gains clarity in life when she begins to read the journals and diaries of her ancestors from America's past.
Checkout my post and enter the cool giveaway! :)

Follow the Tour to read Interviews, Excerpts, Reviews and Guest Posts. Checkout the schedule of the Tour: Click Here

~About the Book~

Title and Author: Unexpected Gifts by S.R Mallery
No. of Pages: 317
Publication Date: 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction


Can we learn from our ancestral past? Do our relatives’ behaviors help mold our own? 

In "Unexpected Gifts" that is precisely what happens to Sonia, a confused college student, heading for addictions and forever choosing the wrong man. Searching for answers, she begins to read her family’s diaries and journals from America’s past: the Vietnam War, Woodstock, and Timothy Leary era; Tupperware parties, McCarthyism, and Black Power; the Great Depression, dance marathons, and Eleanor Roosevelt; the immigrant experience and the Suffragists. Back and forth the book journeys, linking yesteryear with modern life until finally, by understanding her ancestors' hardships and faults, she gains enough clarity to make some right choices.

My Review:

Having read another book ‘Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads’ by the author S R Mallery previously, I picked up ‘Unexpected Gifts’ with high expectations. And I loved this book every bit as much as I loved the previous one. To say that the author has got a unique gift of story telling would be an understatement.

Unexpected Gifts is a story about how a woman’s past and ancestors indirectly give her a unique gift – the stories of their lives from which she learns how to live her life and stop doing the mistakes she is doing. Sonia is a woman who is spiraling towards addiction in a modern world and does not have much luck in choosing a right man for herself. She makes mistakes even though she knows they aren’t good for her and ends up being confused and borderline OCD most of the time. A chance talk with her mother, Lily, and subsequent discovery of an old family treasure trove that contains various letters, mementoes, artifacts of her ancestors gives her a glimpse into America’s history and what everyone had been through. She applies the lessons from the past in her current life and learns to correct herself and stop making decisions that are bad for her.

The overall plot of the story is its amazing attraction point. It covers the many important parts of the history of America over various periods of time from different perspectives and gives the reader a great sense of having actually lived during those time periods mentioned. The book is almost a time travel classic without the science fiction element. Mallery doesn’t need the help of other devices and high technology gizmos (by including into the storyline) to transport her readers over different time periods – she easily does it with her words.

The story in itself is about a woman’s self discovery by lessons from the past. The plot can be easily explained in one line from which the master quilter weaves a beautiful story that spans generations and sometimes even nations. The story is one of a kind in its simplicity and also the placement of various historical events all through the book. If history books covered the whole history of a nation aided by beautiful prose like this, History would be everyone’s favorite subject.

The story of Sonia and her life is much more about the story of her ancestors and everyone who has a lesson for her life. The final twist with Billy R (not giving away spoilers!) is one of the best turning points I have seen in recent books. Beautifully written, very engaging page turner.

 Add to Goodreads: Unexpected Gifts by S.R Mallery

“The author has a remarkable gift. The amazing ability not only to bring rich, historical events to life, but also the ability to perfectly blend different generations…”
“It simply is one of the best books I've ever read. I wish I could give it six stars!”
“I have never read a book that wasn’t a textbook that was able to successfully cover so many time frames in such little space, with the accuracy you really would expect from reading the journals of those who had actually lived in those times.”
“Colorful writing, recreation of periods that prove adept challenges for any films about the influences of the past being made, and all of this is written with such style that it often times is dazzling...”
“SR Mallery has created an important and impressive monument of a novel.”
“If only my history teacher would have taught history like Mallery has, enriching it with living, feeling people that the reader can equate to, I would have been a better student.”
“Long after the completion of the book, I missed the characters and the impact their stories made on me. This one really touched me deeply.”
“Beautifully and sensitively written, anyone who loves a good story interwoven with actual historical events will enjoy this very special novel.”
“A master storyteller has been at work, and this marvelous piece of writing is the result.”
“I'm in awe of how the author could write about the events so realistically, putting the reader firmly into different time periods in America's history.”
“… she blends the past and the present with a seamless texture that only a “true” storyteller can manage.”
“This is a book you can keep on your shelf to read over and over…”

~Buying Links~

Grab the book for just 99c or Rs 61 on Amazon and Kobo!

~Meet the Author~

S.R. Mallery has worn various hats in her life. First, a classical/pop singer/composer, she moved on to the professional world of production art and calligraphy.
Next came a long career as an award winning quilt artist/teacher and an ESL/Reading instructor. Her short stories have been published in descant 2008, Snowy Egret, Transcendent Visions, The Storyteller, and Down In the Dirt.

Twitter:  @SarahMallery1
Pinterest:  (I have some good history boards that are getting a lot of attention—history, vintage clothing, older films)
Amazon Author page:

Prize: 10 Ebooks of Unexpected Gifts by SR Mallery
Ends 13th September
Open Worldwide.

Open only to those who can legally enter and receive the prize. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded.No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Nikita (Njkinny) from Njkinny Tours & Promotions and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~Organized by~


  1. Thank you so, SO much for your wonderful review, Dhivya! Makes my day (and night!).

  2. I am glad you enjoyed the book Dhivya..I loved it too! :)


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