Throwback Thursday meme was hosted by Renee@It’s Book Talk and is a way to share some of your old favorites as well as sharing books that you’re FINALLY getting around to reading that were published over a year ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on your TBR list while you continue to pile more titles on top of them 🙂! These older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere. If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board.


This week I’m picking a book I read five years ago and loved!



The First Gift

Ruth Logan Herne

Kerry is a kindergarten teacher and the first time she meets Cassie Carruthers, she is instantly reminded of herself and her sister and the way they grew up. Cassie lives with her always drunk father, in a shack with no electricity and no mother. Her father totally neglects her and Kerry wants to help Cassie, but must be careful not to anger her father, Jed, so he doesn’t pull Cassie back. He will not accept charity! Kerry’s heart breaks every time she thinks of the conditions Cassie is living in, but knows the only way to help her is carefully and in small doses as to not aggravate Jed. THE FIRST GIFT had me wanting to reach into the pages and give Cassie a big hug and steal her away from her deplorable living conditions.


Kerry has been seeing a pediatric cancer Doctor, Ryan, who is totally not committed and comes across as a selfish jerk. Thanks to her friend, Hannah, she decides to not limit herself to just Ryan and soon meets Deputy Jake Slattery. Jake is a single dad to two boys and isn’t really looking to get into a relationship as his wife left a huge hole in his heart when she died. THE FIRST GIFT is filled with heart break and instantly had me not liking Ryan at all and falling in love with Jake. I kept praying Kerry would choose the right man, but who would that be? Would Ryan learn to let go of his bitterness and the past and let Kerry in? Would his weekly meetings with his pastor help him to let God back into his heart?


THE FIRST GIFT shredded my heart and had me crying many times. That a child would have to go through what Cassie does, just killed me. Ruth Logan Herne squeezed my heart and never let go until the very last page. She had my emotions all over the place and I had a hard time putting this wonderful story down. I tried to read THE FIRST GIFT slowly to make it last, but it’s impossible. I had to know what was going to happen to Cassie and Kerry. I kept thinking that this story should be made into a movie that comes with a tissue alert! The way the whole town of Phillipsburg came together to help this poor neglected child will have you cheering for them all. This is a story that is going to stay with me for a long long time. I’m excited to read more by Ruth Logan Herne as she is a local author and knows how to pull her readers in and make them fall in love with her heart tugging characters.




Bringing to mind classics like Catherine Marshall’s Christy, society’s standards are put to the test and a Northern Appalachian town comes together to save a neglected child in Ruth Logan Herne’s new romance, The First Gift. This poignant novel tells the story of five-year-old Cassie Carruthers, who lives in a bug-infested shack in the hills of Western New York’s Southern Tier. Her mother has died and Cassie spends her days fending for herself while her alcoholic father drinks himself into a stupor. But Cassie’s isolation has not gone unnoticed in the tightknit community of Phillipsburg. When a concerned neighbor alerts the county, the community sets a plan in motion to rescue the neglected little girl. Through fundraising efforts, Cassie is tucked into the kindergarten classroom of independent, beautiful Kerry McHenry.


Kerry has her work cut out for her in dealing with Cassie’s depressed father, but despite the child’s loveless start in life, she soon reveals herself to be an intelligent, eager student. Moreover, she possesses a resourcefulness that has saved her life more than once—and will be called upon again. Kerry McHenry is nobody’s fool. She sees her own tough upbringing in Cassie’s dire situation, so she works tirelessly to guide the young girl, trying to help her become everything that God wants her to be. At the same time, she finds herself torn between a commitment-phobic pediatric oncologist from a nearby town and Phillipsburg’s widowed deputy sheriff, a complicated man who is still angry with God. As the stakes grow ever higher and the characters’ lives intersect in unexpected ways, each will face a true test of faith—and come face to face with indisputable evidence of God’s love.



Have a great day and thank you for stopping by!🍁📚🍁




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