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And with deals like unlimited breadsticks and salads and bottomless pasta, giving the gift of Olive Garden is like giving the gift of a never-ending feast. Eric Reid was hit with his 7th 'random' drug test after wearing Kaepernick cleats. Could the Packers lure Nick Saban away from Alabama? Which team is this season's biggest underachiever? Please enter an email address. Sign up for the For The Win daily email newsletter for the top stories every day.

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Way to go, James Conner. NCAAF 11hr ago ESPN asked fans to create absurd bowl game names, and they didn't disappoint Combine the last place you shopped with the last thing you ate and add bowl to the end…. Return to Book Page. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Greatest Gift , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia.

Dec 05, Sharon rated it it was amazing Shelves: There's not enough words to describe this book, but some of the words that come to mind when I think about this book are heartbreaking, touching, beautiful, amazing, moving and emotional. Aussie author Rachael Johns has done a remarkable job in writing this book. Anytime I read a book on the issue of infertility, I immediately know the book will have my attention from the start and The Greatest Gift certainly had my attention not only from the start, but all the way to the very last page. The em There's not enough words to describe this book, but some of the words that come to mind when I think about this book are heartbreaking, touching, beautiful, amazing, moving and emotional.

Dennis Rodman gave Post Malone the greatest Christmas gift of all: An Olive Garden gift card

The emotional roller coaster that a couple endure through this process is like no other and whilst reading this book you will feel like you're on a roller coaster with the characters. Keep a box of tissues close by. View all 4 comments. Mar 25, Suzanne rated it liked it Shelves: Very simplistic in style, a little cliched. This was a very topical read, I am a mother, I have seen friends with fertility struggles, but have not faced them myself. Reading this book has enabled me to understand what this could be like. Rachael Johns conveyed her empathy on this subject.

I enjoyed Jilted more than this one, possibly given the l 2. I enjoyed Jilted more than this one, possibly given the less serious story line. I felt parts of this story to have fallen into place a little conveniently, but did appreciate the feel good parts as well. I own many more books written by this author, and look forward to getting to them. Having met book friends just recently who loved this book, I am reminded how boring it would be if we all loved the same things - most of them loved this book. The Hunter Valley settings and the interesting industry of hot air ballooning were a nice part of this read, I always enjoy local settings.

View all 9 comments. Samuel was an upcoming lawyer looking at becoming a partner in the business, while Harper was a highly successful radio host, interviewing interesting people on a daily basis. When Claire and Jasper met, the attraction was immediate. But Claire fought it, rebuffing Jasper — her inability to have children due to a childhood illness had made her determined never to marry. The discussion about children brought up egg donation — could they do that? They were excited; ecstatic in fact.

It would be the greatest gift from someone — to give them the ability to have a child. But was there anyone out there who would be suitable? The Greatest Gift by Aussie author Rachael Johns packs an emotional punch which is up there with the very best. A beautiful, inspirational, heartbreaking and moving story, The Greatest Gift deals with motherhood in all its forms and what some will do to become a mother.

Wendy and Joanne were special ladies as well.

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I have no hesitation in recommending it highly, and have firmly lodged this author up with my favourites. And also to the publisher for granting my wish on NetGalley — I was thrilled! View all 8 comments. Sep 23, Bianca rated it it was amazing Shelves: I loved how Johns juxtapositioned the reality of infertility, the medical procedures involved in egg harvesting and embryo implantation, and the legal and emotional investment from both parties.

When tragedy strikes, the previously agreed upon stipulations change, as the worlds of both the egg donor and the receiving couple change in unmitigating ways. Nature vs nurture comes into play. The Greatest Gift was emotionally charged and very touching. In the end, this is a story about love, generosity and the different types of families.

I've received this book via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Harlequin Australia for the opportunity to read and review this advanced copy. This book will also count towards my Aussie Author Challenge on http: View all 13 comments.

The Greatest Gift, is a true gift to new readers of Johns and firm fans, such as this reader, it is one of my favourite novels of , despite being a late entry! The Greatest Gift is unafraid to tackle some highly relevant and controversial contemporary issues such as IVF, egg donation and evolving forms of family. It is all wrapped up in an entertaining and poignant novel, featuring a set of wonderful characters that will be sure to stay in your heart. The Greatest Gift begins with Harper Drummond, one of the leads of this novel.

When a particular radio segment she hosts gets under her skin, Harper begins to feel the urge to do something meaningful for a couple in need. It leads Harper to answer an advertisement put forward by childless couple, Claire and Jasper Lombard. It is hard to know where to begin writing my review for The Greatest Gift. This is a book I adored so very much that to find the right words to express how excellent a read this novel truly is has proved quite difficult! I will state straight up that I highly recommend The Greatest Gift, it is the perfect novel choice for all readers, those new and old to Johns work.

It will incite plenty of discussion and divided opinions on the main themes contained in this book. For those not overly familiar with the process of childhood illnesses, infertility, IVF and egg donation, Johns approach to these topics was covered in an informative, comprehensive and sensitive manner.

The Greatest Gift by Rachael Johns

All bases seemed to be covered, showing all areas of these contentious issues. I came away from The Greatest Gift with a fuller appreciation of the effects of childhood illness, infertility, IVF and egg donation. The way in which these elements of the book is written really does allow the reader to step into the shoes of the characters in this novel. I was comfortably able to consider how I would respond to and what lengths I would be prepared to go to in order to live a lifelong dream. At the heart of The Greatest Gift are the characters that fill the pages of this unforgettable novel.

I immediately empathised with and genuinely liked Claire as a character. It took me much longer to warm to Harper and I will admit to be suspicious of her intentions to donate her eggs. I did think it was all a publicity stunt! Harper does redeem herself as the book progresses and in the end, I found myself caring deeply for her wellbeing. Johns successfully embodies this male character in her latest novel and by the close of the book, I felt I knew Jasper as well as the women in the novel. Rounding off the character set in The Greatest Gift is a band of superb secondary protagonists.

My reservations about Samuel were validated by his actions towards the latter stages of the novel. Each of these characters propel the story forward. Another aspect of The Greatest Gift that I feel is imperative to mention is the background of the characters in the novel. This segment of the novel was as entertaining, as it was fascinating and enlightening. I welcomed the opportunity to learn about the trade of hot air ballooning, the history and to debunk some myths I had about it.

I will say due to the pleasure of the school holidays, I was able to enjoy the bulk of this novel in an afternoon! The pages of this four hundred plus page book seemed to pass by, without a glance. I was completely lost inside the fold of The Greatest Gift — especially when Johns delivered a whopper of twist around the half way point of the novel, which left me in pieces.

After reading and sniffing my way through this novel, when I reached the end, my heart was full. The added bonus of the moving epilogue closed this novel off in the most bittersweet way. I extend my thanks to Rachael Johns, forever my auto buy author, for delivering into my hands one of the greatest book gifts of , The Greatest Gift.

View all 6 comments. Sep 07, Sally rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is one of my top reads this year - Rachael Johns is an Australia author who writes 5-star romances as well more meaty Contemporary Fiction — this is meaty, very meaty — it is to do with infertility and egg donation and the story plunged me to the depths of despair forcing me to reach for tissues and put it down and take a break to calm down. After despair, though, comes hope. And gradually the reader is brought back to normal emotions again - and, like the characters, learn to laugh again.

Reviewing will be difficult, especially spoilerless.

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This one touched me deep, well researched, well written and beautifully developed. Review originally posted at: Courtesy of the Publisher Rachael Johns is a West Australian author that goes from strength to strength. Johns is an author who has long made it onto my Must Have list so I was always going to read this book. Thanks to Harlequin I was able to read it months early and I am glad that I did. The Greatest Gift is a sensitively written, and well researched, story of fertility and motherhood that also focuses on relationships, family and hot air ballooning.

Some issues need just a little help, some need a lot and there are people who simply will not be able to overcome their fertility issues without the help of a donor of some kind. In Australia those donors can be quite hard to come by, depending on the donor you need, and due to the laws in this area. Rachael Johns has done fascinating research to ensure that her tale is accurate and insightful, as well as captivating. The Greatest Gift, I really have no idea where to start because this book was an amazing gift. Afternoons with Harper is a popular show with interview requests coming in constantly; aloowing Harper and her producer Lilia to be selective about who they bring on the show.

Harper and Samuel are a power couple dedicated to their careers and though they are both very set in their decision not to have children, their reasons are very different. Harper is a character that we get to know intimately, throughout the novel she shares her history so we learn what makes her tick and why she has made the decisions she has. Dual perspective story telling sees us also meet Claire, blissfully married and happily working in the thriving family business.

She thought she had come to terms with the idea of never having children but it seems that there is still an emptiness that she feels can only be filled by motherhood. Johns has penned a tale that will touch many readers. It explores a range of different family dynamics from both ends of the spectrum and in between.

Big families, small families, happy families and dysfunctional ones; they are all here and they go a long way in demonstrating how your family helps to shape you. The Greatest Gift is a story of relationships, in all shapes and forms, from romantic relationships and friendships to working relationships and the bonds that form when strangers come together with a common goal.

The characters are relatable and realistic people with concerns that many of us face at one time or another. I felt for Claire, she tried so hard to avoid attachment because of her infertility until meeting someone who could convince her to take a chance and loved her enough that they could face anything together. Harper is thirty-four and she starts to question the legacy she will leave. That feeling you get that everyone around you is doing something with their lives, and what are you doing, what have you got to show for it.

She is a character that I fell totally in love with; the growth and self-discovery she did throughout the novel was quite emotional to watch. The Greatest Gift contains some unexpected twists that completely threw me, and broke my heart. The story line was travelling along quite nicely and then you get smacked in the heart with a sledgehammer, more than once. I was completely captivated from start to finish and I absolutely loved the surprises in store at the end.

Once again Rachael Johns has written a story that will appeal to many different types of reader and it is clear that her talent is becoming more finely honed with every release. The Greatest Gift is a story of the best laid plans being laughed at by the universe. It is told with warmth and empathy as it deals with issues that have touched my life, and the lives of many I know.

Oct 22, Mandy White rated it it was amazing Shelves: What an emotional book! So many tears for the heartbreak in this story. My first Rachael Johns book although I had heard of her and seen her books around. Definately will be picking up more. This book was so beautiful and sad and happy.. I read this in one day. Thank you to Netgalley and HQ Fiction for a copy of this book to read and review. The Greatest Gift is a truly remarkable story, a rare example of a perfectly balanced novel. The deepest of sorrows meets joyous hope in equal measure within its pages and consider yourself warned when I say: There is so much hope and beauty, but the v The Greatest Gift is a truly remarkable story, a rare example of a perfectly balanced novel.

This is life in words and Rachael Johns is fast proving herself to be a master when it comes to this style of storytelling. What I loved so much about The Greatest Gift was the way Rachael took a single idea and then built an entire world from it. She gives her characters interesting careers, so in addition to the story itself wrapping you up, you find yourself fascinated by what the characters do for a living.

I loved reading about all of the aspects associated with the hot air ballooning business — not to forget the history as well!

Everything she wanted us to know was woven so well into the narrative that you hardly even noticed that you were getting a run down on the industry. There was a whole host of wonderful — and not so wonderful, but still very realistic — characters within The Greatest Gift, their various supporting roles elevating this novel and securing it as a truly entertaining and enjoyable read. There was also a distinctly Australian feel to the story that I appreciated immensely; kind of a Wrong Girl meets Offspring blending with Monica McInerney.

I found the pages slipping away effortlessly as I read all day long the joys of being on holiday and deep into the night. What really secured this novel as a firm favourite for me though, was the way in which it examined the many different faces of motherhood. Told with sensitivity and intelligence, Rachael peers beyond the veil of what it means to be a mother, deconstructs that ideal, and builds it back up again with a contemporary view. Rachael explores mothers and the influences they have on our lives, both good and bad, and I found myself personally relating to so many things within this story; it was deeply touching and entirely relevant within the context of society today.

The end of this novel contains a poignant surprise that I absolutely adored. I highly recommend The Greatest Gift as the perfect present for the reader in your life this Christmas. Just make sure to put it onto your own wish list so you also get a copy! Thanks is extended to Harlequin Enterprises for providing me with a copy of The Greatest Gift for review. Oct 06, Kathryn rated it really liked it Shelves: In her latest book The Greatest Gift Rachael Johns explores the issues of wanting children but being infertile and the amazing role those who make egg donations take on, to help those who have a strong desire to be a parent.

This was actually a new idea to me, not sure why I hadn't heard of it before but I hadn't and so this book was a marvellous way for me to gain insight into it. Harper is a woman who doesn't want children and neither does her husband Samuel.

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However Harper does want to contri In her latest book The Greatest Gift Rachael Johns explores the issues of wanting children but being infertile and the amazing role those who make egg donations take on, to help those who have a strong desire to be a parent. However Harper does want to contribute and find deeper meaning in her life so she decides to explore the possibility of donating some of her eggs. Thereby creating the greatest gift. Claire is infertile due to a childhood illness and so when she wants children one possibility is to look for an egg donor. In Australia this is unpaid and donors willingly make the gift.

How things follow up in terms of whether the egg donor has any further communication with the new parents was another interesting aspect. Of course this is a story that does not just go from A to B and new baby and every one goes home happy. Rachael Johns throws in a few curly twists and turns that made for some heart in the mouth reading. I liked the development of the characters, especially that of Harper - her journey was in the end the one that grabbed me.

Jasper - husband of Claire, was another character whose reactions and feelings seemed totally believable. How they change and take up the challenges of the journey they are on made for some very good reading. Nov 13, Krystal rated it really liked it Shelves: So chick-lit is really not my genre of choice, but this heartwarming novel blew me away! The novel is a detailed journey, so begins with the romance between Claire and Jasper while alternating between Harper's first inclination to donate eggs in the present. It's a clever opening that creates immediate investment in the main characters and even though you know what's coming, it's enjoyable to read.

Claire and Jasper are an adorable couple, and I became rather attached to them and their heartbreak So chick-lit is really not my genre of choice, but this heartwarming novel blew me away! Claire and Jasper are an adorable couple, and I became rather attached to them and their heartbreaking journey.

Harper was a strong independent woman who probably mentioned that fact one too many times but was well-balanced by her blossoming maternal instinct. Samuel was a jerk, but then he was nice, but then he was a jerk I can't go into too much detail without spoilers so let me just say this is so much bigger than the ethics of 'test tube' babies. This story really tugged at my cold, crime-fiction-loving heart and kept me hooked the entire time.

I was genuinely surprised by how much this book messed with my emotions! A captivating, thoughtful story of an incredibly real journey. Unfortunately, this was a roller coaster of emotions for all the wrong reasons for me. The first chapters were so lovey-dovey I wanted to set the book aside entirely. Then things got better and I actually started enjoying the story and connecting with the characters.

Then things got weird and all emotional ties I'd had were severed quite abruptly and I could never reestablish them. Based on other reviews it's clear that a lot of people love this book, and I honestly thought I'd be in the same cam Unfortunately, this was a roller coaster of emotions for all the wrong reasons for me.