The Birthday Gift

Fiction - Inspirational
106 Pages
Reviewed on 05/02/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Betty Collier is a nurse by profession, author by passion, and storyteller by the grace of God. She is the bestselling, award-winning author of the Living Inside the Testimony ® Book Series. Her desire is to help readers discover that we all live inside testimonies meant to be shared to help inspire and encourage others. You'll find yourself laughing, crying, rejoicing, and soul-searching all at the same time as her books take you on a roller coaster of emotions and self-enlightenment. Discover the inspiration, faith, hope, humor, and love we all have in common through her non-fiction book series. Her gift of storytelling expands further through her fictional work, which engulfs you from the very first page. Married since 1986 to the absolute love of her life, William Collier, they live in Bartlett, Tennessee, with their 2 sons

    Book Review

Reviewed by Tracy Young for Readers' Favorite

The Williams family was planning a special occasion. Their daughter Bella was about to turn 16 and plans were in place for a party. A knock on the door changed their world forever. Bill Williams would not be returning home from the Middle East as his life had been brutally cut short in a London airport bathroom. One phone call had changed their future forever. Bill couldn’t wait to tell his wife about the gift he had discovered for his daughter’s birthday in a flea market. He described it priceless and life-changing and that sentence sealed his fate. The Gift by Betty Collier is the story of how Bella and her mother deal with his murder and the aftermath of losing their beloved Bill.

This is an incredibly thought-provoking read and I enjoyed it thoroughly. The central theme is one of loss, but I came away from the book with such a sense of hope. Christian faith and belief mean different things to different people, but Betty Collier has described how belief and faith can be a comfort in times of need. The gift Bill discovered would allow his daughter to follow her dream of becoming a missionary in faraway lands. Spreading the word of God is an important part of the Williams' family ethic and this gift is part of that message. I found the book uplifting and inspiring, a tale of hope in an increasingly violent world, and enjoyed the explanatory afterword written by Terry Gurley and found it informative.

Michelle Stanley

The Birthday Gift is an intriguing novella by Betty Collier. Mrs. Williams's life drastically changes when she is told her husband Bill was murdered in the Middle East. He was so excited to return home with a special gift for their daughter, Bella. Although grieving for the loss of her husband, Mrs. Williams knows she must be strong to care for Bella. She gets support from family and finds comfort in reading spiritual verses. An unexpected video call from her dead husband to Bella on her 16th birthday not only leaves them bewildered but gives them a few responses to questions they thought would remain unanswered. Bill’s memorial service is also a turning point in Mrs. Williams's life when she listens to Bella’s emotional tribute to her father.

Coping with tragedy is never easy, and we often wonder how we will ever cope without our loved one. Mrs. Williams and Bella both dealt with it differently, in remarkable ways. They have a strong Christian faith that made it possible through the tearful times. The Birthday Gift by Betty Collier is a sad, but uplifting short story that will bring out your emotions. It’s a Christian based theme containing intrigue and beautifully written. The cover illustration is so attractive looking too. I found the scripture quotes and the tributes very moving. I would certainly give The Birthday Gift to persons coping with the loss of family or friends. I think it’s more than a story, but also a light handbook for the bereaved.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Mrs. Williams answers the front door to some shocking news, which causes her to have some sort of cardiac issue. She’s rushed to the hospital and during her recovery her recollection of the events leading up to her medical condition resurfaces. Her husband, Bill, was murdered in London while en route home; her daughter, Bella, was looking forward to her sixteenth birthday party; and both are looking forward to discovering the precious treasure Bill found in the Middle East for his daughter’s birthday. But the greatest gift they both inherit from this tragedy is a renewed faith in God and his Son, Jesus; the best gift of all.

Betty Collier’s novel, The Birthday Gift, is very thought-provoking and inspirational. The plot begins with a tragedy that gradually unravels as the details of the murder, the investigation, and the special gift come to light. The story is told in the third person narrative and the characters are well developed. It is interesting that the author begins each chapter (except the last) with the words, “Mrs. Williams”, directing the reader’s attention back to the main character and focusing on her grief and recovery. Mrs. Williams, of course, is the main character, the one who is presented with a devastating shock that alters her perspective on life. Through reevaluating her faith and realizing, through studying her husband’s birthday gift to their daughter, what the most precious gift of all is, she reluctantly comes to terms with the fact that she must forgive before she can move on in her faith. Sometimes, this is a very difficult thing to do. But her character, in particular, shines through to give readers hope, especially in an era where so much is not right in the world and we all must learn to accept the greatest gift of all and to forgive. A simple but powerful story.