The Gracious Gift

Fiction - Short Story/Novela
190 Pages
Reviewed on 06/28/2022
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Author Biography

Andrew Fortin received his bachelor's degree at Bridgewater State University and his master's degree at Southern New Hampshire. He is the author of American Paranoia? Conspiracy Theories in the United States of America. He currently serves as a Residential Director working with individuals who have physical and mental disabilities.
Email Andrew Fortin at

    Book Review

Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite

In Andrew Fortin’s moving novella, The Gracious Gift, a man struggling with alcoholism finds an abandoned baby at a dumpster at a desperate time in his life. His find changes the baby’s life and his own in ways he could never have imagined. After closing a murder case, Detective John Remington heads off to a bar down the street from him. After a scuffle he is involved in breaks out, he is thrown out. While smoking a cigarette behind the bar, he hears a baby crying. At first, he thinks he is hallucinating and blames himself for his drinking. Another cry from the infant makes it clear that he is not imagining the sound. After the baby is rescued, John decides to check on the baby later. He feels drawn to the toddler and decides to adopt her. Janet changes his life and gives him a reason to fight his addiction.

The Gracious Gift is a beautiful story of a lovely girl and how her kindness touches many. I found the story to be full of hope as it shows how a child’s love can transform another person’s life. I loved the wonderful bond between John and Janet and how their relationship impacted their lives and those of others. The story also contains other amazing characters including Nancy, John’s loving neighbor. I also found John’s process of recovery and Janet’s kindness toward her bullies inspiring. Through Janet’s touching experiences, the book draws attention to the challenges those living with Downs Syndrome face. The Gracious Gift is a heart-warming story about the loving, uplifting relationship between a girl and her father. It has impactful and profound lessons that every reader can relate to.

Pikasho Deka

The Gracious Gift is a slice-of-life novella by Andrew Fortin that follows a man overcoming his demons with the help of a child who changes his life. Veteran Detective John Remington finds himself spiraling down into a pit of alcoholism and depression after his wife, Ashley, is murdered during a robbery gone wrong. With seemingly nothing to live for, John comes close to ending it all when his life turns upside down. During a homicide investigation, John stumbles upon a crying baby abandoned in a dumpster. Struggling to forget her face, John eventually ends up adopting her. Soon, he learns that the child, Janet, has Down syndrome, a diagnosis that makes her life challenging though her indomitable spirit overcomes everything. Over the years, John has a couple of more tragedies to come, but his love for his daughter triumphs all.

Author Andrew Fortin tells a heart-touching tale showcasing the fierce resilient nature of the human spirit and how the love and support of our loved ones provide us with the necessary courage to overcome life's biggest obstacles. The Gracious Gift is a moving story about love and learning to let go. With believable characters and a riveting plot, Fortin crafts an emotionally resonant tale that strikes a chord in your heart. John's life is full of tragic events that threaten to pull him toward a harmful, self-destructive path, only to discover new meaning and purpose when a child enters his life. I was hooked from start to finish and highly recommend it.

Jennie More

The Gracious Gift by Andrew Fortin is the story of a man who battles alcoholism. During John's career as a detective, he sees many dead bodies and can tell of many awful encounters, but some he can't forget. After being thrown out of a local tavern one day, he finds a newborn baby in the dumpster behind the pub – this is one of the scenes he will never forget. He eventually moved on with his alcoholic existence, but upon finding a young woman and 10-month-old baby murdered in their apartment, he decides to end his life. But before he goes through with it, he thinks of the little girl, Janet, found in the dumpster, and he contacts social services to visit her. Janet turns out to be his gracious gift, and her life and love shelter John from the emotional hurt and loss that await him.

The Gracious Gift by Andrew Fortin is a heart-warming and inspiring story. Janet and John are destined to become a family when they both find themselves at their lowest moment in life at the back of an old dingy tavern. Not only did John save her life, but she, in turn, saved his life and kept him from a life of alcoholism for the foreseeable future. The Gracious Gift is an emotional story about a man who had lost much but gained the world when he opened his heart and home to give Janet the family she didn't have. Despite the story's sadness, I felt optimistic after reading it, as it serves as a testimony to the love and beauty that persists in the world despite the evil and darkness.