The Everlasting Gift, by David-Matthew Barnes
Do whatever it takes to bring some sunshine into this world. A noble thought but easier said than done. Oh! How the effort creates the potential for unexpected, and even life-changing results, with ripples in so many directions. In the poignant book The Everlasting Gift, Sharleen has an incredible talent as a pianist. She has a real flair for music and for teaching and inspiring others. She doesn’t see the beautiful potential of her abilities. She only sees obstacles that spring up in her way. She struggles to keep herself going after facing a series of disappointments and tragedies. How can she summon the courage to step forward into her future?
Sharleen is studying to be a teacher. She doesn’t have the money to complete her course work. A temporary job opportunity comes up to organize students for a dramatic arts performance. The payment for this work is needed for Sharleen to complete her college studies, but this work comes with an uncomfortable twist. It requires her to return to the grade school she graduated from. How difficult is it to go back again? She’s worried about what she may find there. Can she confront — and find a way to live with — the memories she’s buried deep inside? She has to try, or risk losing the future she dreams of.
Working on the stage show at her old school, Sharleen meets an interesting group of young students, including Victor with his dancing skills and Ivy with her amazing singing voice. Behind their talents, though, this group of young students face some difficult, emotional issues. Sharleen is impressed with these kids, and her spirit begins to revive. Her grandmother continues to be her inspiration as well, and the most important relationship in Sharleen’s life. The school administrators and faculty are not all on board with Sharleen and her efforts. Some need to gain better understanding, while others seem determined to undermine all Sharleen’s hopes for bringing sunshine into her students’ world. Some parents are also unsure. Sharleen is challenged to foster these relationships and offer hope to them all, including one parent in particular. Ivy’s father, Jake is a single parent and struggling with his own grief over his wife’s death years ago. The connection between Jake and Sharleen creates magical sparks, and together they share The Everlasting Gift.
David-Matthew Barnes is the bestselling author of 15 novels, three collections of poetry, seven short stories, and more than 70 stage plays that have been performed in three languages in 12 countries. To date, he has written six produced screenplays, including the coming-of-age indie drama Frozen Stars and the award-winning Dutch film Wagon. He writes in multiple genres, primarily young adult, romance, thriller and horror
— By Wendy Kendall
Wendy Kendall is an author with The Wild Rose Press. Her mysteries include Kat Out of the Bag and the prequel Purse-Stachio Makes A Splash. Her newest ebook is Snow Kiss Cookies To Die For.