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Hannah’s gift: a book review June 22, 2007

Posted by guinever in book review, christianity, grief, healing, loss.

hannahs-gift.jpgMaria Housden has gathered memories from her daughter’s life and woven them into a compelling story in Hannah’s Gift: Lessons from a Life Fully Lived. In the first few pages, I fell in love with Hannah, the little girl who wore red shoes who was diagnosed with cancer shortly before her third birthday.

Through carefully chosen anecdotes, Hannah emerges as a delightful, precocious pre-schooler who is never silent, always making her desires known. Hannah embraced life with energy and understanding. Will, her five year old brother, wonders, among other things, how long it takes for a body to decompose as he faces the reality that his sister is going to die.

Maria faces the truth about Hannah’s cancer and eventual death. She shares these truths about life, love and loss that she learned from her daughter. Throughout the book, Maria’s language is poetic. I found myself re-reading sentences, re-reading paragraphs, awed by the language.

Listening to the night, I felt poised on the edge of greatness, certain that the silence I was feeling was God.


I held my breath as long as I could, hoping that some feather of joy from this moment might lodge in my lungs today so it could drift lightly and unexpectedly into one of the dark moments I knew was ahead.

If you read Hannah’s Gift, you’ll smile, delighted by Hannah’s sweet antics. A minute later you’ll have to flick the tears that have fallen on your pages as the raw truth of cancer sets in. Read Hannah’s Gift and you’ll hug your loved ones a little tighter.

Maria Housden was one of the parents featured in the documentary, Space Between Breaths.


1. Bill Howdle - June 23, 2007

Thank you for sharing this. It is a book I will be looking for.


2. mark - December 13, 2008

i have also recently read this book, and for me it has changed the way i look at life, if someone in that situationcan enjoy life fully then i have no excuses not too


3. kelli - March 5, 2009

i have the 8 books one about hannah the books called hannahs gift it brings tears to my eyes love kelli and my 2 yeah old daughter faye thinking off the family lots off love kelli


4. maria housden - July 15, 2009

thank you, gwinever, for sharing hannah’s story with others. ❤


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