The First Gift

The First Gift

by Ruth Logan Herne


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Bringing to mind classics like Catherine Marshall's Christy, society's standards are put to the test to save a neglected child in Ruth Logan Herne's new romance, The First Gift. Set in Northern Appalachia, this poignant novel tells the story of five-year-old Cassie Carruthers, a little girl who lives in a bug-infested shack in the hills of Western New York's Southern Tier. Her mother has died and Cassie spends her days fending for herself while her alcoholic father drinks himself into a stupor.

But Cassie's isolation has not gone unnoticed in the tight knit community of Phillipsburg. When a concerned neighbor alerts the county, the community sets a plan in motion to rescue the neglected little girl. Through fundraising efforts, Cassie is tucked into the kindergarten classroom of independent, beautiful Kerry McHenry.

Kerry has her work cut out for her in dealing with Cassie's depressed father, but despite the child's loveless start in life, she soon reveals herself to be an intelligent, eager student. Moreover, she possesses a resourcefulness that has saved her life more than once-and will be called upon again.

Kerry McHenry is nobody's fool. She sees her own tough upbringing in Cassie's dire situation, so she works tirelessly to guide the young girl, trying to help her become everything that God wants her to be. At the same time, she finds herself torn between a commitment-phobic pediatric oncologist from a nearby town and Phillipsburg's widowed deputy sheriff, a complicated man who is still angry with God.

As the stakes grow ever higher and the characters' lives intersect in unexpected ways, each will face a true test of faith-and come face to face with indisputable evidence of God's love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781720817093
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 06/05/2018
Pages: 262
Sales rank: 854,615
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.59(d)

About the Author

Ruth Logan Herne is the author of nearly thirty novels and novellas, mostly in Christian Romance (Homestead Brides Collection, etc.), and Westerns (Back in the Saddle). She loves God, her family, country, coffee, chocolate, and dogs, and wishes possums would leave the cat food on the side porch alone. She loves talking with readers through her website blog ( and hanging with readers and writers in Seekerville (

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The First Gift 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
This book will make you question how bad things are for you, especially when you watch a five-year-old trying to keep warm, finding something to eat with rats, trying not to cry when hurt. Yes, the author brings this to our attention and we want to go and help, and she offers up a caring teacher, and then the men who love her that do what they can. As we read this our caring and compassionate teacher Kerry McHenry is given a gift, and that is a sweet five-year-old Cassie, and soon we are hooked and want more for this young one. Come along and see how this story unfolds, bring the tissues it is a heart tugger, and find yourself rooting for Ryan, and then for Jake, they both are awesome men for a wonderful woman, but who will win? A read you won’t be able to put down once you begin, it is that good! I received this book through Just Commonly Take Over Tour, and was not required to give a positive review.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
The First Gift by Ruth Logan Herne is set in Phillipsburg, New York. Cassandra “Cassie” Carruthers is four years old (at the very beginning of the novel). Her mother passed away when she was little and Cassie lives with her father. Cassie’s father, Jed is a drunk and neglectful (grieving). But the local community has noticed Cassie’s situation, and they want to help her. The father will now allow what he calls charity, so they need to get creative. Cassie turns out to be very clever. The local pastors take up a collection to pay for Cassie to go to Daystar (a private school). Cassie is put into Kerry McHenry’s class. Kerry will be able to help Cassie and guide her. Join the citizens of Phillipsburg as they set out to help one special little girl. The First Gift is a well-written, engaging, and heartwarming novel. There are a couple of slow sections that dealt with Kerry’s boyfriend, Ryan (but they set things up for later in the novel). The First Gift is a Christian novel with the main theme being that with God all things are possible. There is also hope, forgiveness, love, helping others and much more. I give The First Gift 4.25 out of 5 stars. The one problem I had with the book was the multiple POVs (there are quite a few characters in the novel). It was confusing at times (and distracting). I think the novel would have been better if told from one point-of-view (a narrator would have been perfect). I need to warn you that towards the end of the novel you will need to have the tissues (or a hanky) handy.
SusanSnodgrassBookworm More than 1 year ago
I just finished this book with tears streaming down my face and crying out loud. Literally. I'm totally serious. I was moved greatly. In a little, close knot Appalachian community, a small child is neglected, hungry and cold. The community takes it upon themselves to change this little child's life. You've heard the old saying, 'it takes a village.' It applies here. A deputy sheriff, a young school teacher, a bus driver, an old lady, the list goes on. This was one of the most moving books I've read. From the first page, I told my husband that this book was going to break my heart.And it did, in places. But oh, the heart-soaring joy it brought me! So much and so many emotions. Ruth Logan Herne knows her stuff. She can plumb the very depths of human emotion. Boy, can she ever! I was in amazement during parts of this story. I'm so very glad I read it. God is good. And He waits. He loves us. Boy, does He love us. * I was given a copy of this book by Net Galley. My review is honest and my own.
JustCommonly More than 1 year ago
"When things got bad or she got hurt, Cassie would catch her bottom lip between her teeth and squeeze hard enough to feel the pain. Doing that kept her from crying. Quiet was her best choice. She'd figured that out a long time ago." (102) Cassie is five. She's a smart little five-year-old, but what she goes through knocks hard into your heart. It makes you want to grab her and hug her and just make things right for her. The First Gift by Ruth Logan Herne tells of a story in a poor and rural area, where life for adults, let alone little ones can be quite difficult. As the caring community comes together to rally for this one little girl, we readers see the light a single gift of love can give to a girl, and to themselves. I was rendered speechless as I close the last page of The First Gift. It tugged so hard the many heartstrings my role as a reader, a Christian, a wife, and a female, not to mention the natural motherly instincts, I couldn't help but be drawn to it. The author has done a marvelous job showing the contradiction between society's rules and the very basic human decency. With faith, we come together to let God be our guide. Many times through the story, I couldn't help it but yell out or hold back tears. Despite the deep emotional pull of The First Gift, we also have a little romance (more like a triangle) and some fun characters that showed us a little of the author's humor. (The quote below about us women totally cracked me up!) Kerry's focus lies with Cassie most of the time, yet her relationships with Ryan and Jack brings out a realistic element of romance that isn't just about kisses, going out to eat, or just the two people involved. I appreciated this aspect of the storyline, adding in the familial facet to it. In all, the poignancy of The First Gift, along with the message of love in God's timing, makes for a touching story. I had a hard time leaving The First Gift. I don't think my review gives it enough praise as it deserves. Filled with multiple message and themes, it needs to be discussed and shared. It will make a great book for book clubs and shared amongst friends. I hope you'll enjoy this one as much as I do. "Pray for it...Pray for the insight, the ability to believe. Pray for his guidance, his eternal love. Faith will come when you turn yourself over to Christ fully. But I can't promise there won't be doubts...Life isn't easy. Doubts come. They're part of the package." (161) This review first appeared on Just Commonly blog. Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.
brf1948 More than 1 year ago
I received a free electronic copy of this Christian novel from Netgalley. Ruth Logan Herne, and Franciscan Media in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, for sharing your hard work with me. This is an excellent novel, uplifting and appropriate for young readers as well as adults. I hated to see the closing chapters. This is a book I would recommend to anyone needing a renewal of faith, or just confirmation of the love that is there to save us.