Saturday 2 December 2017

Book Review: A Gift from Bob by James Bowen

Last Updated: 12 July 2021

A Gift from Bob by James Bowen book cover

Street cat Bob and James, stars of bestselling A Street Cat Named Bob and The World According to Bob that touched millions around the world, spend a cold and challenging December on the streets together in a new adventure.

From the day James rescued a street cat abandoned in the hallway of his sheltered accommodation, they began a friendship which has transformed both their lives and, through the bestselling books A STREET CAT NAMED BOB and THE WORLD ACCORDING TO BOB, touched millions around the world. 

In this new story of their journey together, James looks back at the last Christmas they spent scraping a living on the streets and how Bob helped him through one of his toughest times - providing strength, friendship and inspiration but also teaching him important lessons about the true meaning of Christmas along the way.

We're now into December, and we all know what that means - Christmas is just around the corner! To kick-start the winter season here on The Writing Greyhound, I'm sharing my review of a fabulously festive book - A Gift from Bob by James Bowen.

We all know Bob from the fame of A Street Cat Named Bob (if you aren't familiar with Bob and James' adventures, where have you been?) and it's pretty safe to say that this humble cat has easily worked his way into the hearts of the nation.

Christmas is the perfect time for a heartwarming story with a happy ending, so add a cat and what could be better?

However, A Gift from Bob is not your ordinary festive tale. Author James Bowen tells the story of a very different Christmas than the lavish extravaganzas many of us are used to nowadays. Instead of turkey dinners with all the trimmings and presents coming out of our ears, James and Bob's Christmas is a sparse affair. Barely surviving on the very minimum when it comes to money, James is struggling to make ends meet. Without a stable income and with food and heating bills to pay on top of the usual rent payment, it's no surprise that he must scrape the bare necessities together for Christmas. From treats for Bob to a festive meal to a gift for Belle, a close friend, the hardships that James faces are ones that many of us simply don't think about.

Of course, we all see homeless people out on the streets in our towns and cities, but how many of us actually see the person behind the stereotype? By drawing on his own experiences, James tries to cut through this issue and portray the real, human side of homelessness. It's a real problem here in the UK, particularly during the colder months, so isn't it about time we started to address the issue?

A Gift from Bob is all about reflection and gratitude. It spreads a very important message; that you should always be grateful for what you have and you should never take anything for granted. It's simple enough, but at Christmas time, the moral of this story is one we could all do with remembering every once in a while.

Rating: 3 stars

A Gift from Bob is available to buy now.

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Will you be picking up this festive read this Christmas? Let me know in the comments below!

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