Cover image for Penny's gift
Penny's gift
Ventre-Auerfeld, Edna.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Paraview Books : Pocket Books, [2004]

Physical Description:
376 pages ; 18 cm
Subject Term:
Format :


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X Adult Mass Market Paperback Central Closed Stacks

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She can cure the sick. She can give life to the dying. But can she save herself? Penny Chaney was a living miracle. The victim of a lethally sudden virus, no medicine could help her, and no doctor could bring her back. Then, in the realm between this world and the next, she was given a choice: enter the hereafter, or return to her life with the extraordinary ability to heal others -- but at a great personal price. Penny chose life.When her exceptional power is discovered, the world's reaction ranges from reverent awe to outraged disbelief. Penny and her family find themselves besieged by devoted followers as well as crass opportunists -- two of whom are seeking her out, each for personal reasons. One, driven by warped fanaticism, wants to kill her. The other will try to show her why she was chosen, and help her face the final, terrible cost of PENNY'S GIFT

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

A fascinating premise receives a muddled, lackluster treatment in this metaphysical debut novel, which examines the consequences of one ordinary woman's messianic gift. When Penny Chaney, a housewife and mother of three, contracts a mysterious virus and descends into a coma, strange things begin to happen around her in the hospital-a woman with severe diabetes finds herself completely cured; a girl with acute leukemia starts skipping down the hallway. Meanwhile, Penny lingers on a long misty bridge, somewhere between this world and the next. A disembodied voice claims there has only been one other like her before and gives her a choice: she can either go into the hereafter or return to earth as a healer. Penny decides to return and upon waking, finds herself besieged by the sick and downtrodden, who have already dubbed her the Mother Healer. The novel quickly deteriorates as Penny adjusts to her new status and a radical religious group attempts to kill her (in an effort to prove her messiah status). Ventre-Auerfeld offers some half-baked meditations on religion and morality, but in the end, the mystery of Penny's gift-how she came to possess it, what she's supposed to do with it and what it signifies-is never resolved, leaving readers more confused than enlightened. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved