Unexpected Gifts by S. R. Mallery

Unexpected Gifts by Sarah Mallery

Unexpected Gifts

Unexpected Gifts by S. R. Mallery

Sonia is a psych student, confused and forever choosing the wrong guy. When her mom introduces her to their family’s past through their journals/diaries–the Vietnam War, Woodstock, and Timothy Leary era; Tupperware parties, McCarthyism, and Black Power; the Great Depression, dance marathons, and Eleanor Roosevelt; the immigrant experience and the Suffragists—Sonia slowly but surely realizes how she should live…and whom she should choose. Like an onion peeling back and back, Sonia—and the reader—not only learn about her ancestors and the periods they lived in, but also how mistakes and hardships in the past can come back to help future generations.

About the Author

S. R. MalleryS.R. Mallery has ‘eclectic’ stamped all over her forehead! In terms of careers, before she became an author she had been a singer, a composer, a production artist/manager, a calligrapher, an award winning quilt designer, and an adult ESL/Reading/Pronunciation teacher. Once she became an author, she very quickly got several of her flash fiction pieces in such magazines as descent 2008, Snowy Egret, Transcendent Visions, The Storyteller, and Down In The Dirt.
To buy or see more of Unexpected Gifts by S.R. Mallery click on Amazon.com



“The author has a remarkable gift. The amazing ability not only to bring rich, historical events to life, but also the ability to perfectly blend different generations…”

“It simply is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I wish I could give it six stars!”

“I have never read a book that wasn’t a textbook that was able to successfully cover so many time frames in such little space, with the accuracy you really would expect from reading the journals of those who had actually lived in those times.”

“Colorful writing, recreation of periods that prove adept challenges for any films about the influences of the past being made, and all of this is written with such style that it often times is dazzling…”

“SR Mallery has created an important and impressive monument of a novel.”

“If only my history teacher would have taught history like Mallery has, enriching it with living, feeling people that the reader can equate to, I would have been a better student.”

“Long after the completion of the book, I missed the characters and the impact their stories made on me. This one really touched me deeply.”

“Beautifully and sensitively written, anyone who loves a good story interwoven with actual historical events will enjoy this very special novel.”

“A master storyteller has been at work, and this marvelous piece of writing is the result.”

“I’m in awe of how the author could write about the events so realistically, putting the reader firmly into different time periods in America’s history.”

“… she blends the past and the present with a seamless texture that only a “true” storyteller can manage.”

“This is a book you can keep on your shelf to read over and over…”


Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

A young woman, who attends college becomes more-and-more confused as she continues to make decisions, while repeating the cycle of dating Mr. Wrong, and finding herself on the helpless road that leads her to no-where. In her desperate search to find herself, she winds up finding much more than she ever dreamed of, when she began reading diaries and journals from her ancestors. The more Sonia read, the more she began to understand how hardship and uneasy times affect not only those who lived through them, but the next generation, who deeply felt the results from those who survived.

Master storyteller S.R. Mallery creates a colorful portrait of the past as she takes the reader through an incredible time-machine from one generation to the next, while we witness unforgettable, historical events that come to life, along with unique characters. The treasure that Sonia found, a discovery of her roots, was the golden key that unlocked the secret door, which helped to shape her own life through the experience and lessons learned from her ancestors.

The author has a remarkable gift. The amazing ability not only to bring rich, historical events to life, but also the ability to perfectly blend different generations, showing how they all connect. As I read through the intriguing and bittersweet pages, the heartfelt stories within the pages of this book not only brought me back to my generation as a Babyboomer, but also to the flashbacks down memory lane of my own father’s stories about his Purple Heart and his touching stories about Pearl Harbor, and survival from turmoil during his generation. This book will be thought-provoking, long after we close it. “UNEXPECTED GIFTS” is as captivating as Forest Gump, as compelling as We Were Soldiers, and as impressive as Saving Private Ryan. Highly recommended to all those who enjoy historical fiction.

By Dianne Harman on November 30, 2013

Format: Kindle Edition

It’s not often I write that a book should be required reading. This one should! If you simply want to read a fabulous story, this is it. Aspiring writers, if you want to see how to write a book, this is the one. The plot is superb, the characters believable, the historical events well-researched, and the pages demand that you turn them as fast as you can. Everything from bad boy rock stars to suffragettes!

But what I found to be the most interesting thing was the ability of the author to find a vehicle in which she can bring in historical events that affect the contemporary characters. It simply is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I wish I could give it six stars. Trust me, it’s that good. Recommend it? To everyone!!! Thank you Ms. Mallery for writing such a wonderful book.

By KathyFromFranklin on January 23, 2014

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful time period book – and it’s an especially great book for book clubs!

I was tasked with picking a book for our book club – and I began a search to find a time period fiction book that had very good reviews. I found it with Sarah Mallery’s book ‘ Unexpected Gifts’, and that’s exactly what the books was full of – gifts! It is a great story telling about many generations of a family that was an American (and even international) history trip as well. I enjoyed how the book switched point of views between the various characters. What a treasure trove of rich family history Sonia found in her parents attic. What’s especially great about the book is that it lent itself so well to book club conversation. It made all of us want to journal a book to our own children! Our book club was especially lucky in that we had the privilege of having Sarah Mallery join us (via phone from CA to our group in MA) – that was my ‘unexpected gift’ to our book club! We SO enjoyed and appreciated her taking the time to talk to us. What a special night that was!

By Mr. Robert Carter on February 1, 2014

Format: Kindle Edition

A beautifully constructed novel, which cleverly moves between the present day and significant events in 20th century history, incorporating turning points for the Balakov family. S R Mallery’s plot blends fiction with historical fact with sensitivity and a talent for conveying a real sense of the periods – the use, the imagery and the emotions. The characters are skilfully drawn and completely credible in their actions and speech. I thought the depiction of how the young Lily and her friends Sam and Leroy were first confronted with racism at the time of civil unrest in the early 60’s was very moving, and a powerful way of showing what was going on, by saying less.

The result is a work with strong visual images and a great sense of nostalgia which conveys the power of childhood memories.

By Marisa Slusarcyk on November 24, 2013

Format: Kindle Edition

Unexpected Gifts was an unexpected book!

So many historical events and times are covered from Woodstock and Vietnam to the depression, emigration/immigration and the poor conditions people were forced to endure once arriving here. Even the Titanic is briefly touched on!

I have never read a book that wasn’t a textbook that was able to successfully cover so many time frames in such little space, with the accuracy you really would expect from reading the journals of those who had actually lived in those times.

By Patti Ann on November 21, 2013

Format: Kindle Edition

Unexpected Gifts by S.R. Mallery lives up to its name. And the wrapping on that gift peels off layer after layer until the final beautiful gift reveals itself.

The book takes the reader on a journey through one young woman’s legacy left by her ancestors. Sonia feels adrift in her life as she continues her relationship with an up and coming rock star and pursues her degree in psychology.

Starting with her parents’ lives in the 1960s, she goes back through the years of the twentieth century as she “unwraps” the gifts left her. It’s not always a glittering and shiny gift, but there’s always a secret revealed as Sonia applies the lessons from her parents, grandparents, and great grandparents to her own life.

The book revisits some of the most significant events of the 1900s going back to its earliest years. Immigrants and Ellis Island; Detroit and the assembly line; the Great Depression and the climb out of it; women’s suffrage; the rumblings of race relations prior to the Civil Rights Movement; Woodstock and Vietnam—it’s all in this gem of a book.

Ms. Mallery shows the connection to our family ties and the lessons that should be learned from the painful experiences of those who went before.

I felt the scenes with Sonia’s great aunt Adriana were the strongest ones—or at least the ones that held an important meaning for me. Adriana is caught up unwittingly—or so it seems—in so many important causes in the first half of the century. Yet, Adriana’s sensibilities are all there in the movements, but not finely tuned until she experiences firsthand what it meant to be black in the United States.Read more ›

Hope you get to read Unexpected Gifts by S.R. Mallery



Posted in Historical Fiction and tagged , , , , , , , .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *