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An Exchange of Gifts [Hardcover]

Anne McCaffrey
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Hardcover, June 1995 --  
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Book Description

June 1995
A runaway princess and a poor young boy try to make a new life for themselves without revealing their pasts or the magical powers they possess.

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Product Description

From Booklist

McCaffrey's latest is a sweet, romantic fantasy set in a realm where each person is born with a gift that determines their future. Meanne, who is not allowed to practice her gift of making plants grow and thrive--because it is so "unsuitable for a princess of the Blood Royal to insert her royal hands in common dirt" --runs away to a deserted, run-down forest hunting lodge. Unschooled in many of the practicalities of setting the hut to rights, she is delighted when a boy named Wisp shows up and joins forces with her. Readers may suspect it before Meanne does, but Wisp has a frightening gift that works a great change for Meanne yet bodes well for their future together. This is an enticing little book, made more so by Pat Morrissey's delicate line drawing that frames each two-page spread of text, and McCaffrey fans of all ages will adore it. Sally Estes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Bleh. This one didn't thrill me. Nov. 8 1997
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I'm a big fan of Anne McCaffrey...usually. I found An Exchange of Gifts to be quite boring, and even though it was VERY short, I found it hard to finish. I usually finish one of McCaffrey's books in a day (staying up into the wee hours of the morning if I must), but this one took me near to a week. I guess, first of all, that this isn't my type of book--I prefer science fiction or fantasy that deals with some sort of issue, with a cleverly built world and lifelike characters. This book was more of a fairy-tale style, and I've never liked finishing a book and thinking gee, they all lived happily ever after, like I care. But that's what I did with this book. The main character was so uninteresting I can't even recall her name, and as for that Wisp thing, I'll just say ugh. But it was hardly the worst thing I've ever read, and certainly not as bad as McCaffrey's other fairy-tale, No One Noticed The Cat. (I've had some e-mails saying they were offended at my review of that one--well, it's just my opinion. I DO like Anne McCaffrey, I just don't like the way her writing has gone recently.) To anyone considering reading this book: if you want a taste of what I think is true McCaffrey, read Dragonflight. If you like wishy-washy fairy tales, read this.
(For some reason, my name did not show up on this before. That's why it's here again.)
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2.0 out of 5 stars Bleh. This one didn't thrill me. June 10 1997
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I'm a big fan of Anne McCaffrey...usually. I found An Exchange of Gifts to be quite boring, and even though it was VERY short, I found it hard to finish. I usually finish one of McCaffrey's books in a day (staying up into the wee hours of the morning if I must), but thiso ne took me near to a week. I guess, first of all, that this isn't my type of book--I prefer science fiction or fantasy that deals with some sort of issue, with a cleverly built world and lifelike characters. This book was more of a fairy-tale style, and I've never liked finishing a book and thinking gee, they all lived happily ever after, like I care. But that's what I did with this book. The main character was so uninteresting I can't even recall her name, and as for that Wisp thing, I'll just say ugh. But it was hardly the worst thing I've ever read, and certainly not as bad as McCaffrey's other fairy-tale, No One Noticed The Cat. (I've had some e-mails saying they were offended at my review of that one--well, it's just my opinion. I DO like Anne McCaffrey, I just don't like the way her writing has gone recently.) To anyone considering reading this book: if you want a taste of what I think is true McCaffrey, read Dragonflight. If you like wishy-washy fairy tales, read this
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3.0 out of 5 stars Charming Aug. 5 2001
By L. Park
Format:Hardcover
Well, this book is definately unique and charming in its simplicity of plot yet depth of language. I have never read Anne McCaffrey before but I thought this was wonderful of her to write for her granddaughter, whom I'm sure will love it once she is 12+ years of age and has a handy dictionary! ha, I had to check more than a few words during the course of this book, and I thought that gave a certain grown up quality to a children's fairy tale. This is a short story, less than 100 pages, yet the characters have depth, if limited, and is steeped in maigic, that probably would have been more fun if explored further than what it was in this book. Overall this is a nice, light and short read that was very lovely, made all the more so with the illustrations around each page that basically fit in with the plot. Check it out.
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2.0 out of 5 stars You need not agree with me, buuuuut... July 25 2001
Format:Hardcover
About the only thing I liked about the book was that it was visually pleasing. Huh, what a thing to say! It's about the size of a CD case, irregular for a book, and it has the most beautiful cover artwork... but about the book! The story wasn't up to snuff, and I'd say the same thing about any other book of the same caliber, I don't care who wrote it. The plot wasn't particularly exciting, and the romance (could it be called that?), well, it fizzled. The characters weren't very endearing (the main girl character, Meanne, seemed like such a wilted flower. I kept wishing she'd just grow some SPINE!) and although there was magic involved, it wasn't enough to keep me interested for long. I think I'll just stick with reading the Pern books; they're longer and I actually liked the characters.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Ho Hum kinda book April 15 2002
Format:Hardcover
Meanne runs away from her impending arranged marriage. She goes to her childhood cottage that has been long since forgotten and starts her new life there. Wisp comes into her life like a breeze. Together they make a team and strive for new beginnings.

This book was rather boring. Meanne is very hurried character, as she we don't get to see inside her, just what is on her mind NOW. There was too many foreshadowing that actually lets us know what is going to happen. There is no surprise and there is no climax of the story.
Its pretty mellow, a very short read of 94 pages. I honestly kept myself reading, but found myself skimming the pages. I really don't recommend this book, the only McCaffrey story so far that I didn't like.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This deseves a better customer rating! Aug. 10 2002
By Melissa
Format:Hardcover
I think this was an enchanting and charming short story. I normally don't read short stories, but the description was quite intriguing. It a little over 90 pages so I finished it rather quickly, but I loved it nontheless. I bought the book as soon as I had put it down. I admit MeAnn and Wisp's characters could have been expanded to make them more realistic, but the setting was beautifull described and the plot was completely original. This was the first Anne McCaffrey book I ever read, although some of my other family members have read many of her Dragonrider series. This book got me interested in her as an author and her other works. I wish the story could have been longer, but it stands out as it is. I highly recommend it to anyone.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An Exchange of Gifts
I think it's wonderful book I,m not a reader but this was a wonderful love story of life I could not put it down. My daughter read it also and felt the same way.
Published on April 25 2002 by Diane Lynn Rector
4.0 out of 5 stars A Sharing
Many have complained that the book is too small for the price. Or too short. Or that nothing much happens. This book is not an action adventure story. Read more
Published on Dec 3 2001 by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars A nice book
I must admit that I had high expectations for this book after reading the Dragonriders and Harpers series. This was a very cute book but by no means superb. Read more
Published on Jan. 13 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars if you're an Anne fan you gotta read it
not like most of her books but this book is a good quick read without losing any of the Anne McCaffrey magic we know and love.
Published on Oct. 27 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Very cute short story.
A must read. When a princess runs away from home, she goes to an old cottage where she mets a young boy, Wisp. Read more
Published on July 29 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars A small miracle!
The book is short,but sweet. The story tells of two people trying to hide from someone or something. One of which isn't what it seems to be.
Published on June 28 1999
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but too darn short!
I'm usually a really big fan of Annie, but lately some of her books have left me feeling cheated. I think her publisher is pushing her too hard to crank out the books too fast... Read more
Published on Oct. 14 1998 by A. Gentilcore
5.0 out of 5 stars small, but wonderful
What a good book! It was so neat, two people living alone in a cabin in the woods away from people and their expectations. Meannie (yes that's her name. Read more
Published on July 15 1998
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