In the recent month I had bought two books of Hanif Kureishi and even though Gabriel's Gift was not a part of my selected books, I was very tempted to read it and made it a part of the 15/15/15 project.
Gabriel's Gift is a story of a fifteen year old boy who tries to keep his parents, Christine and Rex, together. Christine, tired of Rex's lazy ways, throws him out of the house. Rex was a rock star (almost) and had played with very famous bands during the 60s. Christine was also in the rock n roll business, designing clothes for the band members and groupies. Both of them seemed to be stuck in the 60s era and were almost always telling Gabriel stories from the past. Rex's career came to an abrupt halt when he tripped over his platform shoes at a concert and broke his ankle.
Gabriel had a very creative and sensitive personality. He talked to his dead twin brother, Archie, and often took his advice in moments of difficulty. His talent lay in drawing and he made amazing sketches of ordinary things (which actually came to life in the beginning of the book!). His biggest dream was to make a film with his friend Zak and he had drawn the entire storyboard on his sketch book. He impressed his dad's rock star friend, Lester Jones (a fictional famous rock star), and got an autographed drawing by Lester when the latter called both of them for a brief meeting at his hotel. Owing to their difficult financial situations, both Christine and Rex wanted the picture so that they could sell it to Speedy, another friend from the 60s era who owned a restaurant with a wall dedicated to rock star memorabilia. How Gabriel manages to get his way, keep the picture and bring his parents together makes for a very fascinating read!
What I loved about these three characters was their unquestionable and unconditional love for each other. Gabriel, especially, is very compassionate towards his parents and tries to help them out even when he feels they are in the wrong. His gift is not in his artistic abilities only but in his ability to love. I guess that is what the world needs, just a little love!
Photograph: Google Images