Just recently I finished reading this marvellous book – The One Gift – Gary Young’s first novel.

The story is set in the Arabian peninsula around 3000 years ago at the time of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. It highlights the frankincense,  myrrh and precious spice trade as it existed back then; while the story itself revolves around Shutran, a merchant and caravan commander, and his family.
Shutran and the men working with him must transport the precious frankincense through some of the most difficult terrain in the world, and in the novel, you get a great sense of the dangers involved: giant sandstorms, desert bandits, pirates, black scorpions and worst of all – treachery. So there’s plenty of adventure and action in this story.
But I felt that this was so much more than just a great adventure story – there’s a lot of heart and wisdom in it too. Shutran is a true leader, a man of honour and integrity, respected and even loved by the men under his command. So much so, that he wins the respect of kings and queens. I reckon there is a lot that modern leaders could learn from him. And Shutran it turns out is also a great father and husband.
It’s also a very spiritual novel and we see in many instances how Shutran uses his intuition and his faith in the spirit to get him and his men through many a danger.
The novel has some great illustrations, but best of all I loved the large map of the Arabian peninsula that you get with the book. I think it’s a well researched novel. In fact I get the feeling from reading The One Gift, that this might have been a past life for Gary Young. Who knows?
In past posts, I’ve talked about the value placed in Frankincense by the Ancients. I think The One Gift does a great job of conveying the value the ancient people placed in this spice and how civilizations were shaped around this amazing tree and its resin (See our previous posts: Frankincense: Treasure for the ancient world, hope for the modern, Part One and Two ).
Till next time,
Cheers
Anthony