About the Book

As a surprise gift to Julie, his wife of 15 years, Kevin (a self-described "Everyman") writes a book about their trip from Rockville, Maryland to London, England. To Kevin, a business owner by profession, writing a book is no easy task, given that he is not a writer but could possibly be considered a renowed expert on the remote control, football, beef, and the doctrine of couch potatoism. On the other hand, Julie, a professional editor, is the culutred sophisticate, avid reader, art enthusiast and gourmet cook. Not surprisingly, their individual missions for the trip are diametrically opposed. Julie wants the full toursit experience including tea time, whereas Kevin seeks mere survival, envisioning that his only chance for contentment (as an unselfish, loving husband) will be the sight of a smile on Julie's face as she becomes one with London and he tries desperately to forget he is missing the NFL Draft festivities back home. We follow the couple's adventures as they take a whirlwind tour of the most exciting and interesting attractions of London like Westminister Abbey, Harrods, Tower of London, and Buckingham Palace.

As they methodically check off the sites on Julie's "Monster To See List," somewhere in between Trafalgar Square and Convent Garden, it hits Kevin: he is actually having the time of his life! The only problem is that his macho attitude and inability to express his feelings do not allow him to share with Julie his appreciation of the experience while in the moment.

It is not until Kevin returns home and undergoes some serious soul searching that he realizes that his journey to London was equally a journey of self-discovery about the dynamics of his relationship with Julie, and how their already strong marriage could be made stronger still with more open and honest communication. As this gem of truth converges with his contemplation of what Julie's next Valentine's Day gift should be, he gets a bright idea. He will write a book about their trip to London! then with the dream of seeing Julie's reaction when he presents the gift propelling him, he sets out to do the unimaginable; he replaces the TV with a computer and reveals his story one peck of the keyboard at a time. That decision to memorialize his awakening in the form of a travelogue, with tones both humorous and serious becomes a giant leap toward the new and Oprah-approved Kevin. in the end, Julie will receive a gift that will serve as a testament to Kevin's love for her for years to come, and Kevin receives the joy that only comes from giving oneself authentically and unabashedly in the name of love.

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Reviews

"When you think you know everything about the one you love, you don't. "Julie's Gift: Memories of London" is a husband's devotion to his wife, immortalized to the world. Author Kevin Kirsch tells of a trip to London for his fifteenth anniversary, where he and his wife Julie traveled through the historic city. Having an epiphany, he hopes to reveal his feelings to his wife in a particularly special and quaint way. "Julie's Gift" is something that will warm many a couples' heart."

Midwest Book Review

"In a straightforward and objective style, Kevin Kirsch needs no metaphors to express his love for wife Julie. Though writing is often evaluated via the use of literary devices and author's craft, Kirsch must be appreciated for the simplicity of message and for writing from the heart. He has set the bar high for expressions of love and he has done it with humor and honesty."

A.B Goodman

"This really is awfully sweet. After 16 years of marriage, Kevin Kirsch is still deeply in love with Julie his wife, and he wants us all to hear about it. By way of a birthday present he took her on a trip to London and Paris, one week to cover both. By way of an extra present he has given her this little book about the four days that they spent doing London. Kevin disclaims any inclinations as a reader let alone a writer, but his writing is perfectly clear and literate as well as being without pretentiousness. He could hardly be less pretentious in other ways, notably his philistine interest in Harrods and the London Eye while Julie was sighing over the exhibits in the National Gallery and the Queen's Gallery. I take my hat off to Kevin for going public like this and wearing his heart on his sleeve in such an un-British way. Apart from anything else, he has obviously handled his marriage far better than I handled mine. I'll enter into the spirit of it by offering both of them, Kevin as well as Julie, my own little gift of a 5-star rating."

David Bryson

"An engaging, light-hearted story about one man's love and admiration for his wife and children...thoroughly funny, yet inspiring account of their travels and the lessons learned about the true importance of gratitude in our relationships. A fantastic read."

Melissa Maddox Barnes

Lawyer and Writer

"A hilarious journey with a big heart. Well-written and a page-turner--we all want to know what's next!"

Samantha Caruth

"As Kevin's fraternity/pledge brother way back in 1987-89, I can surely attest to the fact that we're all surprised by this gift. If it weren't for Sportscenter, I am not sure where Kevin would get any of his "Current Events". But clearly, he has surprised us all - and has now placed the pressure on every other husband out there. Topping this one's gonna be really tough!
Yes, we love our wives - but sometimes our choices of words and/or actions put us in the dog house rather than on a pedestal. Kevin's book "Julie's Gift" is a priceless reflection of man who truly understands the meaning of real love. Congratulations, Kevin on a wonderful (and short) book. Julie, you are very lucky. Happy Valentine's Day."

Marc Freedman

Then - Babson College '89 - ZBT Fraternity Now - Married with 5 kids:)

"Definitely well written and I look forward to reading the rest of the book!"

Kimberly Flickinger

"In a straightforward and objective style, Kevin Kirsch needs no metaphors to express his love for wife Julie. Though writing is often evaluated via the use of literary devices and author's craft, Kirsch must be appreciated for the simplicity of message and for writing from the heart. He has set the bar high for expressions of love and he has done it with humor and honesty."

A.B. Goodman

"Kevin is a brisk and funny writer, like this description of his lack of interest in international travel: "My definition of traveling involves going from the couch to the refrigerator and back, and trust me, in that respect, I'm a frequent flyer."
But my favorite parts of the book were his descriptions of how he learns to let go of the idea that we should always put up a front, not give in to our spouses or let them know they're right. You can feel the freedom as he gives himself permission to embrace things he normally wouldn't have, and to give Julie credit for those things"

Lynn Webber

"loved your book. I read it yesterday. Julie is a very lucky woman.....or maybe that is the other way around!"

PeggyAnne Olson