On the 60th anniversary of D-Day, we meet Isabelle, a ten-year-old girl with “the most important job in the world” who lives in Normandy. She’s vivacious, genuine, and almost instantly lovable as she shares her excitement for the arrival of veterans to Juno Beach. Despite her obvious enthusiasm, Isabelle’s grandmother wants her to leave the veterans in peace. But of course she disobeys and rushes off to meet Jake, a newly arrived foul-mouthed Canadian who hasn’t stepped foot on Juno Beach since that fateful day.
Jake’s Gift shows us the development of a strong friendship between Isabelle and Jake over his brief stay in Normandy. Jake’s storytelling takes us on a journey from his decision to enlist, to the fun he and his brothers had in dance halls, to how he’s coped with the traumas of war since returning home. Meanwhile, Isabelle’s comments show us the gratitude, honour, and love that consume survivors of the war and their families. This is a beautifully-written show full of compassion, respect, and understanding of everyone affected by war. Read the full review.