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Lost December: A Novel Hardcover – November 1, 2011
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“Evans has his craft down to a fine art. If it's an old-fashioned tear-jerker you're after, he's your man.”—Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“A beautiful story of love and redemption.”—Deseret News
“An inspiring moral story filled with heartfelt family love and joy.”—Ventura County Star
“Evans offers up another heartwarming, feel-good tale in time for the holidays. . . . A touching redemption story.”—Booklist
About the Author
More About the Author
When Richard Paul Evans wrote the #1 best-seller, The Christmas Box, he never intended on becoming an internationally known author.
Officially, he was an advertising executive, an award-winning clay animator for the American and Japanese markets, candidate for state legislature and most importantly, husband and father. The Christmas Box was written as an expression of love for his (then) two daughters. Though he often told them how much he loved them, he wanted to express his love in a way that would be timeless. In 1993, Evans reproduced 20 copies of the final story and gave them to his closest relatives and friends as Christmas presents. In the month following, those 20 copies were passed around more than 160 times, and soon word spread so widely that bookstores began calling his home with orders for it.
His quiet story of parental love and the true meaning of Christmas made history when it became simultaneously the #1 hardcover and paperback book in the nation. Since then, more than eight million copies of The Christmas Box have been printed. The Emmy award-winning CBS television movie based on The Christmas Box starred Maureen O'Hara and Richard Thomas. Two more of Evans's books were produced by Hallmark and starred such well-known actors as James Earl Jones, Vanessa Redgrave, Naomi Watts, Mary McDonough and Academy award winner Ellen Burstyn. He has since written 10 consecutive New York Times bestsellers and is one of the few authors in history to have hit both the fiction and non-fiction bestseller lists. He has won three awards for his children's books including the 1998 American Mothers book award and two first place Storytelling World awards. Evans's latest book, The 5 Lessons a Millionaire Taught Me About Life and Wealth, is now available.
Of his success, Evans says: "The material achievements of The Christmas Box will never convey its true success, the lives it has changed, the families brought closer together, the mothers and fathers who suddenly understand the pricelessness of their children's fleeting childhood. I share the message of this book with you in hopes that in some way, you might be, as I was, enlightened."
During the Spring of 1997, Evans founded The Christmas Box House International, an organization devoted to building shelters and providing services for abused and neglected children. Such shelters are operational in Moab, Vernal, Ogden and Salt Lake City, Utah and Lucre, Peru. To date, more than 16,000 children have been housed in Christmas Box House facilities.
As an acclaimed speaker, Evans has shared the podium with such notable personalities as President George W. Bush, President George and Barbara Bush, former British Prime Minister John Majors, Ron Howard, Elizabeth Dole, Deepak Chopra, Steve Allen, and Bob Hope. Evans has been featured on the Today show and Entertainment Tonight, as well as in Time, Newsweek, People, The New York Times, Washington Post, Good Housekeeping, USA Today, TV Guide, Reader's Digest, and Family Circle. Evans lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife, Keri, and their five children.
Top Customer Reviews
The story is told through the eyes of Luke Crisp. He is born into a successful, wealthy lifestyle; all gained from hard work and wise decisions. He has an enviable relationship with his father, mutual love and respect. The influences of college friends tears that apart and changes his path in life. What follows is a whirlwind tale of extravagance, monetary waste, foolishness, deceit, rejection, and failure. This leads to his eventual downfall.
The main character warns you ahead of time that his story is the evil side of good-versus-evil, that you will find reason to dislike him. I can't say that I disliked him, just his choices. I think many people will see him instead as a good, hardworking person who is led astray, never really bad at heart but rather struggling with what happiness in life means. The fact that he consistently feels pangs of guilt and shame confirms that.
The second half of the story finds Luke at the very bottom. A true riches-to-rags outcome. He experiences life on the "other side of the tracks" so to speak. And when he couldn't dig himself any deeper of a hole in life, the love and care of a stranger turns his life around. This is where the lessons begin. Lessons is humility, gratefulness, the joy of giving and receiving, and ultimately true love.
As I mentioned, the story and its ending are predictable, but that is not a bad thing. It just reconfirms that life has its valleys and peaks, and in the end goodness wins out. All is well with the world.
My favorite quote from the book: "If it hadn't been for the darkness, I never would have known the light."
My reviews are being responded to by a negative reviewer saying I am suspicious and perhaps I am the author writing early reviews on B&N. I have been a long time fan of Richard Paul Evans. I am lucky to get to read his novels in advance. I am his assistant. This is my sincere review.
I picked up this book because I heard it was the retelling of the story of the prodigal son and I was curious to see how Richard Paul Evans would handle it. I was very happy that I did. This story kept me reading and evoked a lot of different emotions, from anger and frustration to forgiveness and joy. In the end I felt like I had become part of the story itself, welcoming Luke back. This wasn't just a great Christmas story, but a great story all year long.
LOST DECEMBER does the same thing. Luke Crisp could be any of us, making a wrong turn, then another and feeling so lost and alone we don't know if we can ever make our way home.
In this book we see people who represent the best of mankind -- and the worst of it. We see how each of them and their actions touches others -- yet, as we know it will in Evans' books, deep within its words is a love poured on the pages as only this author can. Another marvelous gift from this gifted scribe!
When Luke graduates college with his MBA, his father is ready to hand over the reins to his Fortune 500 company, Crisp's Copy Centers. Luke has other plans though, and breaks his father's heart by refusing the business and running off to Europe with his friends and his million dollar trust fund. After just 40 days, his trust fund is completely gone, spent on extravagant luxuries and gambled away by his "friend" Sean. Now that he's broke, all of his friends, including his girlfriend, leave him. Alone, broke, and living on the streets, a kind man takes him in and saves his life. Shortly after, Luke takes an entry level job at one his father's copy centers, only to learn that the business has been handed over to a corrupt man, Henry Price, who has ruined the giving and generous spirit his father worked so hard to provide for his employees. While working there, and keeping his identity a secret, he meets and falls in love with a struggling single mother. When she is fired by the horrible Henry Price, Luke decides it's finally time to go home again and face his father, hoping for forgiveness and love. This is a stunning modern retelling of the story of the prodigal son.
Simply amazing. Richard Paul Evans melts my heart every single time. I don't know how he does it, but he truly has a way with words and the power to create stories that will tear at your heartstrings and stick with you for a very long time. I loved this story of redemption, regret, and forgiveness. Most of all, I enjoyed the unfaltering love between parent and child, and the generosity and kindness shown to Luke during his time of need, by a stranger, Carlos, who picks him up off the street and gets him back on his feet.
Luke's character was incredibly strong developed and in depth.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As always you know how to draw the reader into the story as if they are part of it.Published 1 day ago by Joanne Austin
First off, as an older person, I was delighted that this book was available in Large Print (as are several other novels of Evans). Read morePublished 16 days ago by Sheila R. Schultz
Lost December was a good read. Nice addition to seasonal books.Published 1 month ago by Leapardnose
A great pleasant easy reading book. Keeps the reader interested and has a very pleasant ending. I would recommend this book.Published 1 month ago by Leslie G
Excellent book. Heart warming. Nice to read a clean inspirational book which has the ability to inspire a person to good works.Published 1 month ago
This is the next best to the Bible version of the prodigal son. I didn't want to put it down!!!Published 2 months ago by Cynthia Weir
Clean Romance, although a relationship is implied early in the story.
A modern retelling of the prodigal son story. Luke Crisp is the son of Carl Crisp, a copy center mogul. Read more