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113 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern day story of the Prodigal Son
This Richard Paul Evans novel begins by recounting the biblical story of the Prodigal Son and states that this is much the same story. And that it is. It is, therefore, the predictable story of a greedy son who wastes his inheritance, hits the lowest point of his life, and yet is welcomed home by a loving and forgiving father.

The story is told through the...
Published on November 1, 2011 by Patty Kaye

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Little Too Contrived and "Smaltsy"
A "feel good" Christmas story. Might have been better if the author hadn't told you up front that it was a telling of the parable of the prodigal son and just let the reader figure it out.
Published 20 months ago by Marian the Librarian


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113 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern day story of the Prodigal Son, November 1, 2011
This review is from: Lost December: A Novel (Hardcover)
This Richard Paul Evans novel begins by recounting the biblical story of the Prodigal Son and states that this is much the same story. And that it is. It is, therefore, the predictable story of a greedy son who wastes his inheritance, hits the lowest point of his life, and yet is welcomed home by a loving and forgiving father.

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."
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50 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You have to read this one., November 2, 2011
This review is from: Lost December: A Novel (Hardcover)
Please note:
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.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Evans does it again, November 3, 2011
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This review is from: Lost December: A Novel (Hardcover)
I first read Richard Paul Evans' work when he wrote the CHRISTMAS BOX, and occasionally picked up one of his books from time to time after that. He always pulled me right into his work and his characters seemed like someone I knew -- or someone I was or could have been. As I had more time to read, I discovered his WALK series and felt as if I were there with his characters each step of the way. I didn't want each book to end and can't wait for the future volumes.

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!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing story! Not just for Christmas time., January 17, 2012
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This review is from: Lost December: A Novel (Hardcover)
4.5/5

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. I enjoyed watching him grow and make up for his transgressions by adopting his father's giving and generous spirit for his own. This book is simply beautiful. I have just two small complaints though that brought my rating down slightly from a 5. The first would be with the story line with Rachel, the single mother he meets in the copy center. I really liked this twist in the story, however, she goes from hating him one second, to loving him the next. I would have liked to see this develop at a more reasonable rate. Also, when Luke returns from Europe, he is told that his father has disowned him, which is why Luke ends up on the streets. However, [*start spoiler* when he is reunited with his father, he is overjoyed to see Luke and welcomes him back with tears of joy, so clearly, he did not in fact disown him. I am assuming this was a lie Henry made up in order to keep Luke away so he could take over the company, but this is never explained. I would have liked an explanation for this, even if my assumption is correct. *end spoiler*]

Other than these two things, this story is basically pure gold! I cannot recommend it enough! This is my fourth RPE book and it will NOT be my last. He never disappoints and has easily become one of my favorite authors.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Gem from Richard Paul Evans, November 8, 2011
By 
Zazzy (Crystal Lake, IL) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lost December: A Novel (Hardcover)
Richard Paul Evans continues to delight readers with his latest inspiration called "Lost December". This book beginning with the original parable of "The Prodigal Son" takes the reader on an adventure in a modern retelling of the story.

On this journey we meet Luke Crisp. Young, intelligent and next in line to take over the Crisp Corporation from his father. Carl Crisp is a loving father who raised Luke after his wife passed away. Teaching him to have a strong work ethic and showing him how to treat people with respect and dignity.

When Luke goes to Wharton to get his MBA to prepare him for what his father hopes is his future with the company, he meets 5 people who challenge his thinking and his heart. When there is an unfortunate accident involving one of them, the rest decide to go on an extended vacation to Europe in an effort to enjoy the spoils of life while they can

Luke knowing he has a trust fund at his disposal decides to join them and his Father is saddened to see his son go instead of taking over the business. There is a part of Luke that knows he has hurt his Father, but the lure of excitement entices him more.

What follows is a series of greedy, self- serving events that turn into a life- altering spin steering Luke's path out of control. With all of his friends gone, he is left to try to pick up the pieces. Thanks to a couple of angels that God puts in his way, Luke is able to climb out of his despair and ultimately finds his way home to Love and Forgiveness.

This book like all of Richard Paul Evans books is filled with inspiration and many points to ponder. I really enjoyed this book. Richard Paul Evans does not disappoint. A truly enjoyable read!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Modern Day Prodigal Son Story, November 14, 2011
By 
Dawn Kurtz "Victorian Gal" (Barberton, Ohio United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lost December: A Novel (Hardcover)
Lost December is an incredible, in-depth, first person account of a modern prodigal. The Bible clearly depicts the strong emotion of the father for his returning son. Likewise, Evan's so emotionally depicts the same joy in Carl Crisp when his son finally returns to him in Lost December. While the Bible does not say much about prodigal's feelings as he is received back into his father's home, Evan's main character, Luke Crisp, reveals an over-whelming humility and true repentance for all the pain he has caused others, particularly his beloved father. The biblical account of the love of the father always moves me to tears and Lost December's finale was no exception. I highly recommend Lost December to all. Parents, this would make a great graduation gift. There are so many lessons taught that may cause your son or daughter to stop to think before giving in to peer pressure or throwing out parental guidance in one moment of weakness. I enjoyed the many quotable passages throughout this book, particularly in the small excerpts in Luke Crisp's Diary at the beginning of each chapter. " I have learned that if you have something to eat, a roof overhead and clean water, you should be most grateful---you number among the world's most blessed." Rare and gifted storyteller, Richard Paul Evans, will not disappoint in his latest tale, Lost December.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Parable of Love Unfeigned, November 16, 2011
This review is from: Lost December: A Novel (Hardcover)
Lost December is a powerful, age old tale, set in modern times. It will open your eyes to the stark realities of life. An account of love, life, loss and love again, full of passion and the struggles of the rich and the poor. This story is fictional, but there is deep truth in its telling.

Richard has again created an exceptional work with characters you will learn to love and others to despise. Full of desperate situations, the realities of the lost and forgotten, and the redeeming glimmer of hope it is truly a tale lived by many.

Lost December is a perfect read to awaken our sense of caring in a world full of lost souls.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, November 11, 2011
This review is from: Lost December: A Novel (Hardcover)
The protagonist Luke Crisp says in the opening of the story that we will not like him. I have to disagree. I didn't dislike him. I saw him as a likeable character; a man long on niavette, and a little short on common sense who fell in with the wrong crowd. The shallow and hollow nature of the members of the Wharton 7--especially Sean--reminded me of some characters in the Great Gatsby.

Luke nearly broke his father's heart, not because he[Luke] was evil, but because he was foolish. He allowed himself to be taken in by a smooth tongued huckster that ultimatley cost him his inheritance. As I read the story, I kept asking myself, why can't Luke see what Sean is up to?

As other reviewers have mentioned, the story is somewhat predictable because it relates to a biblical story that most people are familiar with, but I wasn't bothered by this. Mr. Evans put an interesting spin on that familiar story.

There are some heartwarming moments at the end, and I was surprised to learn about the third meaning of the word Prodigal.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books, January 12, 2012
By 
Kristi Mart (Minneapolis, MN) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lost December: A Novel (Hardcover)
I didn't know anything about this book other than I bought it because it was the one of the best rated book. I am not a fast reader but I read this book within 24 hours. I could not put it down - I had to read it. I don't remember the last time I finished a book a day. I liked his writing style and story development.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learning the hard way, December 22, 2011
This review is from: Lost December: A Novel (Hardcover)
Louis Crisp is the son of a very wealthy family who owns Crisp Copy centers and has lead a pretty sheltered life as his mom passed away when he was young. His dad wants him to try life on his own and after colleges insists he go away and spread his wings to get his MBA. Unfortunately getting in with the wrong crowd almost ruins his life and it is a very touching story of how starting over again and realizing just what is and isn't important changes his entire life. Starting over and trying to keep his dignity are not easy but it was an emotional and very touching story and likes his other books I thought it was wonderful I would suggest it as a nice holiday gift and the size of the book is great to take along. Although I do confess once I started reading it I could not put it down
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Lost December: A Novel
Lost December: A Novel by Richard Paul Evans (Hardcover - November 1, 2011)
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