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The Last Promise Mass Market Paperback – September 30, 2003

266 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Tuscan setting of this new novel by the bestselling author of The Christmas Box is as beguiling as its heroine. Ellen, now called Eliana, has been living in Italy for several years. She's a talented artist in her 30s, originally from a small town in Utah. She came to Italy to study art and soon met and married Maurizio Fernini, the head of a large family agricultural enterprise. What seemed like a fairy tale quickly soured-Maurizio now spends much of his time traveling and philandering, leaving her to care for their severely asthmatic son, Alessio. Eliana knows that in her adopted country she's expected to shrug philosophically at her husband's cheating, but she remains furious and desperately lonely, and even considers illegally fleeing back to America with Alessio. Then she meets American Ross Story, an art lover and tour guide who knows everything about everything in the Uffizi Gallery. Eliana asks Ross to sit for a portrait, and soon she's not nearly as lonely as she used to be. But as the two fall for each other, she faces a tormenting choice between romantic love and her love for her son. Evans paces his story skillfully and plays up the Tuscan landscape to maximum effect. His literary devices can be a bit stale (the first paragraph of the book's first chapter has Eliana studying her reflection in a mirror), but he does offer a gender-bending twist on the age-old story of romance between artist and subject. Those who enjoyed The Christmas Box are in for another treat.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Evans is billed by his publisher as a brand name, and you know the brand. An American wife in Italy, ignored by her Italian husband and caring for a sick child, risks bittersweet romance with the new man in town.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (September 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451211014
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451211019
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 0.9 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (266 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Richard Paul Evans
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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

85 of 87 people found the following review helpful By Jeanne Anderson on November 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was my first book by Richard Paul Evans. I have always loved Nicholas Sparks and was recommended this because the writing is supposed to be similar. If you like Mr. Sparks, you will love Mr. Evans as well!
It is a story of a young American woman who marries an Italian man, moves to Italy, has his child and lives a very lonely life in a loveless marriage. She meets an American man and they become fast friends and soon fall in love.
The story is wonderful and you will find when you finish the book you wish it was not over. I fell in love with the characters. Well at least the main characters, Eliana and Ross. Eliana's husband left a little to be desired.
Mr. Evans is a superb story teller and I will definetly read more of his books. Marvelous!!!!!
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Janet E. Spurr on November 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover
If you want to visit Italy and can't afford the time or the cost just buy Richard Paul Evans book. Not only will you feel like you are in Italy, but be so wrapped around the characters, the beauty of the countryside and wonderful use of the Italian dialogue (which is translated in English) that you will have to stop working just to get back to reading this great book. I read it in a few days and finally finished it late one night. I haven't read such a great book in years. I miss the characters already and wish I was back in the pages of The Last Promise, because it warmed my heart with love, suspense and Italy.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By rebelmomof2 VINE VOICE on March 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I would have given it a five ~~ but towards the end, the story seems to have been rushed ~~ and it wasn't satisfying as I had hoped!
However, this is an incredibly romantic story of a married woman who falls in love with an American who has a dark secret. Eliana is married to the owner of a vineyard in Florence, Italy, and is the mother of an ashmatic son. Left behind at the vineyard while her husband Maurizo travels 350 days out of the year ~~ Eliana never realizes that she is lonely till Ross Story, a mysterious American, rents one of the apartments in the villa. Drawn to one another through a love of art ~~ they quickly realizes that they are soulmates. And this is their story.
It is a quick read ~~ one to inspire sighs over the Tuscany landscape and art museum and the descriptions of food makes your mouth water. And the writing is artful ~~ leading you to the conclusion. If you're looking for a wonderful book to take to the beach this summer, this book is it. You can escape into the landscape and the romance ~~ and finish it in an afternoon.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 26, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Though not as good as some of Evan's books, this is lighter, but nonetheless thought provoking. Yes, his Italian is not quite accurate, but for an American hero, it is better than some might expect. Yes marriage is forever;however, even God acknowledges adultery as grounds for moving on with your life and Eliana's husband frequently changed lovers.
Her husband's only redemption.....his love for his son finally made him realize his own shortcomings and allowed both his son and Eliana to "move on to happiness".
Some reviewers have called it a "quick read" lacking in the emotional pull of some Evans' novel.......however, I read this book twice and find that if you read it fully....not quickly you will be surprised at the "meat" and emotional pull of this work. The beauty of Florence is touted thoroughly, but I would have liked to have had more incite of the harvest time and the people therewith.
In short and in retrospect...I would choose this book again for a romantic and heartwrenching story of a young, lovely, lonely woman whose husband's straying has left her with a life centered only on her son and her religion....everyone needs validation that they are not only needed but loved for themselves.
I recommend this book to anyone with tender heart....
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ratmammy VINE VOICE on March 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
THE LAST PROMISE by Richard Paul Evans
Rating: 4/5 stars

March 26, 2008

THE LAST PROMISE is the story of two people that meet and fall in love in the Italian countryside. Eliana is an American woman who marries an Italian man and moves with him back to his native Italy to help manage the family vineyard. While their courtship was wonderful, now that they are married he is rarely home, as he says he's traveling for business. Their son, a highly asthmatic child, Alessio, stays with Eliana while her husband is away. It is fate that brings her together with another American, Ross Story, who is now living in Italy for reasons not immediately made known to the reader. All we know is that he's decided to get away from America to start a new life in Italy. The place he chooses to stay is a room on the vineyard where Eliana lives.

The two are attracted to each other right away, and then Eliana tells Ross she is married. They strike up a friendship and the attraction is apparent to them as well as to others who watch them together. But they keep the friendship platonic, because she has made it clear that she is married and has no intentions of leaving her husband, despite how unhappy she is. But, despite what she says, it is inevitable that one day they may cross that fine line. Would she risk losing her son for the love of another man and her happiness?

I've read a number of books by Richard Paul Evans and I think this was my favorite so far. I loved the Italian backdrop, and I also think Evans did a good job with the characters. They felt like real characters to me, and not just fictional flat characters placed in a story. I'm definitely recommending this book to those who enjoy reading love stories.
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