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The Sunflower Paperback – June 19, 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (June 19, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743287029
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743287029
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.1 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Author of the smash The Christmas Box and spinoffs, Evans delivers an entertaining albeit syrupy picking-up-the-pieces romance. Heartbroken and bereft when her fiancé backs out a week before the wedding, Christine Hollister allows herself to be talked into a volunteer work trip to Peru by best friend Jessica so that the pair can work together in an orphanage called the Sunflower. There she meets Paul Cook, the handsome but damaged former ER doc who left the U.S. after being blamed for a series of tragic Christmas deaths on the ward. The budding romance between Paul and Christine is totally predictable (including the awkwardness of their initial meetings). Evans adds a nice dramatic touch when Jessica's newfound boyfriend is seriously hurt while guiding a group of orphanage workers through the mountains near Machu Picchu, and he has a nice feel for framing devices, dialogue and scene-pacing. Evans also puts the jungle setting to good use during the couple's "dates." Although the various references to Christmas feel gratuitous, and a sudden appearance by jilter Martin doesn't do much to make the ending harder to anticipate, the finish nonetheless remains satisfying. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Evans, author of The Christmas Box (1994) and Perfect Day (2003), returns with a heartwarming tale about two people who have to pick up the pieces after their lives derail in unexpected ways. Paul Cook is a successful ER doctor, but one night he loses two patients in one evening and his taste for medicine. Dental hygienist Christine Hollister is preparing for her wedding when her supposedly perfect fiance, Martin, tells her a week before the big day that he can't go through with it. Heartbroken, Christine allows her best friend, Jessica, to talk her into a group trip to Peru for charity work. Christine reluctantly agrees, and once there she tries to distract herself with her work. But when her wallet is snatched and the culprit caught by handsome Paul, Christine becomes enamored of the mysterious stranger. She begins spending time with Paul at the orphanage he runs, and as they grow closer, both begin to wonder what kind of future they'll be able to have together once her trip ends. Sweet and uplifting, Evans'new tale is as enjoyable as his previous ones. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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

I read this book in one sitting.
Annie Girl
He reminds us that we can and should look for chances to make the world a better place.
The characters are extremely well developed and the settings well defined.
JJ Stark

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Ratmammy VINE VOICE on October 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
THE SUNFLOWER by Richard Paul Evans

October 15, 2005

Amazon Rating: 4/5 stars

A romance set in the jungles of Peru, THE SUNFLOWER by Richard Paul Evans is the love story between a doctor and a woman running away from the memory of her ex-fiancé. Evan's writing is rather simplistic, but he makes up for it in the story he tells. A woman, Christine, is devastated when her fiancé breaks up with her just a week before the wedding. To console her, her best friend Jessica takes them on a trip to Peru, where the two of them experience an adventure that may be the highlight of their lives.

In Peru, Christine meets Paul, a doctor who once had a career in the States but forsake the life of comfort by moving to Peru to care for the poor. Christine is used to the pampered life, but meeting Paul and experiencing all she does in Peru changes her.

THE SUNFLOWER is a romance and an adventure story in one. Told in a rather simplistic prose, the story itself is a good beach read and for those who love clean, simple romances, this is for you. The backdrop of the jungles of Peru gives this romance a unique flavor. I enjoyed it for what it was - a simple love story with an inspirational message. A fast read, THE SUNFLOWER comes recommended.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By JJ Stark VINE VOICE on October 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I haven't read all of Richard Paul Evans' books, but I have read his last four releases, as well as the CHRISTMAS BOX and THE DANCE (a childrens' book), and so far, THE SUNFLOWER is my favorite.

Nearly all of Richard Paul Evans' novels carry some sort of message and lessons we all could use without sounding "preachy." The message of THE SUNFLOWER could be that those who have the least (as in material possessions) usually have the most to give.

This is the story of how Paul and Christine meet and fall in love under the most unusual circumstances. After spending an emotional and devestating Christmas in the ER, Paul packs it in and heads to South America where he finds an orphanage and a cause that needs him more than any hospital in the states. After her fiance backs out one week before their wedding, Christine is whisked away to the same jungles of South America on the adventure of a lifetime by her best friend Jessica. What starts as an accidental meeting, Christine and Paul travel on their own adventure, during which they fall in love and learn a little bit more about themselves.

The characters are extremely well developed and the settings well defined. The jungles of South America are described in such detail that readers feel that they are a member of the group, traveling right alongside Christine, Jessica, Paul and Jim. Along the way, we meet Pablo, Roxana and the other children at El Gurasol (the Sunflower) and learn of the circumstances that brought each of them there, and how there are so many other less fortunate children who have yet to find the safety and security that The Sunflower can offer.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Nancy R. Katz VINE VOICE on July 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
While browsing at the library I came across the CD of The Sunflower by Richard Paul Evans. While I rarely if ever listen to a book, I thought this might be a good diversion while I was driving or even while in the house, cooking or cleaning. Unfortunately, as always, I switched to the book to finish it. I'm not sure if this had anything to do with how much I enjoyed this title since in the past I really loved Richard Paul Evans titles.

The author of the The Christmas Box which I first watched on television, I also gulped down his next two titles which is now known as The Christmas Box trilogy. I so enjoyed this author that I continued to read his books each time they were published. But somehow each new book seemed to go downhill a bit and this title with an important agenda is the book I least liked. Still, I did give it an average rating since there were some parts I did enjoy.

In a midwestern town a young woman is spurned only days before her wedding. Inconsolable and bereft, the young woman's friend encourages her to join a group traveling to Peru to help those less fortunate. Once there, the young woman meets a Doctor who also has left America under difficult circumstances. As they get to know each other, the healing of both of these two wounded individuals begins and while they wonder if their love can ever work out, circumstances force them to examine what brought them to Peru in the first place.

As in most of Evan's books which are considered inspirational, he writes with a personal agenda. And this book is no exception as he dedicates this title to an orphanage in Peru and the need for volunteers world wide to help out the poor and uneducated.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on October 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
THE SUNFLOWER has introduced me to Richard Paul Evans, and I think I'm hooked. Although his writing is very simple and somewhat predictable, he tells a good story. For those who enjoy romances in foreign settings, touched with a bit of adventure, here's a book you can get into pretty quickly. It opens with a man and his daughter (unnamed characters) on a tour in the jungles of Peru to help out with the poor. During this trip, the man encounters Paul Cook, who then proceeds to tell his story.

Paul's story begins on Christmas Eve in the ER back in the United States. He's on duty that night and thinks he could have saved his two main patients, but unfortunately they do not make it. One is a young boy who had a tiny toy soldier lodged in his throat. The other is a middle-aged man who had a heart attack. Following the end of this scene, the story moves on to Christine, who has just been dumped by her fiancé a week before their wedding. She is devastated and cannot understand why this is happening to her. All her life she has dreamed of her wedding day, and now it's not even going to happen.

Best friend Jessica tries to cheer Christine up by taking them both on a trip to Peru for a tour that will allow them to work with the poor, helping the villagers while also learning about the native jungles and what it is like to live there. Despite Christine's protests, they end up in Machu Picchu anyway. Christine is a city girl and is very high-maintenance. She does not do well at all during the initial part of their trip, complaining nonstop. But on her first day in the village, she bumps into a man, Paul Cook, not realizing that it's his orphanage they will be helping out during their stay in Peru.
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