The Locket

The Locket

4.5 12
by Richard Paul Evans

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December 1998

Richard Paul Evans captured the hearts of readers worldwide with his New York Times bestselling novel The Christmas Box. It was followed by two more bestsellers, Timepiece and The Letter, which together form a poignant trilogy that explores the importance of parents' love for their children.

Now, in the

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December 1998

Richard Paul Evans captured the hearts of readers worldwide with his New York Times bestselling novel The Christmas Box. It was followed by two more bestsellers, Timepiece and The Letter, which together form a poignant trilogy that explores the importance of parents' love for their children.

Now, in the first volume of a heartwarming new series, Evans turns his initial message around to examine children's love for their parents. The result is a sensitive portrayal of aging in America, a compassionate reminder of the significant role the elderly play in our society and of the unique wisdom they have to share if we take the time to listen.

The Locket centers on the friendship between Michael Keddington, a young man working at a nursing home, and Esther Huish, a reclusive but beautiful resident who deeply regrets her missed opportunities and unfilled dreams. In Michael she finds a confidant, and slowly she begins revealing the source of her deep anguish: her foolish rejection of the one man she truly loved. When Michael tells Esther he has alienated his girlfriend, Faye -- the only woman he loves -- Esther recognizes that he is choosing the same path of loneliness she once did. Esther makes one last dying request of Michael: He must return to her home a golden locket that was given to her by her long-lost love more than 40 years ago. This journey will send Michael on an unforgettable journey of the heart that will allow him to relinquish the past and embrace a future with Faye.

Talking about his newest book, Evans says, "I believe there is dignity in all people. Through my books I try to give voice to those who cannot protect themselves -- children and the elderly. Just as The Christmas Box addressed the need to treasure and respect children and childhood, I hope The Locket will make people think about how the elderly should be treated; how we want to be treated when we must cross that bridge."

With The Locket, Evans once again provides an inspiring keepsake novel whose uplifting message of love, faith, forgiveness, and the possibility of second chances is certain to be embraced by readers everywhere.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Having completed his phenomenally successful Christmas Box trilogy, Evans is set to move on. His new work features Michael Romney, an aimless young man working in a rest home whose contact with the elderly Esther turns his life around.
Victoria Balfour
. . .The Locket may inspire readers to do something naughty just to get rid of the aftertaste. -- People Magazine
Kirkus Reviews
For his fourth time out, the earnest and best-selling Evans moves on from the families he's written about previously, offering a change of names but not of plot, place, or his own trademark cartoon melodrama. Michael Keddington, poor in material things but rich in his knowledge of right and wrong, dropped out of college to nurse his mother (alcoholic Dad is dead, gone, and not regretted) through a six-month decline due to cancer. Now she's in her grave, Michael is left alone with many debts, and he goes to work on them by taking a job at the Arcadia nursing home, a job that pays little but is rich in other rewards—such as the friendship it brings him with one of its residents, the wise Esther Huish, who gradually reveals to Michael her long-held secret of a love she was afraid to accept when a young woman and was to regret losing ever after. Her advice is especially helpful to Michael in his own—hyper-platonic, seemingly—love with Faye Murrow. Faye is about to go east from Utah for medical school and very much wants a betrothal from Michael before she does. Two problems, though: her neurosurgeon father forbids it, despising the wrong-side-of-the-tracks Michael as far beneath his brilliant daughter; and Michael himself is fairly sure—but you're wrong, Michael, wrong!—that he's not good enough, either. Whether or not true love conquers all will depend not only on Bad Dad, Good Faye, and Good-yet-Uncertain Michael, but also on the influence of wise Esther Huish's long-kept secret—and on the outcome of a nasty court trial whose ludicrous origins lie in purest villainy. The Evans faithful, though, will be gripped to the bittersweet end, unlikely, as usual,to be deterred or dismayed by their author's remarkable bumblings with his high-school English.

From the Publisher Vintage Richard Paul Evans....Fans of old-fashioned, two-thumbs-up, box-of-tissues tales will love The Locket.

The Pilot (Southern Pines, NC) A heartwarming, three-hanky story.

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Product Details

Cengage Gale
Publication date:
Edition description:
Large Print
Product dimensions:
6.33(w) x 9.33(h) x 0.99(d)

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Read an Excerpt


There are those who maintain that it is a shameful thing for a man to speak of sentiment, and the recounting of a love story must certainly qualify as such. But if there is virtue in stoicism, I do not see it, and if I haven't the strength to protest, neither have I the will to conform, so I simply share my story as it is. Perhaps time has thinned my walls of propriety as it has my hair.

If my narrative is, in fact, a love story, I suspect that the world will not likely recognize it -- for pulp romances do not often push aluminum walkers or smell of peppermint oil. Still, there are stories that refuse to be interred in silent graves like the lives who gave them breath. The story of Esther Huish is such -- commenced and concluded in a town born of gold, a mining camp cradled in the lap of the Oquirrh Mountains in the remote, windswept ranges of western Utah: the town of Bethel.

Bethel is now a dead town, and its history is not one story but two, as towns may live more than once. In 1857 a tramp miner and sometime evangelist named Hunter Bell, expelled for card cheating from the nearby Goldstrike mining camp, was wandering in exile amongst the bulrushes of the Oquirrh foothills when he chanced upon a rich deposit of placer gold. Bell staked his claim and within a month was joined by more than sixteen hundred miners. Learned in the vernacular of the gospel, if not the spirit, Bell bequeathed the town the biblical name of Bethel -- the House of God.

Though Goldstrike and Bethel were sister cities, they proved as different as siblings in character as in appearance. Bethel was staid and industrious. Her greatest structure was the localchapel, which, when resting off the sabbath, doubled as the town hall and a one-room schoolhouse. Conversely, Goldstrike's most resplendent structure was a honky-tonk piano saloon and brothel. It was a raucous haven of prostitution, gambling, and murder, aptly nicknamed by the Salt Lake City newspapers as Sodom West. As the larger and more accessible of the two cities, Goldstrike became the center of commerce on which Bethel relied for its train station, milling, and trade.

A year after the turn of the century, as gold production in both cities started to decline, tragedy struck Goldstrike. A fire, started in a saloon's kitchen, ravaged the mining town. It was followed by an ill-timed flash flood that collapsed most of the mines and all but washed away what remained of the once thriving township -- a baptism of fire and water the area ministries claimed was apocalyptic, having prophesied that a great scourge was sure to befall the decadent town. Bethel, though spared heaven's wrath, was no longer accessible by railroad and died as well, leaving behind only those too old or too broken -- like slag tossed aside after being purged of its wealth.

For nearly thirty years, Bethel (or Betheltown, as Esther and those indigenous to the small town called it) lay dormant, until 1930, when in the wake of the Great Depression, there was a resurgence of interest in the town's boarded-up shafts and Bethel was reborn as a Depression baby.

It was just prior to these days that Esther Huish arrived in Bethel -- the young, beautiful daughter and sole companion of an elderly man seeking fortune as a miner. Prosperity eluded the man and time proved that his greatest wealth was his daughter, who, as he grew infirm, provided for him as the caretaker of the Bethel Boarding House and Inn. Esther was an elderly woman when I met her, in the last months of her life. She had become a recluse -- preferring to our world an era that existed only in her memory and the diaries in which she chronicled those days. An era evidenced by a petite golden locket. It was an encounter that was to leave me forever changed.

I believe it a great irony that I learned of life from one dying, and of love from one so lonely.

To everything there is a season, said the Preacher, to every purpose under heaven -- a time to get and a time to lose, a time to love and a time to hate, a time to dance and time to mourn, a time to be born and a time to die. Those months with Esther were a season of all these things -- and most important, the season I learned of faith, forgiveness, and second chances. One winter in a rest home called the Arcadia.

Copyright © 1998 by Richard Paul Evans

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Meet the Author

Richard Paul Evans is the #1 bestselling author of The Christmas Box. Each of his more than twenty-five novels has been a New York Times bestseller. There are more than twenty million copies of his books in print worldwide, translated into more than twenty-four languages. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Mothers Book Award, the Romantic Times Best Women’s Novel of the Year Award, the German Audience Gold Award for Romance, two Religion Communicators Council Wilbur Awards, the Washington Times Humanitarian of the Century Award and the Volunteers of America National Empathy Award. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife, Keri, and their five children. You can learn more about Richard on Facebook at, or visit his website,

Brief Biography

Salt Lake City, Utah
Date of Birth:
October 11, 1962
Place of Birth:
Salt Lake City, Utah
B.A., University of Utah, 1984

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