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The Sunflower

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Overview

"Seek not your destiny, for it is seeking you."

Just a week before their marriage, Christine's fiance calls off the wedding, leaving her heartbroken. With hopes of helping her through a difficult time, Christine's best friend Jessica enrolls them both on a humanitarian mission in Peru, to work at an orphanage called El Girasol — The Sunflower.

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The Sunflower: A Novel

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Overview

"Seek not your destiny, for it is seeking you."

Just a week before their marriage, Christine's fiance calls off the wedding, leaving her heartbroken. With hopes of helping her through a difficult time, Christine's best friend Jessica enrolls them both on a humanitarian mission in Peru, to work at an orphanage called El Girasol — The Sunflower.

It is while working at the orphanage that Christine meets Paul Cook, a successful and charismatic American doctor who has fled the States after one fatal day took away his career, his faith, and the woman he loved.

Unplanned events lead Paul and Christine into the jungle of the Amazon, where Christine must confront her deepest fears, and she, and Paul, must both learn to trust and love again.
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Editorial Reviews

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 fiance 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 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Love blooms for a young American woman and an expatriate doctor during a Peruvian jungle expedition. Jilted at the altar, timid dental hygienist Christine is strong-armed into a two-week Peruvian humanitarian trip by her adventurous best friend Jessica, who reasons that Christine will get over heartbreak only by giving of herself. Once she arrives at the tiny Cusco orphanage El Girasol, whose name means "sunflower" in Spanish, Christine is absorbed in work and discovers the problems and deprivations of the developing world. She befriends a deaf girl abandoned by her parents, and grows closer to the mysterious proprietor Paul. Himself the victim of heartbreak, Paul had left behind a promising medical career in America. He ends up guiding Christine's group through the jungle to an eco-lodge, where he helps his fragile lady friend overcome her fear of spiders and teaches her to "hunt" crocodiles. And when Christine comes down with a tropical fever, Paul uses his medical skills to save the woman he has already fallen in love with. After her recovery, Christine is forced to choose between love and the safety of her former life-the prospect is much scarier than spiders. This wholesome story from Evans (A Perfect Day, 2003, etc.) boasts an amazing setting but less successful are the preachy diary entries from Paul that contradict his laconic man-of-action persona. There is also a secondary plot involving child-sex trafficking that feels undeveloped. A romantic meditation on faith, redemption and public service.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780641934797
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/19/2007
  • Pages: 334
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Paul Evans

Richard Paul Evans is the #1 bestselling author of The Christmas Box. Each of his more than twenty novels has been a New York Times bestseller. There are more than 17 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, three 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.com/RPEFans, or visit his website RichardPaulEvans.com.

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

Read an Excerpt

The Sunflower

A Novel
By Richard Paul Evans

Simon & Schuster

Copyright © 2005 Richard Paul Evans
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0743287010

Chapter One

Going to the jungle wasn't my idea. Had the thought actually crossed my mind, I would have immediately relegated it to that crowded portion of my brain where things I should do someday but thankfully never will are safely locked away to languish and die.

The idea was my daughter McKenna's. Three months before she graduated from high school, her sociology teacher, a graying, long-haired Haight-Ashbury throwback who had traded in his tie-dye T-shirts for tweed jackets with leather elbow patches presented to his class the opportunity to go to South America on a humanitarian mission. McKenna became obsessed with the idea and asked if I would accompany her on such an excursion -- kind of a daddy-daughter date in the Amazon.

I agreed. Not that I had any real desire or intention of going. I figured that she would soon graduate and her mind would be occupied with other concerns. I never believed it would really come about.

I should have known my daughter better. Four months later I found myself standing with her and a dozen of her former classmates in the Salt Lake City airport boarding a plane for Lima, Peru.

Unbeknownst to our little group, we had entrusted our lives to novices. We were the first group our expeditionary guides had actually led into the Amazon -- a fact we discovered twenty-four hours later deep in a jungle teeming with anacondas, jaguars and hand-sized spiders. Several times in the course of our expedition, our guide, an elderly Peruvian man, would suddenly stop, lay his machete at the foot of a tree, then climb above the jungle canopy for a look, each time descending with a somewhat perplexed expression.

After our third complete change of course I asked our guide (as tactfully as one being led through a jungle must) if he knew where he was going. In broken English the old man replied, "Yes, I have been here before..." then added, "when I was six."

During our hike we came upon the village of an Amazonian tribe, the Los Palmos. Overjoyed to learn that they were neither cannibals nor headhunters, we soon noticed that the population of the village included no young men, only women and the elderly. Our guide asked one of the natives where all the young men had gone.

"They have gone to town to kill the mayor," she replied.

"Why?" our guide asked.

"The mayor has said we can no longer cut the rainforest trees. We cannot live without the wood from the trees. So our men have gone to kill him."

"Do you think that's a good idea?" our guide asked.

The woman shrugged. "Probably not, but it's how things are done in the jungle."

There was something refreshing about her logic. I've never been overly fond of politics, and the image of painted tribesmen carrying spears and bows into town hall delighted me -- certainly something we don't see enough of in Salt Lake City. I still wonder how that all turned out.

Two days into our journey we ran out of food. For several days we lived on jungle fruit and the piranhas we caught in the river. (Piranha doesn't taste that bad -- kind of like chicken.)

I remember, as a boy, sitting spellbound through a Saturday afternoon matinee about a school of piranhas that terrorized a small jungle village. These Hollywood piranhas swam in conveniently slow-moving schools that cinematically frothed and bubbled on the surface, allowing the hero a chance to swim across the river and rescue a woman just inches ahead of the churning piranha death.

The piranhas we encountered in the jungle were nothing like that. First, Amazon piranhas are nearly as ubiquitous in the jungle as vegetation. Drop a fishing line in any jungle river and within seconds it will be bitten. Usually in half. Second, there are no warning bubbles.

Adding crocodiles, electric eels and leeches to the mix, we decided it best to just keep out of the water.

After several days of traveling we reached our destination, a small village where we established our clinic. The Quechuan natives were waiting for us.

The goal of our humanitarian mission was threefold: teach basic hygiene, fix teeth and correct vision. I was assigned to the latter. The optometrist who hiked in with us would conduct an eye examination, then hand me a written prescription for eyeglasses that I would attempt to fill from the bags of used eyewear we had packed into the jungle.

I remember one patient in particular. He was an elderly man, small featured and sun-baked, his skin as leathery as a baseball glove. And he had just one eye. As he was led from his exam to my station, the doctor handed me a blank prescription.

"What do I do with this?" I asked.

"Find the thickest lens you can find," he replied. "He's all but blind."

I knew the pair. Earlier, as I was organizing the glasses, I had come across a pair of lenses so thick I was certain they were bulletproof. I retrieved them and placed them on the little man's face. I soon learned that he had not just one eye, but also just one tooth as a broad smile blanketed his face. "!Puedo ver!" he exclaimed. I can see!

It was my daughter's job to tend the children as the doctors treated their parents. Indelibly etched in my mind is a sweet mental picture of my daughter as I looked out to see her running and screaming in mock terror from a throng of bare-chested little boys, who were laughing so hard they would occasionally fall to the ground holding their stomachs.

As we left the village, the children gathered around her and she hugged each of them. We sat together in the back of the bus, and she grew very quiet. After a few minutes I asked her what she had learned from this experience. She thought about it a moment, then said, "We love those whom we serve."

We moved on by boat up the muddy Rio Madre de Dios past the camps of the illicit gold miners scarring the forest with their bulldozers and sluices, eventually coming to a small clearing in the jungle. An airfield. Boarding a cargo plane, we flew south to Cuzco, where we took buses up into the Andes Mountains to a rundown hacienda.

The hacienda had been magnificent once, with elaborate tiles and intricate woodwork. It had a stone courtyard, a balcony and a bell tower. But the opulence of centuries ago was gone now, and what remained, rotting and looted, provided barely adequate shelter for the orphan boys it now housed. The place was called El Girasol -- the Sunflower -- and it was in the business of saving street children.

Among all the people we encountered in this mystical land, it was here that we met the most memorable: an American by the name of Paul Cook.

I was told by one of our guides that Paul Cook had once been a successful emergency room physician. Up until one Christmas Day when everything changed.

One night, after we had completed our day's tasks, we sat around a fire recounting the day's events as darkness closed in around us. Gradually our group retired to their sleeping quarters and I found myself alone with this quiet, intriguing man. We talked mostly about America; about the NBA, current movies, the Oscars and whom I thought would win the next presidential election. When I had satisfied his curiosity about current events, I asked him what prompted him to come to Peru. He just stared into the fire. Then he said, without looking at me, "That's a long story."

"No clocks in the jungle," I said.

Still gazing into the fire, he smiled at the use of one of his own favorite phrases. After a moment he said, "I'll show you."

He led me through the labyrinth of the hacienda to a small windowless cell with a wooden floor and a high ceiling. The room was as austere as any I had seen in the orphanage and was lit by a single lightbulb hanging from a cord from the exposed rafters. There were a few simple pieces of furniture: a small tin washbasin, a crate for a desk with a wooden chair and a bed that was just a mattress on box springs set on wooden blocks.

And there were books. Lots of books, visibly well-read and stacked in sloppy piles against the wall. I scanned the titles. Classics and bestsellers, Reader's Digest compilations, medical journals and crossword puzzles, biographies and thrillers. Books in Spanish as well as English. There were a few love stories.

On the wall above the books were two framed photographs: one of an elderly couple I guessed to be his parents, the other of a beautiful young woman whom I was to learn was named Christine. The most peculiar adornment to the room was a movie poster: a moody, black and indigo poster of a man kissing a woman beneath a title written in Italian: Cinema Paradiso.

Paul let me take in the surroundings for a moment before motioning for me to sit on the bed. I noticed that he had something in his hand -- a hand-sewn leather pouch. He untied its drawstrings and took from it a small toy soldier and handed it to me. Then he sat down next to me and commenced his tale. An hour or so later, when he was done, he looked weary and spent and I could sense the walls rising again in his demeanor, as if maybe he feared that he had shared too much. He restored the soldier to its pouch, hanging it by its drawstrings to a nail on the wall.

I asked if I could share his story. He showed little interest in my request but said he would sleep on it, a reply I also understood as my dismissal. Three days later, just a few hours before we were to fly back to Lima, he agreed.

It's been said, Seek not your destiny for it is seeking you. Paul Cook's story reveals, as well as any I suppose, that this is true. It was equally true for a young woman named Christine, who went to the jungle looking for anything but love.

This is their story.

Copyright 2005 by Richard Paul Evans



Continues...


Excerpted from The Sunflower by Richard Paul Evans Copyright © 2005 by Richard Paul Evans.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Introduction

Group Reading Guide

The Sunflower

Richard Paul Evans

Discussion Questions

  1. Sunflowers appear throughout the story, from the name of the orphanage (El Girasol) to Christine's wedding decorations to symbols found in the ancient Temple of the Sun in Machu Picchu. What does the image of the sunflower represent? What does it mean to Christine in particular?
  2. When Martin tells Christine he no longer wants to get married, she asks him what she did wrong. Why is Christine so quick to blame herself? What did she see in Martin, a man she dated for six years and almost married? How is Paul, to whom Christine is immediately attracted from their first encounter outside the hotel in Cuzco, most different from Martin?
  3. Christine and Jessica are "proof that opposites attract . . . and both women, in their own ways, envied the other" (35). How would you describe each woman? What do Jessica and Christine each bring to — and get out of — their friendship?
  4. After Martin calls off the wedding, Jessica says to Christine, "He'll come to his senses eventually. . . . The only question is whether you'll be dumb enough to take him when he comes crawling back" (46). Yet later in the story Jessica tells Paul that Martin is Christine's "happy ending" (302). Does Jessica really mean what she tells Paul, or is she trying to prevent Christine from making what she believes is a mistake? Does Jessica have a more selfish motive for not wanting Christine to marry Paul?
  5. Paul successfully weathered the simultaneous lawsuits brought against him by the families of twopatients who died in the ER under his care. Why then did he give up his career as a doctor and leave the United States to travel around South America? What draws him to El Girasol and then compels him to stay on as director of the orphanage?
  6. How does the three-day period Christine and Paul spend together at the orphanage lay the foundation for their relationship? When Christine leaves the orphanage with the tour group, she writes the following in a note to Paul: "You helped me in ways you will probably never know" (155). Describe the ways in which Paul helped her and how these were significant to Christine's development.
  7. Why does Paul share the story of his mother, who is dying from ALS, with Christine? When Christine returns to the orphanage at the end of the story, why does she repeat to Paul the phrase ("Love is stronger than pain") that he used when telling her about his parents? How does this sentiment apply to their situation?
  8. When Christine becomes sick with dengue fever, she's in a remote area of Peru with only Paul to care for her. How is this incident a turning point for Christine both personally and in terms of her relationship with Paul? What does Paul come to realize about himself and his feelings for Christine as he sees her through this illness?
  9. Describe Christine's transformation from the beginning of the story to the end. In what significant ways does she change? When Christine and Paul leave Makisapa Lodge after she recovers from her illness, the walk through the jungle no longer frightens her. "She knew she was not the same woman who had marched into the jungle the week before" (283). Why is Christine not afraid this time?
  10. On their last night together in Peru, Paul asks Christine to marry him. What prompts him to propose — and Christine to accept — after knowing each other for such a short time? What is Christine's response when she learns that Martin is waiting for her in Lima? During her reunion with Martin, what does Christine conclude about her former fiancé? Why does she return to the United States with Martin?
  11. In the Epilogue, the narrator who began the story reveals that Paul and Christine have married and settled in a Dayton suburb with Pablo and Roxana. What was your reaction to finding out that Paul chose not to continue running the orphanage? What purpose does the narrator serve?
  12. When Paul learns that he is to see Christine again as a result of Jim's accident, he writes in his diary, "Fate has a way of cutting corners" (195). Do you believe in fate? What role, if any, does it play in this story? If not for Jim's accident, do you think they would have seen each other again? If so, which character do you think would have been more likely to take the initiative?
  13. What is the central theme of The Sunflower? What aspects of the book did you find especially memorable or inspiring? Discuss the humanitarian mission in The Sunflower. What were the success and failures? What did you learn?

Enhance Your Book Club

  1. If you're hosting the discussion, incorporate a sunflower theme into the meeting. Brighten up the room with a bouquet of sunflowers. Serve a sunflower-inspired recipe from the National Sunflower Association (www.sunflowernsa.com), such as Artichoke Sunflower Dip, Acorn Squash with Caramelized Sunflower Kernels, or Spinach & Sunflower Salad with Orange Vinaigrette. End on a sweet note by giving each member a foil-wrapped chocolate sunflower medallion, which can be purchased at www.keepsakefavors.com.
  2. Take your book club on the road for a volunteer mission — an outing in your town, a weekend trip, or even a journey to a foreign locale as Christine and Jessica undertake in The Sunflower. Find out more about humanitarian vacations at the following websites:

    http://www.globalvolunteers.org/1main/volunteer_vacation.htm

    http://www.globeaware.org/

    http://www.i-to-i.com/Home.aspx?tabindex=0&tabid=76&subtabindex=0&subtabid=453&ci=en-gb

    http://www.justgive.org/html/ways/vacations.html

    http://www.tjourneys.com/our%20company.htm

    Be sure to keep a scrapbook of your group's experiences!

  3. Research the Peruvian locations featured in the book — Machu Picchu, Cuzco, Lima, Ollantaytambo, and the jungle of the Amazon — and discuss how the setting enhances the story. Visit www.richardpaulevans.com for photographs and video commentary from the author about his adventures in Peru.

RICHARD PAUL EVANS is the #1 best-selling author of The Christmas Box. His thirteen novels have each appeared on the New York Times bestseller list; there are more than thirteen million copies of his books in print. His books have been translated into more than 22 languages and several have been international best sellers. He is the winner of the 1998 American Mothers Book Award, two first place Storytelling World Awards for his children's books, and the 2005 Romantic Times Best Women Novel of the Year Award.  Evans received the Washington Times Humanitarian of the Century Award and the Volunteers of America National Empathy Award for his work helping abused children.  He is the founder and CEO of BookWise, an international direct sales business. Evans lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife, Keri, and their five children.

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Reading Group Guide

Group Reading Guide

The Sunflower

Richard Paul Evans

Discussion Questions

  1. Sunflowers appear throughout the story, from the name of the orphanage (El Girasol) to Christine's wedding decorations to symbols found in the ancient Temple of the Sun in Machu Picchu. What does the image of the sunflower represent? What does it mean to Christine in particular?
  2. When Martin tells Christine he no longer wants to get married, she asks him what she did wrong. Why is Christine so quick to blame herself? What did she see in Martin, a man she dated for six years and almost married? How is Paul, to whom Christine is immediately attracted from their first encounter outside the hotel in Cuzco, most different from Martin?
  3. Christine and Jessica are "proof that opposites attract . . . and both women, in their own ways, envied the other" (35). How would you describe each woman? What do Jessica and Christine each bring to -- and get out of -- their friendship?
  4. After Martin calls off the wedding, Jessica says to Christine, "He'll come to his senses eventually. . . . The only question is whether you'll be dumb enough to take him when he comes crawling back" (46). Yet later in the story Jessica tells Paul that Martin is Christine's "happy ending" (302). Does Jessica really mean what she tells Paul, or is she trying to prevent Christine from making what she believes is a mistake? Does Jessica have a more selfish motive for not wanting Christine to marry Paul?
  5. Paul successfully weathered the simultaneous lawsuits brought against him by the families of two patients who died in the ER under his care. Why then did he give up his career as a doctor and leave the United States to travel around South America? What draws him to El Girasol and then compels him to stay on as director of the orphanage?
  6. How does the three-day period Christine and Paul spend together at the orphanage lay the foundation for their relationship? When Christine leaves the orphanage with the tour group, she writes the following in a note to Paul: "You helped me in ways you will probably never know" (155). Describe the ways in which Paul helped her and how these were significant to Christine's development.
  7. Why does Paul share the story of his mother, who is dying from ALS, with Christine? When Christine returns to the orphanage at the end of the story, why does she repeat to Paul the phrase ("Love is stronger than pain") that he used when telling her about his parents? How does this sentiment apply to their situation?
  8. When Christine becomes sick with dengue fever, she's in a remote area of Peru with only Paul to care for her. How is this incident a turning point for Christine both personally and in terms of her relationship with Paul? What does Paul come to realize about himself and his feelings for Christine as he sees her through this illness?
  9. Describe Christine's transformation from the beginning of the story to the end. In what significant ways does she change? When Christine and Paul leave Makisapa Lodge after she recovers from her illness, the walk through the jungle no longer frightens her. "She knew she was not the same woman who had marched into the jungle the week before" (283). Why is Christine not afraid this time?
  10. On their last night together in Peru, Paul asks Christine to marry him. What prompts him to propose -- and Christine to accept -- after knowing each other for such a short time? What is Christine's response when she learns that Martin is waiting for her in Lima? During her reunion with Martin, what does Christine conclude about her former fiancé? Why does she return to the United States with Martin?
  11. In the Epilogue, the narrator who began the story reveals that Paul and Christine have married and settled in a Dayton suburb with Pablo and Roxana. What was your reaction to finding out that Paul chose not to continue running the orphanage? What purpose does the narrator serve?
  12. When Paul learns that he is to see Christine again as a result of Jim's accident, he writes in his diary, "Fate has a way of cutting corners" (195). Do you believe in fate? What role, if any, does it play in this story? If not for Jim's accident, do you think they would have seen each other again? If so, which character do you think would have been more likely to take the initiative?
  13. What is the central theme of The Sunflower? What aspects of the book did you find especially memorable or inspiring? Discuss the humanitarian mission in The Sunflower. What were the success and failures? What did you learn?

Enhance Your Book Club

  1. If you're hosting the discussion, incorporate a sunflower theme into the meeting. Brighten up the room with a bouquet of sunflowers. Serve a sunflower-inspired recipe from the National Sunflower Association (www.sunflowernsa.com), such as Artichoke Sunflower Dip, Acorn Squash with Caramelized Sunflower Kernels, or Spinach & Sunflower Salad with Orange Vinaigrette. End on a sweet note by giving each member a foil-wrapped chocolate sunflower medallion, which can be purchased at www.keepsakefavors.com.
  2. Take your book club on the road for a volunteer mission -- an outing in your town, a weekend trip, or even a journey to a foreign locale as Christine and Jessica undertake in The Sunflower. Find out more about humanitarian vacations at the following websites:

    http://www.globalvolunteers.org/1main/volunteer_vacation.htm

    http://www.globeaware.org/

    http://www.i-to-i.com/Home.aspx?tabindex=0&tabid=76&subtabindex=0&subtabid=453&ci=en-gb

    http://www.justgive.org/html/ways/vacations.html

    http://www.tjourneys.com/our%20company.htm

    Be sure to keep a scrapbook of your group's experiences!

  3. Research the Peruvian locations featured in the book -- Machu Picchu, Cuzco, Lima, Ollantaytambo, and the jungle of the Amazon -- and discuss how the setting enhances the story. Visit www.richardpaulevans.com for photographs and video commentary from the author about his adventures in Peru.
Simon & Schuster
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 61 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(34)

4 Star

(17)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 61 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2009

    The best part is the orphanage!

    While reading the other reviews, I think the best part is left out. The Sunflower orphanage in the book really exists to this day...it is amazing. They literally save the kids from the streets and they are giving them a new life. I think that is the best part of the story. I now want to go help in places on earth that are not as fortunate as we in the US are. It's a great read for anyone who has considered missions work. Southern Cross Humanitarian makes trips here alot. Read the book and go help save lives...make a difference!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    Thrilling and Romantic at the same Time

    This ia a wonderful book to read. The whole story made me realize how fortunate we are to live here in the USA but also how much we take for granted.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2014

    Cyrus

    Okay *follows him*

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2014

    loved it

    loved it

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2013

    A shattered crystal wall

    Shards of transparent crystals are found aroubd here. Watch your wings, the gems are sharp. A distance away, there is a tiny wall of the transparent stuff. Its pointed and you can enter the brick flower from here. Be careful with your wings here.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2013

    Wonderful book

    Must read and The Sunflower is an actual place loved it

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 14, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Very inspiring!!!

    A good read about rebuilding when you lose hope, there is always someone there for you at the perfect time. Evans puts it all together. Paul In the wake of personal tragedy, two people meet on a humanitarian mission in Peru. Christine is a shy, unadventurous woman whose fiancee broke off the engagement only a week before the wedding, and Paul is a former emergency room doctor whose glamorous lifestyle, stellar reputation, and beautiful fiancee are cruelly snatched from him one fateful, snowy Christmas Eve. Deep in the Amazon jungle, against a backdrop of poverty and heartbreak, they must confront their deepest fears and, together, learn to trust and love again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2012

    Great book..Great Author

    Never been disappointed by a Richard Paul Evans book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2012

    Love

    Love

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  • Posted April 23, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    A touching story that everyone needs to read. Made me feel so th

    A touching story that everyone needs to read. Made me feel so thankful to be where I am.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Enjoyable

    This is a book that you should read, its about love, sacarfice, and friendship, a good overall read

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  • Posted October 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and had a hard time taking putting it down. If you are looking for a weekend read where you just curl up with a romantic book. This is the book I would recommend for you!

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  • Posted January 10, 2011

    AWAZING!!

    i got this book before i got my nook and i must say that i LOVED it. its a good story abbot love and hope i think everyone should read this book:)

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  • Posted October 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great Book

    This book inspired me to go to Peru and see the sights that the author wrote about. I am so glad I read it! Machu Picchu is incredible. I did not climb to the top of Huayna Picchu, like they did in the book, because we didn't have time after our tour. My son and I did, however, do the 1 day Inca Trail that starts from the 104K marker in order to get to Machu Picchu. It was sureal to just hop off the train in the middle of nowhere and watch it leave us there. It was a tough climb due to the altitude but it was so worth it! We chewed coca leaves and drank coca tea while we were there and didn't have any altitude sickness at all. We also tried the cuy while we were in Cusco like they did in the book - it tasted like roasted duck. I don't remember the book mentioning the national drink, Pisco Sour, but we tried that too, a few times! We didn't go to the Peruvian jungle but we did go to the jungle in Ecuador. It was exactly like the author described, we even stayed in a lodge very much like the one in the book. We made sure to take malaria pills!! I know everyone else wrote their reviews about the characters and the storyline in the book but the places those characters went were so interesting to me that I just had to go and see it myself... Great book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2009

    A clean romantic book.

    This book was a very nice book to read. It was a sweet book without all the sex. It was about a woman moving on and finding a love and a mission at the same time helping another find his way back to living.

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  • Posted May 12, 2009

    A great love story

    A wonderful book to read about love, between two people. I will read it again someday.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2007

    Story full of hope.

    Another great story by Evans. A little bittersweet. Anyone who's suffered a breakup of a marriage or love will find inspiration in this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2006

    Amazing and Intellectual

    This book was full of characters you can relate to and a wonderful plot you can just dream about. It might not have been up to par with the high standards which we seem to put with all his books, but definently an extremely suspence filled book. It took me a while to finish, but 'The Sunshine' will remain a favorite of mine.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2006

    Waiting for a movie to be made

    Again Richard Paul Evans has captivated me with a story. I read this book rather fast, because it was so hard to put down. This year it will be Christmas gifts for all my book reading friends and family. This is a heart warming story and a bit of a surprise is in store for you. I think it would make a lovely movie, not only is the story great, but it would raise awareness, too

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2006

    Hope latches on to anything that floats...

    ¿El Girasol (the Sunflower) is a sanctuary, as much to me as to the orphan boys we rescue from the Peruvian streets. For in a world where evil seems to triumph more then not, El Girasol is evidence that we might be something better- evidence that we might be good.¿ In the book The Sunflower by Richard Paul Evans, El Girasol (the Sunflower) is exactly where the adventure for a women named Christine begins, a women who is recovering from the call off of her wedding. Christine¿s best friend Jessica enrolls her in a humanitarian mission in Peru in a desperate attempt to get Christine to forget. What Christine doesn¿t realize is that Paul Cook was right when he said, ¿ The surest way to minimize your own burdens is to carry someone else¿s.¿ And that is exactly what happens when Christine visits the orphanage (El Girasol) and meets with the boys and girl who love each other more then she ever thought anyone could after the pain they had been through and falls for the one man that is everything to these children. But in a twist of fate, her time with Paul is extended when under horrible circumstances, her guide is unable to take the group through the jungle, and steeping up to the challenge Paul becomes the new guide. But when Christine falls ill, and she and Paul are stuck together in the jungle, they both must learn to trust and love again, forgiving all that happened to them in the past. IN a world where ¿we fret over a sport star¿s twisted ankle or ill-fated marriage of celebrities, yet lose no sleep over a hundred million children living in the streets.¿ Can these two lovers make it when the jungle scene is traded in for the city, and they are no longer alone, but joined by Christine¿s doubtful friend Jessica, and an unexpected guest? ¿Feelings can be like wild animal- we underrate how fierce they are until we¿ve opened their cages.¿ Just how fierce do their feelings turn out to be? Enough to over come the difference between Christine¿s world and Paul¿s?

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