Lost December

Lost December

by Richard Paul Evans

Hardcover

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Overview

From one of America’s most beloved storytellers comes his most spiritual book since The Christmas Box. The New York Times bestselling author of The Christmas Box and The Walk series returns with a modern-day, Christmas-themed retelling of the story of the prodigal son.

It has been said that sometimes the greatest hope in our lives is just a second chance to do what we should have done right in the first place. This is the story of my second chance.

When Luke Crisp graduates from business school, his father, CEO and cofounder of Fortune 500 Crisp’s Copy Centers, is ready to share some good news: he wants to turn the family business over to his son. But Luke has other plans. Taking control of his trust fund, Luke leaves home to pursue a life of reckless indulgence.

But when his funds run out, so do his friends. Humbled, alone, and too ashamed to ask his father for help, Luke secretly takes a lowly job at one of his father’s copy centers. There he falls in love with a struggling single mother and begins to understand the greatest source of personal joy.

Lost December is New York Times bestselling author Richard Paul Evans’s modern-day holiday version of the biblical story of the prodigal son, a powerful tale of redemption, hope, and the true meaning of love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451628005
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 11/01/2011
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 374,737
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

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

Hometown:

Salt Lake City, Utah

Date of Birth:

October 11, 1962

Place of Birth:

Salt Lake City, Utah

Education:

B.A., University of Utah, 1984

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Lost December includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Introduction

When Luke Crisp graduates from Wharton with his MBA, his father, CEO and founder of Fortune 500 Crisp’s Copy Centers, is excited to finally turn the company over to his son. But Luke decides he’d rather travel and live a life of luxury with his friends, and begins lavishly spending his way through Europe. However, when his trust fund runs out sooner than expected, his friends disappear along with it, and Luke is left alone and broke. Too ashamed to go back to his father, Luke works menial jobs, including one at one of his father’s copy centers. There he starts to fall for a guarded single mother and begins to understand the greatest source of personal joy.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. Are you familiar with the parable of the prodigal son? If so, how did it influence your reading of the book? If not, are you now inclined to read the story in the New Testament that inspired Lost December?

2. Do you believe there are two sides to every story, as Luke’s English teacher says in Chapter One? Or are some situations truly black and white?

3. Was it wrong for Luke’s father to expect him to take over the company, especially when he originally encouraged him to go explore other options in life? Is Luke right that he should enjoy his life more, and not feel tied down to work?

4. Why is Luke so drawn to Sean, even when he knows he is a bad influence? Why does he continue to trust him and lend him money, even when Sean begins acting suspiciously?

5. Candace initially seems more sensible than Luke, warning him that Sean is a bad influence, yet she ends up ultimately leaving Luke when he needs her most. Why does Candace leave Luke? Do you believe her when she says she’s not a "gold digger"?

6. What does Sean represent? Do you know any "Seans"? What does he mean when he says he has a "cardboard soul"?

7. Sean and Marshall are incredibly selfish individuals. Do you believe such people deserve the same forgiveness and second chance Luke receives? Do you think Luke should have paid Sean’s gambling debt, or did he deserve to be left to his debtors?

8. After Luke is robbed and beaten, he begins to understand the "downward spiral of homelessness" (p. 118) for the first time in his life. Did his situation shed a new light on homelessness for you??

9. Do you agree with Luke’s father’s adage, "The world only offers you what you don’t need"? (p. 122) Why or why not??

10. Why does Luke feel the need to get an entry-level job and prove himself at Crisps? Have you ever reached a similar crossroads??

11. Why does Luke believe Henry when he says Luke’s father has disowned him? Why does it take Luke so long to swallow his pride and return to his father? Is pride a vice or a virtue? Can it be both?

12. Do you see any other allusions to Biblical parables or lessons in this story?

13. Insightful quotes from Luke’s diary begin each chapter. How do these quotes influence or prelude your reading of the chapter? Did one in particular stand out to you?

14. Luke’s mother, Candace, and Rachael influence Luke’s perspective on the world. Discuss the role of women in Lost December. What does Luke learn from these women?

15. After hurting his father so badly and being completely irresponsible, do you think Luke deserves what he got? Were you surprised by the ending?


Enhance Your Book Club?

1. Luke spends a few nights on the streets and witnesses the harsh reality of homelessness firsthand. What would you do if you suddenly had no money and no place to stay? Volunteer with your book club at a local homeless shelter or soup kitchen to help the less fortunate.?

2. Richard Paul Evans began his writing career with a Christmas story he wrote for his children. Try your hand at writing a short story for a friend or family member. A modern retelling of a familiar tale or parable (like Lost December) might be a fun place to start! Consider sharing your short story with your book club. ?

3. Luke, Rachael and Chris make Christmas cookies and deliver them to friends and neighbors. Make cookies with your book group and take some to those who might need holiday cheer.

Customer Reviews

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Lost December 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 81 reviews.
Karen_from_NC More than 1 year ago
I was privileged to read an advance copy of Richard Paul Evans' Lost December and all I can say is "lucky, lucky me!" I keep coming back to Richard's books because the characters are so real and so fulfilling. I love them, I hate them, I ache for them, I rejoice with them. And by the time I am finished with the book, I know these people. That's why it hurts to close the cover. I always wish for more. And isn't that the test of a good book? It keeps you so engaged that you want the story to go on. I loved Lost December because I loved Luke. He makes me think of my children and what happens when they make wrong choices. A very good book and one that I will give as gifts because the message is so perfect and the book, itself, is so beautiful.
RebeccahJC More than 1 year ago
I have been happy to be a pre-reader in the past, but not on this new book, should "Anonymous" be ready to critique my review as well. Each of us in the public states our experience with any given authors' writing, that is what a Review is intended to be...not a Review of a reviewer's supposed intent or identity. I have been a long-time reading fan of Richard Paul Evans, and have given his books so many times to a broad range of ages as gifts, both at the holidays and year round. Richard Paul Evans' works often deal with real life, with individuals' serious life challenges, with their permission while changing their names -- a generous choice and gesture, to have their stories and experiences shared anonymously to help awaken, to bring authentic Hope to life. Thus, characters are so like individuals I've known, with difficult issues I, or family and friends, have faced at some time in my over half-a-century of living. Evans' is a gifted writer who very apparently knows the human mind and soul, most precisely because he knows his own: his relationship to self, to mankind, and to his Creator. This book is yet another fine "journey," another passage of the heart, mind, and soul through authentic life issues, even to a point of personal decay; then renewed order to thought, a real message of Hope -- all forged in real-life challenges, not at all in mere fantasy. If the style and content of Evans' books were otherwise, I would not be interested in reading Evans' work...I rarely read fiction -- however, these books, and now "Lost December," are each unique, well worth ones precious time and investment. I can say I happen to know who "Dglad" is: a person of very high integrity and honesty, and that, yes, indeed, from time-to-time, several folks can be asked to assist with pre-read/pre-release copy of upcoming material -- not at all new in the world of writing. If you are writing a review here, please, be sure you've read the book, and then discuss the book and author -- contact the publisher or B&N if you are certain there is a dishonest person posting a review -- serious readers/reviewers of any author/book simply want authentic reviews before investing their time and funds -- a Review is not a public forum intended for bashing of honest readers/Reviewers--thanks. Yet again, this 'modern Prodigal' rendering in "Lost December" is an excellent, well-written challenge, relevant to all in any time or nation, with principles remaining true across all human history...ENJOY!
DGlad More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The main protagonist, Luke, leaves home and begins a downward spiral. This story tells how easy it is to be slowly lead down a path we never thought we would go down and don't realize until it is too late. There is always hope of change and faith restored. This is an inspirational parallel to biblical stories and still a winner today!
LincolnBuff2 More than 1 year ago
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!
kat-53 More than 1 year ago
want to thank Richard Paul Evans for writting another fantastic book!!!!! All that you do for your readers is remarkable but the books that you write are so inspirational to us and help guide us through life when things are not going so well..i know i pick up yuour books when i am down and out and then i feel so much better!! thank you richard so much.....
Jaded_Hearts More than 1 year ago
The path to self discovery can be painful and this book really hit home in a lot of ways!
TheReadersCove More than 1 year ago
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.
pynkrn9 More than 1 year ago
I know that in the past year I have been sent 2 books before the release from the publisher. I believe it is because I am in several book clubs and was randomly picked and then asked to review. People are given books before the release date.
Maydacat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This story is a retelling and modernization of the prodigal son. In it, author Richard Paul Evans illustrates just how little it is and how quickly one million dollars can evaporate. Well, at least that¿s what happened to the protagonist of the story. I suspect this scenario is the exception rather than the rule. But it was interesting to see how one man went from riches to rags and then back again. If you like a feel-good tale not really grounded I reality, except that is was originally based on a Biblical story, then you¿ll enjoy this novel. An easy read, it¿s not a bad way to while away an afternoon when the weather keeps you indoors and you¿re feeling lazy.
bdouglas97 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Love this story. somewhat predictable but lovely to read this time of year.
onetiredmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Richard Paul Evans' books tend to be pretty predictable but that is fine with me. Sometimes I need to read a book that is an easy and uplifting read. Lost December didn't disappoint me. Just by reading the blurb on the book flap you willl know most of the plot but the process is enjoyable and Evans includes some nice sentiments along the way.Luke Crisp is the only child of a very wealthy man and is due to take over the family business when he decides to "live his life". He takes his trust fund money and does just that, blowing through his money quite quickly and discovering that his friends weren't really friends. Broke, homeless, and alone, he is too ashamed to face his father. He finds a lowly job after hitting rock bottom and discovers what is really important in life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
songbirdsue More than 1 year ago
A great book for everyone (teens and up) to read! Even though you know what will happen, there are enough twists to make it well worth reading. The character development was great. We watch Luke, a very good honorable young man, grow through his mistakes. It is hard to see him make choices that lead him to lose everything in his life. But it is very satisfying to see him pick himself up and start from scratch making something of his life again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book at first didn't seem like something I would like. It was a bit of a slow start for me. But, after I got past the first couple of chapters I could not put it down. Great job!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the topic of this book. I could really identify with the characters life situation. I like to explore the ways that ones life is effected through the ups and downs of financial opportunity.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great love story. It's all about prioritizing whats important in your life step by step.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an easy read with many profound lessons! It demonstrates how our choices affect our lives and how we can be on top of the world one minute, and down the next. Very enjoyable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It was an easy read, rich characters, and a great story. A tear jerker for sure.
quaintinns More than 1 year ago
A young man, with everything in the world he could ever wish for—wealth, comfort, and most of all, a loving father—leaves his home, taking his inheritance with him. Carelessly, he spends it all, and finds himself left penniless, homeless, and starving, living in the tunnels of Las Vegas. Can you go home??? His dad wants him to take over the business which he has worked in during high school, but first Luke to see more of the world and to receive the sort of education Carl never had a chance at. Luke applies to pursue an MBA at the Wharton School in Philadelphia. There, he finds romance with a beautiful woman and, for the first time, friends. But the more time he spends with his new companions—especially the cocky and worldly Sean—the more he finds himself and his values changing. Slowly but surely, he grows further away from his father, until they barely communicate at all. After blowing thru his trust fund in Europe and loss of his girlfriend, he finds himself homeless. One night, he is attacked and beaten by two men, left with nothing but a broken rib and his underwear. And that is when his fortunes begin to change. A good Samaritan—a Latino man who runs a care center for the elderly—stops to help him, buys him a meal, and offers him a job. Gradually, the formerly prosperous young man rebuilds his life and relearns the principles that were once so important to him. He still cannot bring himself to contact his father, but to prove himself worthy of the Crisp name, Luke takes a second job, at one of the family company’s stores, aiming to see how high he can rise on his own merits. He cannot foresee that he will also fall in love—and find the redemption he has ached for so long. The book was amazing! I loved it as very much demonstrates the need to be grateful for what you have. The best book I have read by Evans - (keep a box of tissues handy)!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You have some serious writing talent!!