"We carry around in our heads these pictures of what our lives are supposed to look like, painted by the brush of our intentions. It's the great, deep secret of humanity that in the end none of our lives look the way we thought they would. As much as we wish to believe otherwise, most of life is a reaction to circumstances." -Paul Cook's Diary, from The Sunflower.
A few weeks ago I was in the public library with my little girls when Tara, my six-year-old, brought me a book that she had randomly pulled off of the shelves. She said, "Here's a book for you, Mama. It has a pretty flower on the front." That was how I was introduced to the books of Richard Paul Evans. I didn't want to disappoint my girl and the story piqued my interest so I brought it home. Once I began The Sunflower, I couldn't put it down (all fiction does that to me...I have to know it will be all right in the end...and fast!) Here are my thoughts on the two latest books I've read, both by Richard Paul Evans. If interested, please, give him a try and let me know what you think.
The Sunflower "is both an adventure and a love story. It is a story about sacrifice and faith. But most of all, it is a story about hope." With one week to go, Christine's fiance calls off the wedding. Christine's adventurous friend, Jessica signs them up for a humanitarian mission to Peru in hopes of getting Christine's mind off of her problems. While there Christine meets Paul Cook, an American doctor who is working in an orphanage called El Girasol - The Sunflower. Paul has thrown himself into humanitarian work to escape his own past, but the future is Paul's next hurdle to overcome. You will travel to Lima, Cuzco, Machu Picchu, and the Amazon jungle experiencing a variety of foods, customs, animals and people. It's exactly as mentioned above, both an adventure and a love story. For a real treat, click here to take the Sunflower tour on Mr. Evans website and see pictures of the places he wrote about in the book, including El Girasol.
A Perfect Day is the story about Robert Harlan, a man who pursues his dream of becoming an author. Robert finds success, but the costs of his career and fame are high. Robert meets a stranger who knows details about Robert's life...things no one else could ever know. The stranger tells Robert that his days are numbered and the countdown begins. What will Robert do with the short time he has left? He has only a short time to "discover the truth about himself: who he has become, what he has lost and what it will take to find love again." I loved looking inside the world of a best-selling author, with it's temptations, hectic schedules and insecurities. Again, Mr. Evans has written a book filled with hope and forgiveness.
Richard Paul Evans has been called the Godfather of Feel Good Fiction and I would agree. If you're looking for a "happy sigh" at the end of a good book, pick up one of his books at your library today. Happy Reading, Everyone!
P.S. Thanks, Tara, you picked a good one! :)