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Book review: 'Lost December' a story of redemption and love

By Rosemarie Howard

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Oct. 29 2011 4:00 p.m. MDT

"LOST DECEMBER," by Richard Paul Evans, Simon & Schuster, $19.99, 346 pages (f)

“Lost December” adds another holiday novel to the Richard Paul Evans tradition established with “The Christmas Box.” It’s a beautiful story of love and redemption — although the title is a bit of a puzzle.

Based on a timeless Bible story, the well-told tale is the story of a contemporary prodigal son. Told in first person, the novel takes the reader on a very personal journey — one that most will identify with on some level.

Luke Crisp has every worldly thing he could want, as well as his father’s love. His father, Carl, is the founder and CEO of the prosperous Crisp Copy Center empire. Luke has worked in the family business since he was a young boy. Now that he’s old enough to take over the business, his father counsels him to first get an MBA and see more of the world.

At first Luke resists, but at his father’s urging, he enrolls at Wharton University. He meets the enticing Candace, who introduces him to her group of friends. As he becomes more involved with these friends, his relationship with his father decays.

After graduating, Luke and his friends travel to Europe for some riotous living. His friends all give reasons they can’t pay their own way, so Luke uses some inheritance money to pick up the tab for everyone — until the money is gone.

Dumped by his girlfriend and deserted by the others, he finds himself on the streets of Las Vegas — penniless and homeless.

It’s an especially fitting tale for the Christmas season — one that reminds us of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the reason for his birth.

Because of the nature of the story, there is quite a bit of drinking and implied pre-marital sex, but it is not condoned nor promoted.

“Lost December” will hit the bookstores Nov. 1.Evans will be at the West Bountiful Barnes & Noble at noon and at the Layton Barnes & Noble at 7 p.m. for book signings on that day. He will also have book signings Nov. 12 at Costco stores in Murray and Sandy. For more information and other Utah book signing dates, go to Evans' website www.richardpaulevans.com.

IF YOU GO ...

What: Richard Paul Evans book signing

When: Tuesday, Nov. 1, noon

Where: Barnes & Noble, 340 S. 500 West, West Bountiful

Web: www.richardpaulevans.com

Also ...

When: Tuesday, Nov. 1, 7 p.m.

Where: Barnes & Noble, 1780 N. Woodland Drive, Layton

Web: www.richardpaulevans.com

Rosemarie Howard lives in a 100-year-old house on Main Street in Springville. She enjoys creating multimedia content. Her website is at www.dramaticdimensions.com.

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