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THE SUNFLOWER by Richard Paul Evans

THE SUNFLOWER

By Richard Paul Evans

Pub Date: Oct. 4th, 2005
ISBN: 0-7432-8701-0
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

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.