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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2005 Richard Paul Evans; (P)2005 Simon & Schuster Inc. All rights reserved. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall

Fabulous

I really enjoyed this book. It has soul. And finally I found a really good novel that isn't R rated. I get so tired of those types of books. I highly recommend this one!

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Sweeter Than Expected

This is such a treasure of a story, and Campbell Scott has become one of my most favorite narrators. The story takes you from Dayton Ohio to Peru - and by the end, you feel as though you've been there yourself. The descriptions of people, environments, scenery etc. is perfect - enough to paint a picture in your mind, but not ever tedious.

Campbell Scott has such a gentle voice as the narrator, and switches voices from character to character with such subtlety, that you easily recognize who's speaking, but are not jarred from a pleasant listening experience. He also is able to do female voices without sounding lame - and when a character speaks in the native tongue of Peru (some Spanish and possibly some words in Quechuan or Aymaran) he does it effortlessly and beautifully.

The story itself is not only about Christine's journey to Peru, but also her journey in stepping way outside her comfort zone, reaching out & caring for others instead of just being miserable about being dumped 1 week before her wedding, and experiencing love in it's many forms along the way. There are extremely tender moments as she spends time with the orphans at The Sunflower as well as humorous moments with her friend Jessica and the miscellaneous creatures (geikos, spiders, piranhas & crocodiles) they get to experience while in Peru.

Watching the friendship and love that develops between Christine and Paul is like enjoying a perfect 10 course meal, bite by bite. It's very slow, very rich, very satisfying yet makes you crave for more. Paul is such a gentleman - thoughtful, knowledgeable, respectful & caring - yet he's also quite the hero.

What's also refreshing about this story is that there are no villians trying to keep these two apart. They are like real people with real histories and real fears that can trip them up along the way, but of course, they do have an HEA.

This is the only book in my audio library (of about 50) that I have listened to repeatedly. That's how much I love the story and enjoy the narrator. I hope you do too.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Unexpected

I don't know what I expected, but it wasn't a National Geographic narrative, but I liked it. It's different than anything I've heard/read before, although I wouldn't care to hear it again. It was informative, and touching, but maybe a little too much realism-- the world is sadly in a degenerative state, but thankfully there are people making a difference. I think I would have preferred to read this one on my own, although the Narrator had a nice, easy voice to listen to.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Laura
  • Durand, WI, United States
  • 02-14-12

I didn't expect to love it so much

The author is so descriptive of the places and people that I immediately went out to see if this travel group still exists and if I could too go visit the orphanage.

I think the book especially pulled at my heartstrings knowing it is a true story. Unlike many other reviewers I was completely surprised by the ending.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Andrea
  • Linz, Austria
  • 05-21-09

wonderful love story

Once in a while I enjoy reading / listening to one of Evans's books. This one was no exception: A simple but heart-warming story with likeable characters, interesting settings and a good pace.
The narration is excellent.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

easy read

I enjoyed this book. It's pretty short and I didn't want it to end. Very pleasant to listen to. Made my ride fly by. Just a good story.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Lisa
  • Thornton, CO, USA
  • 05-22-06

Simple but memorable

This is a simplistic story, but incredibly hard to put down. In the end, this book stayed with me and inspired me more than I thought it would. I strongly recommend it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Like a sunflower

Just like the sunflower follows the path of light, you'll be following this story from the moment you start listening. Evans has done it again. He draws you into someone's heartbreak and makes the characters so real that you can't help becoming emotionally attached to them. Campbell Scott's reading only enhances the suspense by remaining a storyteller instead of acting out the story. I asked a few of my bibliophiles if they'd had a chance to read it yet and we'd all finished it in one sitting whether listening or reading. We had several friends with children getting married within the next few weeks. When the book announcement came in the mail Tuesday in the form of a wedding announcement with "CANCELLED" stamped across it in bold red stenciled letters, I was relieved it wasn't from any of my friends and knew I what I'd be doing this weekend! Like this book would need any marketing, but what a great idea. The only disappointment was that the book ended! Enjoy!!

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Interesting reader

This novel was written in the voice of an observer and the reading style appropriately reflected this. Scott's rather flat presentation included minimal voice variations for the dialogue. It worked for me.

The Sunflower was set in South American and amounted to a travelogue mingled with romance and the themes of life paths and choices. Added to this was the perennial issue of third world poverty and first world guilt: is there any point helping 5,000 children when a hundred million children need help. Christian values are a subtle backdrop to a the novel's resolutions of the Big Questions. I must say I liked his analysis of a tendency to litigate rather rather than take personal responsibility (in this case, blame the doctor rather than lifestyle).

As a narrative it was pleasing, the settings were interesting and the romantic interest was, well, only just ok. In the end I felt that a well crafted formula constrained an idea that had unrealised potential. For all that, it was a worthwhile listen.

By the way, I enjoyed the cameo appearance of the Australian firefighter -- good accent and good text!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Wonderful story!

I really loved this story, although the book wasn't very long. More than anything, it's a love story and I do enjoy a good romance! I'm assuming that the story is based on true events, which makes it even more interesting. Overall a great listen!