Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Sunflower by Richard Paul Evans

The Sunflower, by Richard Paul Evans, is a really sweet book. I've never read his books before, thinking they were all sentimental Christmas books (and most are). When a friend loaned this book to me I had few expectations and all I was hoping was that it would go quick. It ended up being a lovely story that really made me think.

The story is about Paul and Christine, two people from different places who happen to meet in Peru. Paul is a doctor who gave up medicine (for the most part) to run an orphanage in Peru, near Cuzco. After a life-changing night in the emergency room, he left everything behind to travel in South America. When he made his way to Peru, he ended up staying and running the orphanage.

Christine is a woman who was recently dumped a few days before her wedding. Her ex-fiance decided after six years that he wasn't ready to get married. Depressed and unhappy, she is convinced by her best friend Jessica to go to Peru with her to work at an orphanage and school.

I won't give away the rest of the story, but it is a love story. There is a bit of adventure, hiking through the forest, catching crocodiles, and surviving a fall in Machu Picchu and Dengue fever. The story also opened my eyes again to the global community. Through the work that Paul does with the street children of Peru, we learn about the truly horrific things that happen to children in third world countries -and here in the U.S. to a point. It's shocking and sad but yet a reality. For some people this book might be a shock to learn what goes on; to others, like me, it's a reminder.

The next question is, what can we do? The author has and orphanage in Peru and has traveled the path of the book. I admire that a lot. As for me? What can I do? Money's tight, I can't afford to take time off work to go work in an orphanage. I can send a little money here and there to charity, but does that accomplish much? I'm going to give it some serious thought. What can I do? It will be interesting to find out.

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