For December's book club choice we read Lost December by Richard Paul Evans. It was the perfect book to read for Christmas, I really enjoyed it. I read it on my Pandigital and it went super fast. The story is kind of a modern day version of the Prodigal Son, which the author explains right away.
Luke Crisp was born into a a wealthy family, his mother died when he was a kid but he has a wonderful relationship with his father. His father started and runs Crisp Copy Centers and that is where the families money comes from. Luke was raised a hard worker, managing copy centers at a young age. He thought after graduating college that he would take over the family business but much to his surprise his father tells him he should go to Philadelphia to get his Masters Degree as well as some life experience.
In Philly he meets a group a friends that basically change his entire life. His best friend Sean tries to make Luke see life the way that he does. Sean believes that because they all have lots of money they deserve to really "live", drinking, partying, sleeping around, spending ridiculous amounts of money, etc. After they all graduate they decide to go to Europe and just live it up. Once they get there it becomes very apparent that everyone is living this grand life off of Luke and his trust fund. One thing leads to another and Luke realizes that these people aren't really his friends and they are just using him. Right before he tries to leave he realizes that he didn't have as much money as he thought and that his friends have been spending A LOT more of his money than he thought too. His girlfriend who he had planned to propose to even leaves him when she discovers that all his money is gone!
He comes back to the states and literally only has the clothes on his back. He goes to his fathers office only to discover that his father had major surgery, handed the business over to the Vice President and said "Luke is dead to me". Stranded and homeless in Las Vegas, Luke tries to put his life back together. He lives on the street, in the sewer pipes, at soup kitchens and selling the few belongings he has to get by. One night he is mugged and beaten. A man name Carlos literally rescues him. Carlos feeds him and takes him to the nursing home that he manages. He gives Luke a job there and a place to sleep. After a little while Luke gets a second job at one of the branches of his fathers copy centers. He meets a woman that he falls in love with and tries to mend things with his father.
It has a very happy ending, I was literally crying while I finished the book. It's totally a riches to rags story and full of life lessons. It was the perfect story to read around Christmas but I can imagine it being great anytime of year. Like I said it goes very fast and I highly recommend it!