Favorite Lines: “Without warning the end of the porch that had been sagging gave out completely, collapsing at the weak end which created a big slide, knocking her off of her feet and splat! Right into a deep, wet, muddy hole. There she lay, a filthy, wet, ice cold burrito wrapped up in her quilt.” (33)
Recently widowed Melinda Monroe needs a change. She’s been working in L.A. hospitals too long and after the violent death of her husband she needs a quiet place to start over. She thinks she’s found the perfect place in Virgin River. She travels there to be the new midwife with dreams of an idyllic cottage and life. What she gets is a rundown cottage with a birds nest in the stove and a doctor who doesn’t want her help. As she tries to leave she sees a bundle on the old doctor’s porch (he’s in his seventies). Someone has abandoned an infant. Unable to leave the baby until she’s been placed with a foster family, Melinda stays on and with a little bit of help begins her journey to recovery.
This is a mellow start to Carr‘s trilogy. Mel is your average city girl who tries to make it in the country. She considers the luxuries that she’ll have to give up if she stays in the small town. With the aid of the town’s citizens she begins to see that there are more important things than living in a city. She finds a best friend in Jake, a bar/restaurant owner, and later much more with him.
Jake is a sensitive alpha male. He doesn’t act aggressive towards Mel but it’s obvious that he’ll protect her. He is a former military man who had thought he’d never settle down. Jake is a good guy, out to help the town in whatever way he can. He knows that the town would benefit from Mel’s service and there is something about her that he’s drawn too.
There are other story lines running through this book. One line in particular is about a young man that Jake has taken in and mentors. He’s the child Jake doesn’t have and as such Jake tries to coach him through adolescence. Carr does an excellent job portraying a teenagers thought process. I’m sure some people won’t approve of the sex scene involving the underage duo, but it is realistic.
This book isn’t exciting or the best book I’ve ever read. It is a good book though. The setting is great. Carr gives vivid descriptions of the scenery and turns Virgin River into a ‘real place’. The characters are almost all wounded and in need of some form of healing (some more than others).
My one problem was that the thread that began pushing all the characters down their paths ended in an unsatisfactory way. It wasn’t realistic to me and seemed to be brushed aside quite easily. Despite that, if you’re in the mood for a book that doesn’t involve the paranormal or suspense this may be a good choice for you. You can pick up a copy here.