Review: Virgin River by Robyn Carr

Some books offer pure escapism. Others are melodramatic tosh and, unfortunately, Virgin River belongs squarely in this second category. After Melinda Monroe's husband is murdered in a dramatic and unfortunate event, Melinda, who works as a midwife, decides she needs to leave the tough hospitals of LA. And so she applies for a job in Virgin River, an isolated small town. And without knowing so much as a thing of the town, let alone stoping by to see what it might be like, she chucks her old life in and moves there. Pity the accomodation isn't liveable, her car is totally unsuitable for the mountain terrain and the local doctor doesn't want her there. Fortunately, there is a rugged barman just ready and waiting for a girl like her, and she's just so charming she wins the locals over within a few pages. And then begins a host of utterly unbelievable adventures from abandoned babies (and did I ever cringe when I found out who the real mother was,) to the story of the good local kid who is seduced by a mixed up fourteen year old character who comes across as more of an exercise in slut shaming than anything else. (And sorry, but what kids are going to skive off from a school dance when they live in a small town that is devoid of most forms of entertainment and two, everyone is going to know and talk about the fact that they weren't there?)

I did not enjoy this book. I did not expect the plot to be wholly believable, but nor did I expect the characterisation to be as poor as it was. I felt this was all done for shock and show value, and intended to set the book up as the first instalment in a soap like series, rather than an attempt at telling a meaningful story.

Not recommended.


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