Sunday, October 11, 2020

Review: Return to Virgin River

Return to Virgin River: A Novel by [Robyn Carr]

About the Book:

Kaylee Sloan’s home in Southern California is full of wonderful memories of the woman who raised her. But the memories are prolonging her grief over her mother’s recent death. A successful author, Kaylee hoped she could pour herself into her work. Instead she has terrible writer’s block and a looming deadline.

Determined to escape distractions and avoid the holiday season, Kaylee borrows a cabin in Virgin River. She knows the isolation will help her writing, and as she drives north through the mountains and the majestic redwoods, she immediately feels inspired. Until she arrives at a building that has just gone up in flames. Devastated, she heads to Jack’s Bar to plan her next steps. The local watering hole is the heart of the town, and once she crosses the threshold, she’s surprised to be embraced by people who are more than willing to help a friend—or a stranger—in need.

Kaylee’s world is expanding in ways she never dreamed possible. And when she rescues a kitten followed by a dog with a litter of puppies, she finds her heart opening up to the animals who need her. And then there’s the dog trainer who knows exactly how to help her. As the holidays approach, Kaylee’s dread turns to wonder. Because there’s no better place to spend Christmas than Virgin River.

My Comments:

The fun of reading books that are part of a series is being able to keep up with characters as life moves on.  The downside is that if you get a long-running series, the author may feel it is necessary to to update you on "everyone's" life to the point that there are too many bit players running on and off the stage.  It is a hard needle to thread--to bring in enough old characters to make readers feel "at home" in the new book without overwhelming the book with useless details about bit characters.  Generally speaking Carr does fine with this, though if she errs it is on the side of too much information about too many useless characters, especially for someone who has not read the other books.

There is no plot carryover from the other Virgin River books.  The main plot is the relationship between Kaylee and a local artist.  His relationship with his ex is the main subplot.   Kaylee is trying to heal from the death of her mother and write a novel that has been the subject of writer's block. She is hoping that a new location will help. 

If you are not familiar with the Virgin River books you may get a little confused about who is who,or why they get named, but long-time fans of the series will enjoy visiting with old friends.   

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