Virgin River. Finished audio 6-27-13, rating 3.75/5, pub. 2007
Unabridged audio, 12.5 hours. Read by Therese Plummer
“Wanted: Midwife/nurse practitioner in Virgin River, population six hundred. Make a difference against the backdrop of towering California redwoods and crystal-clear rivers. Rent-free cabin included.” When the recently widowed Melinda Monroe sees this ad she quickly decides that the remote mountain town of Virgin River might be the perfect place to escape her heartache, and to reenergize the nursing career she loves. But her high hopes are dashed within an hour of arriving: the cabin is a dump, the roads are treacherous and the local doctor wants nothing to do with her. Realizing she’s made a huge mistake, Mel decides to leave town the following morning.
Mel needs a break from Los Angeles, the memories and pitying looks are too much for her. Virgin River sounds like just the place, beautiful country and 600 people who don’t know about her husband’s murder, so she packs up everything she owns and heads north. But Virgin River isn’t anything like she expected and she is ready to turn tail and run until an abandoned baby keeps her there.
Mel and the old doc werre oil and vinegar and I loved the relationship between the two of them. He did things the country way and displayed wisdom and fire and I just loved listening to him banter. Jack, ex-Marine and owner of the town’s bar, was a sexy and complex character. I loved how central he was to the town. Mel eventually found much more than she had expected. She found friends, mystery, danger, love, life, and death. Not bad for a girl who thought the country would be boring.
There were a few things that I could have done without. I didn’t think that the sex scene between a hot-to-trot 14 year old girl and a horny 16 year old boy added anything to the story. Actually I wrinkled my nose more than once while listening. And I know we like to read about beautiful people, but I started to feel pretty bad about my own backside after the 20th time Jack mentioned Mel’s sexy butt. But these were minor annoyances probably made worse by listening instead reading. My eyes tend to quickly pass over things like this when I’m reading, but with an audio you are forced to hear every word.
I thought the reader, Therese Plummer did an excellent job. There were lots of characters and none of her voices annoyed me at all – a real rarity!
I know lots of bloggers love this series, but it was Mary‘s review that finally made me seek out the first in the series (that and the fact that my library had the cds). I liked the town and the people in it and can see how it would be comforting to check in with them all. Although I can’t say I loved it, I can see myself giving the second book a try someday. Sometimes it takes a series a few books to grow on you and this one has potential.