All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Deep In The Valley – Robyn Carr

on January 19, 2012

In May or so of 2011, Marg over at Adventures of an Intrepid Reader introduced me to the Virgin River novels by Robyn Carr. There’s quite a few in the series so far and I think I read about 15 of them between May and December. There’s something rather addictive about them.

Marg picked up this book, Deep In The Valley through Inter-Library Loan and passed it onto me before the due date so that I could read it too. We agreed to do a joint review discussion on it – the first part is over at Marg’s blog here and I’m hosting the second part. My thoughts are in italics and Marg’s are red!

B: Right so basically we’re in a tiny town, which June grew up in. She’s the daughter of a doctor and now she’s the doctor herself, doing all manner of things from delivering babies to fixing up local marijuana growers suspicious looking wounds. As always, there is a woman in distress that the whole town pitches in to assist get back on her feet, a pastor with busy hands that the town is fed up with and an undercover DEA guy who has ‘love interest’ all over him. And June has hired a ‘city bloke’ to help her with the general doctoring but is skeptical about him lasting.For me the story was just -okay-. Nothing really stood out, perhaps because I felt like I’d read some of it before. I thought the romance was very underdone! I’m used to more interaction and more scenes between the two love interests! That was disappointing to me because I was quite excited about the whole undercover DEA agent thing. I thought it had some potential for some great scenes, maybe some angst and some tension….but there were depressingly few scenes, very little tension and no angst. Of course given this is a trilogy, that may come later, but things were both very easy and very light on in that department so far.I did rather like the city doctor who moved to Grace Valley, I thought he was an interesting character and the reveal of his background was done well, despite June’s totally lazy attitude towards checking his references! I also liked the town rallying to help Leah, the victim of domestic violence, get her life back on track because that’s such a typical Robyn Carr staple. Although that plot thread wasn’t without its issues either, such as the ridiculously unbelievable court case at the end. Did anything in the story stand out for you? Did it strike a better chord with you than with me?
M: Not really. This is probably the most disappointing read for me by Carr. It was the usual easy read but without the addictiveness of the usual Virgin River reading experience. Having said that, the completist in me couldn’t resist reading the next book in the series already.

Did you like any of the characters in particular, or was there one of the storylines that stood out for good or bad reasons? (Spoilers Ahoy!)There was one thread that left me shaking my head in particular and that was in relation to a young woman named Justine who was involved with the town minister who happened to be married. There was lots of drama relating to that particular issue which was fine. Even with the fact that she ended up be suffering cancer and not pregnant as she thought was fine. However, the closing scene of the book was Justine marrying a much, much older man. That relationship just seemed to come completely out of nowhere!

B: Not just older, but ….older. Wasn’t he in his late 70s? And Justine was 25 or so? That whole story left me with an icky feeling. Firstly yes, Justine was having an affair with the town sleaze, the pastor of all people, who tried it on with everything female in a 100km radius. Despite the fact that his wife was obviously suspicious of him, they took the moral high ground when the story of Justine suspecting her pregnancy came out, accusing the small town of running them off. Sam, the man Justine ended up marrying, stepped in to support her and although it turned out she wasn’t pregnant, they still ended up marrying randomly at the end of the book. Given you’ve read the next one, do they reappear? I’m curious….

M: Yes, they reappear. Most of the characters too. The second book is better, although I am pretty sure that there are a couple of things that will push your buttons!

B: I liked Jim (the undercover DEA agent) when he first appeared but I think it was far too obvious who he was and the reveal was done without any real tension. I might’ve found it a lot more interesting if June had really found herself attracted to someone that she thought was shady! Instead she pegs him as law enforcement so quickly that it’s laughable! Apart from that, no one really stood out for me. In fact if I had to think of a word that describes everything about this book, it’d (unfortunately) be average. Average writing, characters, plots, etc.

M: So, if we were to summarise, then the overwhelming reaction to this book is…it’s not Virgin River even though it does look a heck of a lot like it?

B: I can’t believe it’s not Virgin River! But yes…basically you’re right. It looks similar on the outside but it’s kind of like the poor man’s version on the inside. There’s a lot more to like in the VR books.

6/10 for me

Book #202 of 2011

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4 responses to “Deep In The Valley – Robyn Carr

  1. Julie says:

    I’ve just left a comment on Marg’s review. I think there is now a 4th book in the series. I enjoyed the three books I read in the series. They were easy reads, escapism I guess, that didn’t need much contemplation or thinking about.

  2. Jennygirl says:

    Lovely cover and joint review. but as I said to Marg, I plan on starting with the VR series. Thanks for your thoughts and sorry this one didn’t live up to expectations.

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