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.
But a tiny baby, abandoned on a front porch, changes her plans...and a former marine cements them into place.
Melinda Monroe may have come to Virgin River looking for escape, but instead she finds her home.
This is #1 in A Virgin River Novel.
I've heard so much about this series from different friends that recently I finally decided to grab the first book and see what the fuss was about. I had heard mostly good things but also less favourable opinions (about how everything was too perfect), and I have to say that now I understand both sides.
What appealed to me when I started it was that search for a simpler life that seems to be Melinda's goal. I have felt the same appeal for some time now. Not exactly moving to some place else but the need to declutter my mind and my life and opting for a simpler lifestyle. And at the end of the story that was actually what made me want to grab the next book. The fact that that mountain community that had so few luxuries seemed so alive and interesting.
I did have some trouble with the characters. Melinda, while an OK kind of woman is nothing like me and I had a hard time empathising with some of her reactions. Jack seemed a bit too much like a goody two shoes with that thing of working on the cabin without even knowing if Mel would be staying and paying good money for the stuff ( I would have bought it better if he had just worked there himself to make it more habitable). Then Hope who is on center stage in the beginning of the story because she brought Mel to the community just disappears of the face of earth...
Maybe because I didn't particularly like Mel and Jack but I felt the romance was a bit bland. I really disliked his previous attachment and how he dealt with it and how Mel kept thinking about her past so that might have been an influence on how I liked them together.
Despite that, the spirit of the community made me want to keep on reading and I am now immersed in book two.