Sunday, May 22, 2016

Review: What We Find by Robyn Carr

What We Find by Robyn Carr
published by Harlequin (Mira) in April 2016
Between the urban bustle of Denver and the high-stress environment of a career in neurosurgery, Maggie Sullivan has hit a wall. When an emergency high-risk procedure results in the death of a teenager, Maggie finds herself in the middle of a lawsuit--and experiencing levels of anxiety she's never faced before. She knows she needs to slow down before she burns out completely, and the best place she can think to do that is Sullivan's Crossing.

Named for Maggie's great-grandfather, the land and charming general store at the crossroads of the Colorado and the Continental Divide Trails have been passed down through the generations and now belong to Maggie's eccentric father, Sully. When she shows up unannounced, he welcomes her with open arms, and she relishes the opportunity to indulge in his simple way of life.

But shortly after arriving, Maggie's world is rocked once again and she must take on more responsibility than she'd planned. Though she's relieved a quiet and serious-looking hiker, Cal Jones, is willing to lend a hand, Maggie is suspicious of this mysterious man's eagerness to help--until she finds out the true reason for his deliberate isolation.

Though Cal and Maggie each struggle with loss and loneliness, the time they spend together gives Maggie hope for something brighter just on the horizon...if only they can learn to find peace and healing--and perhaps love--with each other.
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: Sullivan's Crossing, Book #1

The Story: At 36 years old, Maggie Sullivan is going through a rough patch... Her practice is closing because her partners are being investigated for fraud and malpractice; she herself is in the middle of a lawsuit after the death of a teenager that she treated at the ER. She hasn't been spared on the personal front either, having just miscarried and been dumped by her partner. Deciding she needs a break and time to think, Maggie finds refuge with her father at Sullivan's Crossing.

Sullivan's Crossing sits at the base of some stunning mountains, just off the Continental Divide Trail. It's a haven for camping and the general store in Maggie's family, Sully's, is the stopping point to resupply. It's the perfect place for Maggie to escape and think of her next move... and when Maggie's father gets a heart attack and needs time to recover from his bypass surgery, Maggie has no problem extending her leave to take care of him and manage Sully's. Luckily, one the campers, quiet Cal Jones, stepped up and helped her out. He too, has had his shared of personal tragedies and is on break to contemplate his future...

My Opinion: I've been a fan of Ms Carr ever since I picked up Virgin River. I just enjoy her style a lot. I admit, her last few series have been quite similar - all taking place in isolated towns where the pace of living is slower and the community, more rural and organic. This new series seems to follow in the same path and you'd think I'd be tired of it... but Ms Carr really knows how to pull the readers in :)

It'll probably come as no surprise, but I really enjoyed What We Find. I tend to find that the first book in each series is Ms Carr's best - Virgin River and The Wanderer - because she really takes the time to build the setting, to convey the atmosphere. It adds a depth to the book because we discover the town. Once it's established, the subsequent books focus more on the romance and I find, they become a tad generic, simply because they could take place any where else. Don't know if you get what I mean... And the setting in Ms Carr's series is more important than most small-town romances because of the type she chooses, i.e. minimalist and rustic where the pace is much slower and the living is very different than what we're used to. It's really refreshing and I think, deep down, it's because we're all envious at how simpler things seem to be. So Virgin River was in the woods, Thunder Point was next to the water and Sullivan's Crossing, at the base of mountains :)

So aside from the setting, I also enjoyed the story and characters. Basically, it's about Maggie and Cal, each taking a break to contemplate their future, and their lives at Sullivan's Crossing... the people they crossed path with and the events that happen, sometimes mundane and sometimes, extraordinary. I admire Maggie and Cal for having the guts to take a sabbatical. It sounds so simple, but really... in reality, it's not. Not in the kind of society we live today. Also, it's nice to have the life you think you want, but sometimes, it's good to take the time to reconsider... We're so focused about certain goals, but priorities do change. I think it's a valuable lesson to learn.

Overall, I enjoyed What We Find because it was different and refreshing. It was about two characters who've gone through a lot and whose priorities in life have changed. I thought Maggie and Cal were both interesting and likable. My only complaint would be that at times, I thought Maggie was a bit immature and quick to jump to conclusions.

My Grade: B+. There was just really something in What We Find that was really engrossing for me :) If you've enjoyed Ms Carr's writing, you'll want to check this one out :)

4 comments:

  1. I haven't read a Robyn Carr in years but thanks for this review, Nath. I'm adding it to my to be bought list. It sounds like a good one.

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  2. Wena - What's the last book by Ms Carr that you've read, Wena? At one point, there were just too many coming out at a time... and what I didn't like is you don't really know when her series end :(

    Anyway, I think this one is worth checking out and I'm happy I did. However, I'm not committing to reading all the books.

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  3. This totally didn't even make it onto my radar! Glad you enjoyed it. :P I'll have to check it out.

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  4. Ames - I hope you enjoy it, Ames! Yeah, it's been quite under the radar. Perhaps people are tired of Ms Carr?

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