MIRA, November 1, 2008
Reviewer Sissy Jacobson
Marcie Sullivan has lived through four years of the worst that life can
throw at her. She’s survived with her glass half full but needs to take
the final steps to be able to move on.
Marcie was always a tomboy. She was as good as any boy in climbing trees
and playing sports, until ninth grade when Bobby Sullivan asked her out.
They dated all through high school, fell in love and married. Shortly
after, Bobby joined the United States Marine Corps (USMC) and Marcie
worked in an insurance office.
When Bobby deployed to Iraq he served under Sergeant Ian Buchanan who soon
became his best friend. Marcie felt she knew Ian from Bobby’s letters.
They were from the same town but had not known each other because Ian was
older. When Bobby was hit by enemy fire, Ian shielded his body until the
helicopter could pick them up. Ian threw Bobby over his shoulder and ran
for the helicopter, getting wounded in the process.
Bobby was paralyzed from the neck down and while not in a coma, was
unresponsive. Marcie, with her can do attitude got him into a private
nursing home in their hometown with military insurance paying the bill.
With the help of her sister, brother and Bobby’s family, they cared for
Bobby lovingly for the next three years. Ian came to visit once, then
dropped out of sight.
Now Marcie is on a mission to find Ian. She wrote to him throughout the
rest of Bobby’s life and when he died. Ian never answered her letters. Now
she decides to track him down. The urge to thank him for giving her three
more years to love Bobby is strong enough to give her the flimsy excuse of
giving him Bobby’s baseball trading cards. He and Ian both had a
collection and planned to get together when they got home and trade cards.
She also has a letter Ian needs to read.
It’s two weeks until Thanksgiving and Marcie, with little money and a
lime-green Volkswagen, takes off for the mountains. She looks, asks
questions, drives, but is running out of money and time in the winter of
the mountains. She is determined not to give up until she finds Ian. Will
Marcie find him? Will he be a vet with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
Will he be a hermit who wants nothing to do with Marcie or civilization?
You will have to read the book to find out.
I love the Grace Valley trilogy and the Virgin River series by Robyn Carr.
A VIRGIN RIVER CHRISTMAS takes place during the third book of the Virgin
River series, WHISPERING ROCK, though we don’t know it while reading
WHISPERING ROCK. Grace Valley and the Virgin River series bring back the
leading characters in main roles in each book. I like that continuity. We
get a short visit with the characters of Virgin River, but A VIRGIN RIVER
CHRISTMAS focuses on Ian and Marcie.
I’m so glad I recently discovered Robyn Carr. She is an outstanding
storyteller with her characters coming to life on the pages. I urge you to
pick up a copy of A VIRGIN RIVER CHRISTMAS. It’s not your usual Christmas
story, but is a story that could happen anytime during a winter in the
mountains of Northern California.
At Robyn Carr's website at
http://www.robyncarr.com you can see pictures from the countryside
where she has set this series.
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