by Robyn Carr

June 2003
ISBN: 1-55166-704-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Mira Books
Mass Market Paperback

Down By The River by author Robyn Carr takes readers back to the small town of Grace Valley, California. I’m sure that fans of Ms. Carr are eagerly looking forward to revisiting her delightful town, and loving characters. However, I must caution that if you’re like me, and haven’t read the previous Grace Valley books you might feel like you’re coming in during the middle of the story. This is how I felt, and now I am compelled to go digging through my tbr pile to see how the journaling of this small town’s citizenry began.

There are a lot of mini stories in Down By The River. Ms. Carr does not allow the stories to wander or get lost and they are all resolved by the end of the book. I do however feel that the resolutions, while complete, will be further explored if there is another book about Grace Valley. That’s just the style of life in a small town, to keep up with each other, and to welcome all visitors.

The major story of the book is that of town doctor, June Hudson and her “fiancée” Jim Post. Jim has retired from being an undercover DEA agent. He and June met in a previous book while he was working a marijuana field near Grace Valley. Their meeting had an unexpected result…June’s pregnancy. When Jim retires to Grace Valley June is thrilled to have him with her full time, but not quite yet willing to commit to a marriage.

The townspeople put subtle pressure on both to marry, and while Jim is always ready it does take a near tragedy for June to decide that she is ready too. They both wish to get married before the baby is born. Will that happen? I won’t tell.

While reading Down By The River I wished I lived in a small town, where everyone knows and cares for everyone else regardless of their position. Life should be that ideal for us all. As I said earlier, I’m sure my enjoyment of the book was somewhat limited by my not having read the books prior to this one, but now I’m going to have to set some time aside to work backwards, and dig these out of my tbr pile and read about Grace Valley from the beginning.

Reviewed in May 2003 by Sandi.

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