Review: Four Friends by Robyn Carr

Four Friends by Robyn Carr
Release Date: March 25, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Pages: 377
Source: Book provided by NetGalley for review

 

 

Gerri can’t decide what’s more devastating: learning her rock-solid marriage has big cracks, or the anger she feels as she tries to repair them. Always the anchor for friends and her three angst-ridden teenagers, it’s time to look carefully at herself. The journey is more than revealing—it’s transforming.

Andy doesn’t have a great track record with men, and she’s come to believe that a lasting love is out of reach. When she finds herself attracted to her down-to-earth contractor—a man without any of the qualities that usually appeal to her—she questions everything she thought she wanted in life.

Sonja’s lifelong pursuit of balance is shattered when her husband declares he’s through with her New Age nonsense and walks out. There’s no herbal tonic or cleansing ritual that can restore her serenity—or her sanity.

Miraculously, it’s BJ, the reserved newcomer to Mill Valley, who steps into their circle and changes everything. The woman with dark secrets opens up to her neighbors, and together they get each other back on track, stronger as individuals and unfaltering as friends.

 

Review: After being encouraged to read a Robyn Carr novel, I feel mostly let down that the hype from friends wasn’t exactly all that I probably should have felt.

My biggest pet peeve is using coarse language to express emotions to excess; there are many other wonderful words that can be used to achieve the same result without causing the reader to either wince or roll their eyes after a while.

Gerri’s treatment of Phil and Phil’s subsequent cheating and attempts to regain his wife’s trust and solidify his place in the family did not make for fun reading. She was too abrasive, and his actions were almost romanticized by the author. I will admit that there were more than a few times where I wanted to hand her a Snickers and tell her to shut up and sit down already.

I wanted to reach in and hug Sonya, especially when she was so brushed off for most of the beginning of the book. What could have been led into healthy book club or friendly discussions of how well Sonya’s mental illness was handled by her husband and neighbors, was instead treated with stigma and unoriginality. What was once a woman who was sweet, although annoying when it came to health tips, was suddenly a caustic woman who seemingly became Gerri’s twin. I didn’t seem to care too much about her in the back half of the book.

Andie’s story was the only one that I really kept reading for, but the author chose to further alienate this reader by referring to Bob as fat, overweight, or too old at nearly every chance she got.

Ms. Carr has the capability to weave storylines, especially hot topics such as the ones included in this book, and make them work. However, even after a second read-through I found myself longing to just be done with it and move on. I may still give one of her Virgin River books a try as those are the most highly recommended of all her books.