Monday, March 18, 2013

Book Review: The Wanderer

Nestled on the Oregon Coast is a small town of rocky beaches and rugged charm. Locals love the land’s unspoiled beauty. Developers see it as a potential gold mine. When newcomer Hank Cooper learns he’s been left an old friend’s entire beachfront property, he finds himself with a community’s destiny in his hands.

Cooper has never been a man to settle in one place, and Thunder Point was supposed to be just another quick stop. But Cooper finds himself getting involved with the town. And with Sarah Dupre, a woman as complicated as she is beautiful.

With the whole town watching for his next move, Cooper has to choose between his old life and a place full of new possibilities. A place that just might be home.

Release Date: March 26, 2013

I’ve lived almost my entire life in suburbs or cities, with the exception of the year after college when I decide to give a rural setting a shot. Turns out it wasn’t the right fit for me, but every now and then I read books that make me wonder if I should give small town life another go.

I recently had the opportunity to read Robyn Carr’s newest novel, The Wanderer. This story is the first in Carr’s new “Thunder Point” series and had me considering checking out the real estate situation in Oregon.

Carr has created a community here in which readers will easily become entrenched. The people aren’t perfect and each of them brings a complicated past, coloring the way they interact with each other. They are real and relatable. Even when groaning over poor choices they would make, I could always see why the decision made sense to them in the moment.

While Cooper and Sarah’s romance is named as the focus, there are a number of couples trying to find their ways in this story. Many of their stories are actually set up before that of Cooper and Sarah, who don’t meet until 170 pages in. These couples span age ranges – from the teenagers in high school dazzled by their first loves to the middle-aged couple looking to embark on the next stage of their lives – and they each bring their own baggage to the story. Their issues are addressed with a mix of humor and sincerity that enriches the overall picture of life in Thunder Point.

Cooper’s feelings for Sarah certainly play a large role in the way he reacts to various events, but this story is actually less about Cooper falling in love with Sarah than it is about him falling in love with the whole town. As readers get to discover it with him, they are likely to feel the same pull to put down roots.

There are times when the world-building overtakes the action of this story, but on the whole Carr does a very nice job of setting up the location of her new series and the many people inhabiting it. As there are already at least two more books planned, readers can rest assured that they will have the chance to spend more time getting to know the folks of Thunder Point and see if the characters can manage to stay on the paths they’ve set for themselves by the end of The Wanderer

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