ARC Review – The View from Alameda Island by Robyn Carr *Stephanie’s Review*

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When I was approached about reviewing The View from Alameda Island by Robyn Carr I didn’t hesitate to accept! You see I started for the first time her Virgin River series just the past year and I’ve read a stand alone The Summer That Made Us and really enjoyed them all!

Carr doesn’t waste much time and she lets you know she’s coming for your feels early on in The View from Alameda Island. We basically open with the ending of a long and abusive marriage. Lauren has been both mentally and physically abused for the length of her marriage. She stayed out of fear and a sense of duty for her daughters. I really identified with Cassidy and Lauren’s relationship. Emotional and mental abuse and manipulation can leave scars no one outside of the abuse sees. I’ve tried to caution friends and I’ll say it here too; your kids see more than you hope they do. If they don’t see it directly, they can feel when it doesn’t feel right.

Lauren’s recovery was probably the thing that stuck with me the most. It was so satisfying to watch her become her own person. She had years of only identifying as Brad’s wife, a mother, and living by a set of rules she didn’t agree with but felt powerless to fight. This is Robyn Carr though so rest assured that all of the ugly is balanced with beautiful. Of course there was romance involved. I really enjoyed watching Lauren and Beau come together and meld into each other. Carr seems to be pretty perfect with the slow build.

Outside of Lauren, Brad, and Beau there is a wealth of colorful characters. Both Lauren and Beau have two children each and they are both going through nasty divorces. Beau’s lifelong friend Tim is a Catholic priest who is beginning to question his place in his faith. Sylvie, a philanthropist, ends up playing quite the role in the saga of Brad and Lauren and I cheesed through a lot of her parts (some of the best in my opinion!). Let’s just say she very much could have been the Dowager Countess Lady Grantham in modern day and I wouldn’t have blinked.

I’m not going to lie sometimes seeing bits of your life experiences in a book can be difficult. I powered through the tough stuff and came out the other side of a beautiful story full of hope. The thing about hope is that it isn’t necessary when life is going well. Hope is often most prevalent in the dark. The View from Alameda Island made Robyn Carr an auto-buy for me. I can’t recommend it enough!

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