In Robyn Carr’s ‘The Best of Us,’ Growing into Adulthood Takes a Hearty Shove [REVIEW]

(Photo courtesy Canva)

When a woman spends her life raising her sister’s child, she’s ready to embrace the future and build a new life of her own when that kiddo grows up and leaves the nest. But what will she do when she discovers that even as an adult, those we nurture still depend on us for extra TLC? Find out in Robyn Carr’s heartfelt novel, The Best of Us.

Robyn Carr's THE BEST OF US
Mira Books

Dr. Leigh Culver is ready to leave Chicago. After all, a change of scenery never hurt anyone! So, she packs up her life and leaves for Timberlake, a small town in Colorado. Leaving her Aunt Helen, however, is more difficult than she thought it would be, especially when she discovers how complicated being an independent adult can be.

Helen, on the other hand, is about as independent as it gets. Now that she is retired from teaching and Leigh is living in Colorado, she’s ready to enjoy her new life as a successful mystery novelist and see where her wanderlust may take her.

When she finally does make it to Timberlake to visit Leigh, she is surprised to discover her niece still needs her, especially when it comes to sorting out her love life. Then, when Leigh takes her to Sullivan’s Crossing, she meets someone there who entices her to take a chance on love herself. Just as she’s getting used to being alone, will she take a chance and open her heart once again?

As always, Carr does a marvelous job navigating the ever-evolving—and sometimes sticky—relationships between her characters. Okay, so who of us hasn’t asked for advice from time to time, particularly from someone we respect and love? Then, when that advice is provided, we must decide to heed it or continue down the same path we’ve always traveled, unless we can coerce our family into doing the dirty work for us.

Throughout The Best of Us, Leigh is stuck in neutral. She just can’t seem to shift things into gear, at least until her aunt gives her the shove she so desperately needs. When that happens, readers will likely think as I did, “It’s about time!” However, for some people doling out tough love can be a fate worse than death, I suppose, because it can be frightening and uncomfortable. Carr writes about these situations with a gentle hand, however, and it really brings both Leigh and Helen to vivid life.

Carr’s dialogue also sparkles and shines here, because not only are their conversations engaging for the reader, but they are totally realistic, particularly when our two protagonists realize they need to set boundaries they can both agree on. The trick they must both learn, however, is staying the course, and being consistent, and this dilemma is what really makes this story work.

Whether you’re a longtime Carr fan or have simply binge watched the series Virgin River on Netflix, you won’t be disappointed in The Best of Us. It is a tale told with humor, heart, and lots of grace. I’m pretty sure you’re going to love it!

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Robyn Carr is a RITA® Award-winning, eleven-time #1 New York Times bestselling author of almost 60 novels, including the critically acclaimed Virgin River series.

Robyn’s new women’s fiction novel A Family Affair is coming in April 2022. The fifth novel, The Family Gathering, in her fan-favorite Sullivan’s Crossing Series was released in Jan. 2020 and a Sullivan’s Crossing TV series is in production! The Virgin River TV Series, season 3 is now streaming on Netflix (July 2021) with season 4 and 5 coming soon.

Robyn is a recipient of the Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award 2016, and in 2017, Virgin River was named one of the HarperCollins 200 Iconic Books of the past 200 years. Robyn currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.

For more information, visit her website at, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Amazon, BookBub, and Goodreads.

Robyn Carr
Robyn Carr
(Photo by Michael Alberstat)

By Robyn Carr
336 pp. Mira Books. $26.99

Purchase The Best of Us direct from Jathan & Heather Books or from one of these other fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Half Price Books, Hudson Booksellers, IndieBound, Powell’s, Target, or Walmart.

About Heather Fink
Heather Fink is a writer, bibliophile and award-winning librarian who loves to introduce the next generation of readers to the wonderful world of books. She currently resides in Texas.

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