What We Find by Robyn Carr (Sullivan’s Crossing #1)
April 5, 2016
Reviewed by Helyce
Maggie Sullivan is close to having a total breakdown. A gifted and successful neurosurgeon, she’s at her best dealing in high stress emergency situations. But when a teenager dies resulting in a malpractice suit on the heels of a recent personal tragedy it’s just too much for her to handle. Maggie realizes that she desperately needs to step back and take stock of where she is in her life and what she wants for her future.
To do this, she goes back to Sullivan’s Crossing, her childhood home and a place that she knows will bring her the sense of calm that she needs to clear her head and help her to make some major decisions. Her father still lives there, managing the lakeside campground where campers and hikers visit year round. Maggie has fond memories of growing up there until her parents divorce had her moving away with her mother. She’d visit for vacations and such, but it always remained one of her favorite places to be.
Sadly, the peace and quiet she’d hoped for is very short-lived. She’s not there long when her father, Sully, has a heart attack and she’s thrust back into doctor and caregiver mode. Luckily, Sully has a lot of friends to help out and keep the camp running smoothly. Maggie is especially grateful to Cal Jones, a lone camper who arrived just prior to her and seems to be there for the long haul. He steps in and it’s not long before a friendship between the two begins and they realize they have more in common than they thought.
I loved Maggie. From the outside looking in you might think being a successful doctor, a neurosurgeon at that, would likely guarantee happiness. We learn right away that isn’t the case for Maggie. While she is extremely successful and loves what she does, she was really living a half-life and wasn’t quite sure how to be a doctor and satisfy some of her other dreams–love, marriage, children. She thought that she was close to realizing her dream. She’d been in a relationship for a few years with a man she cared for, but it all went to hell when she found out she was pregnant and her boyfriend didn’t respond to the news as happily as she’d hoped. When she suffers a miscarriage, she tries to carry on, business as usual, but she finds it impossible on top of everything else going to shit in her life. So, she goes home.
Ms. Carr delivers her trademark small town feel in this new series which is centered around Sullivan’s Crossing and the people who live and work there. We are thrust into Maggie’s sadness and insecurity when she makes the only decision she can for herself and she goes home to the place that has always brought her comfort. She needs to find her center, lick her wounds and find her personal strength. Sully’s heart attack throws her off track a bit, but it kind of allowed her an excuse to extend her stay and so much happens for Maggie during this time.
Maggie meets Cal Jones for one. Cal Jones is on a personal journey of his own. He’s suffered his own tragedy and has decided to travel a bit to find himself and his life purpose. What was important to him at one time, just doesn’t give him the same satisfaction now that so much has changed. He lands in Sullivan’s Crossing a bit too early to hike the Great Divide trail so he makes camp and begins to get to know the people who work there. When Sully has his heart attack, Cal easily pitches in, doing most of Sully’s usual tasks around the campground and helping to run the General Store.
I really enjoyed Cal. Carr very slowly peels his layers back and it takes a long time to really learn about him and the events that led him to Sullivan’s Crossing. But you fall for him none the less. He so easily fits into the community but when the time is right he does continue with his original plan. I felt this was an important turning point for Maggie. As Sully recovers, and Maggie herself becomes stronger, you can see her forming an attachment to Cal. But they both need to finish what they initially started before they can be together fully.
There are so many scenes that touched my heart. Maggie’s journey not only helps her heal the hurts within herself, she also finds answers to so many of her childhood questions. She finds she was wrong about so many things where her father and stepfather were concerned. And the truths she learns play a big part in helping her make important decisions for her future.
As a first book, we are introduced to some very interesting characters who I can only assume will be featured in future books. But Carr does an excellent job of keeping the focus on Maggie and Cal. Doesn’t mean I didn’t notice some of the secondary characters. I’m especially interested in Tom, a single dad who works multiple jobs to provide for his kids. He has a very colorful ex-wife and I expect some very interesting times ahead.
A really great start to a new series. I can’t wait to see where Ms. Carr plans to take us!