Thursday, April 2, 2015

Review - - Never Too Late

Never Too Late
by Robyn Carr
(reissue with new content)
Publisher: MIRA
Date: March 31, 2015

Fast approaching her 40th birthday, Clare Wilson has separated from her cheating husband for the third time. Her family has stopped believing she'll ever leave him for good. Even Clare wonders if she'll be able to find the courage to take that final step. But one more betrayal by her husband followed by a car accident that leaves her seriously injured has Clare finally ready to jettison her marriage and move forward to a new life. The question is what that new life will be.

Many changes occur in Clare's life over the next several months as she works to heal her body and spirit. There's Sam, the hot cop who witnessed her accident, a younger man with whom she first forges a friendship, a man who makes Clare feel desired for the first time in years but are they destined to become lovers or just good friends? There's a new career as Clare joins the workforce but is teaching the right choice for her or has she yet to discover her real passion? She reconnects with a man from her youth with whom she shares a shameful secret. Will they finally be able to forgive themselves - and each other - and lay the past to rest? Will doing so give them a future together? And finally, there's Clare's almost ex-husband. He does have good qualities and he loves Clare. Will the divorce papers be the kick in the pants he needs to change his ways? They share a child. Will they finally become the family they should have been for the past sixteen years?

I discovered Robyn Carr with the publication of Virgin River and have followed her faithfully with each subsequent book she's published.  This is a book that was published prior to Virgin River but is now being reissued with new content. I did not read the original book so I don't know what that new content entails but I can tell you that I fell in love with this story. In fact, I loved it so much that I stayed up reading until 3:37 am!

One of Carr's strengths is her ability to create complex, fully dimensional, realistic characters and Never Too Late is filled with them. While Clare is an almost forty year old mother, this book is in many ways her coming of age story and Carr captures her journey beautifully and realistically. She's the type of woman who could be my next-door neighbor. It's also a story about relationships, another area in which Carr excels. There's the male-female relationships Clare must navigate as she discovers who she is and what she wants from life. There's her close relationship with her teenage son and his broken relationship with his father. There's Clare's older sister, Maggie who has her own family crises to contend with and younger sister, Sarah who wonders if love will ever find her. Finally, there's Clare's familial relationship with her father and two sisters, relationships that have been strained during her tumultuous marriage but the love has never wavered and the journey following Clare's accident forges a new and stronger bond among them. They all learn that it's never too late to redefine our lives, never too late to begin again.

While I would classify Never Too Late as women's fiction, those of you wanting a strong romance with a HEA will not be disappointed. Carr has combined the best of women's fiction and contemporary romance into a compelling, heartwarming story that, I am sure, will end up on many keeper shelves...mine included.



  1. I also 'discovered' Carr through the Virgin River books, after glowing praises from Janga's blog, and ended up reading the complete series!

    ! sometimes wonder whether 'Women's Fiction' might be a misnomer. For example, I have enjoyed Julianne MacLean's 'Color' series and also books by Jojo Moyes which I think class as Women's rather than romance fiction. Both deal with emotional, sometimes tragic events, which massively affect lives, but always with an ultimately optimistic world view. Men can be intimately involved with these issues and are often bonded with the women involved, rather like entangled photons in quantum theory.

    I'm not suggesting relabelling it as 'Men's Fiction' but some indication that men are not excluded from enjoying some of these superb novels might be helpful.

    OK soapbox lecture over.

    Your review convinced me to give this one a try.
    Thanks PJ :)

    1. Hope you enjoy it, Q! I agree with you on the gender labeling. It would be nice if we could just label it "fiction" and let the story determine its audience.

  2. I was lucky enough to get this one from the library and am looking forward to getting into it I love Robyn's books.

  3. I read this several years ago, and I loved it! Great review!

    1. Thanks, Nikki. I actually have the original in the bookshelf but never got around to reading it. Never enough time for all the books I'd like to read!

  4. I haven't read the Virgin River books yet, but have enjoyed several of Robyn's Stand alone books like this one.

    1. Oh, Di, you have some wonderful reading ahead of you!

  5. I need the romance with a HEA, so thanks for the heads up! I loved the entire Virgin River series!