Thursday, April 19, 2018

Review: The Family Gathering by Robyn Carr

Title: The Family Gathering
Author: Robyn Carr
Series: Sullivan's Crossing, #3
Published: April 2018, Mira Books
Format: ARC Paperback, 288 pages
Source: Publisher via Little Bird Publicity

An exceptional storyteller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr beautifully captures the emotionally charged, complex dynamics that come with being part of any family. Readers will laugh and shed a few tears as they discover what it means to be loved, supported and accepted by the people who mean the most. 

Having left the military, Dakota Jones is at a crossroads in his life. With his elder brother and youngest sister happily settled in Sullivan’s Crossing, he shows up hoping to clear his head before moving on to his next adventure. But, like every visitor to the Crossing, he’s immediately drawn to the down-to-earth people and the seemingly simple way of life.

Dakota is unprepared for how quickly things get complicated. As a newcomer, he is on everyone’s radar—especially the single women in town. While he enjoys the attention at first, he’s really only attracted to the one woman who isn’t interested. And spending quality time with his siblings is eye-opening. As he gets to know them, he also gets to know himself and what he truly wants.

When all the Jones siblings gather for a family wedding, the four adults are drawn together for the first time in a way they never were as children. As they struggle to accept each other, warts and all, the true nature and strength of their bond is tested. But all of them come to realize that your family are the people who see you for who you really are and love you anyway. And for Dakota, that truth allows him to find the home and family he’s always wanted.

My thoughts: This is the third book in Robyn Carr's Sullivan's Crossing series and I have to say, this series just keeps getting better and better. I think so far, this one might be my favorite - mainly because of the strong family bonds that we see.

As I tend to say each time I review a book in a series, I highly recommend reading the series in order. While this book certainly can and does stand on its own, I think you will find it a much more fuller reading experience if you read the two previous books first. You will understand the family dynamics and the other characters' backstories that are alluded to without having anything spoiled if you decide to go back and read them after. 

This latest installment is mainly centered around Dakota Jones, who has come to the Crossing to decide what to do next with his life. Usually he pops up for a quick visit with his brother and sister and then heads out, but this time, he decides to stick around for a while. He also finds an attractive bartender that he wouldn't mind spending some time with - though she appears to be a tough nut to crack. 

What I love about this series is that while there is a romance involved, there is also a serious side to these books. This time, Robyn Carr delves into mental illness as well as stalking, adoption, divorce and it's after-effects, and a few other topics. It's got substance making it a more substantial read than just a fluff read. And then there is the theme of family gatherings that carries on throughout the book - and this to me really resonates, coming from such a large family. To me, there's nothing your family can't help you get through.

I also love that characters we've come to love and think of as "friends" make appearances in this latest book. Even though this book is mainly about Dakota, we still get updates on other characters we've met along the way. This series really is about a community and Robyn Carr has such a way of drawing you in that you feel as if you are part of this community yourself.

I really enjoy this series and can't wait to see what comes next. As I was reading and kept meeting new people, I kept wondering if perhaps they would be the focus on the next book. I do wonder if perhaps one person in particular will be the focus, but I'm not sure. I guess only time will tell!

Books in this series: 
  1. What We Find
  2. Any Day Now
  3. The Family Gathering


  1. I loved this one too! I haven't read any of her other series but I agree this one makes the characters feel like friends.

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed this book, and this series. I like the title and the idea of family members helping each other. Wonderful review, Kristin.


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