Virgin River: Biggest differences between the books and TV show

·3-min read
Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

If you didn't already know Netflix's Virgin River is based on a series of books of the same name by Robyn Carr. Between the novels and TV show, there are, of course, a lot of similarities: both are set in a fictional Northern Californian town, and both centre around nurse practitioner Mel Monroe falling for Jack Sheridan, the owner of the local restaurant and bar.

But there are also a lot of differences between the two versions of Virgin River. Here, we take a look at some of the biggest. *Spoilers*

Charmaine is a minor character in the books

OK, so not minor minor, but she is definitely bigged up a bit on the show to create drama for Mel and Jack. Charmaine and Jack's casual relationship before Mel is present in both the books and the TV show, but in the books, Jack immediately breaks things off when Mel arrives.

Also, in the books, although Charmaine does get pregnant, it's made clear that Jack isn't the father - something which writers for the TV show have left fairly open-ended.

Photo credit: ITV2
Photo credit: ITV2

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Hope and Doc's relationship is more developed in the show

In both the books and the Netflix series, Hope McCrea (Annette O'Toole) is hired to help town doctor, Vernon "Doc" Mullins (Tim Matheson), at his local practice. But in the books, she's more of a background character, and doesn't really get much air time. This is different on-screen, where she develops a relationship with Doc and is more quirky and kind.

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

Mel didn't lose a child in the books

In the TV series, we find out Mel tragically had a stillborn baby before moving to Virgin River. However in the books, though Mel struggled with infertility, she has never been pregnant or given birth.

Mel's husband dies differently in the books v show

Part of Mel's move in the show was also due to her husband dying in a car accident, while the pair were arguing over whether they should continue trying for another child. In the books, Mark is actually killed during a shop robbery.

Photo credit: COURTESY OF NETFLIX
Photo credit: COURTESY OF NETFLIX

Characters are introduced more quickly on TV

In the books, we meet various different characters over the course of the novels, and there isn't a full 'cast' from the very beginning. This is different in the TV show, though, and viewers are introduced to many of the main people in the first season.

Fans of both the books and TV show have also noticed things move much quicker on screen. In the books, the prose is quite romantic and meandering in tone, where as the TV show is more dramatic and tense.

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

There are more adult themes in the books

Though both the TV show and books are quite romance based, the TV show is more family-friendly in tone. The books, meanwhile, contain some more sex scenes and, though it's definitely not Fifty Shades Of Grey, there are more hot under the collar moments.

Virgin River seasons 1 - 3 are available on Netflix now.

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