Mel's Character Origin Story Is So Different in the Virgin River Books

Perri Ormont Blumberg
·2 min read

Giant fan of Netflix's Virgin River? We don't know about you, but we can't wait to see what happens in season three. But until the newest episodes in the series debut, many of us have been keeping busy with the Virgin River books by Robyn Carr. And, okay, we admit it, re-watching the first two seasons.

Bookworms, however, may have noticed a very big difference between what's on the page in the Virgin River series, and what transpires on the screen, and for those who are yet to read the books — spoiler alert — the plot changes may surprise you.

"Virgin River" Alexandra Breckenridge
"Virgin River" Alexandra Breckenridge

Courtesy Netflix

As TV and movie news site, Looper.com reports in a piece titled "The Biggest Differences Between the Virgin River Books and the Show," there are actually quite a few adjustments in the television series that stray far from the written word. The biggest surprise to us? The central background story of Mel and her husband Mark having a stillborn and her husband dying in a car crash didn't happen in the books.

"In the TV show, Mel moves to Virgin River after the sudden and shocking death of her husband Mark (Daniel Gillies), who died in a car accident while the two were arguing about whether or not they should continue trying to have another child after their first baby was stillborn. In the books, Mel's trauma does not have quite as many layers, though it remains very sad," wrote K. Thomas, adding that in the first Virgin River book, Mel decided to move to the rural community of Virgin River after Mark was killed during a robbery at a convenience store.

And another plot element that's altered in the series is Mel and Mark's infertility issues. "[Although] Mel and Mark struggled with infertility and trying to have a child in the books, Mel had never successfully gotten pregnant, let alone lost a child," Thomas continued, noting that in the books she became pregnant with Jack's child when they started dating. Ah, what would Charmaine think?

Have you read the Virgin River books? Do you think the TV series does them justice or do the novels reign supreme?