‘Virgin River’: The TV Characters Look Nothing Like They’re Described in the Books

Virgin River is one of Netflix‘s most-watched drama series. The show is based on the 21-book series by Robyn Carr, the show centers around the town of Virgin River and its residents. It follows Mel Monroe (Alexandra Breckenridge), a Los Angeles-based nurse who leaves her life in the city behind after a series of horrible tragedies. She moves to Virgin River to heal and start over. Amid her healing, she begins a romance that she never expected with former Marine, Jack Sheridan (Martin Henderson), who owns the town’s bar.

Though the show is based on Carr’s books, fans have pointed out that the characters on the screen look nothing like their book descriptions.

Martin Henderson as Jack Sheridan wearing a grey shirt in 'Virgin River'
Martin Henderson as Jack Sheridan in ‘Virgin River’ | Netflix

How to read the ‘Virgin River’ books in order

Since she first debuted the Virgin River book series in the mid-2000s, Carr’s books have been a massive success. There are now 21 books in the series. To read them in order, they are:

  1. Virgin River
  2. Shelter Mountain
  3. Whispering Rock
  4. A Virgin River Christmas
  5. Second Chance Pass
  6. Temptation Ridge
  7. Paradise Valley
  8. Under the Christmas Tree: A Holiday Romance Novel
  9. Forbidden Falls
  10. Angel’s Peak
  11. Moonlight Road
  12. Midnight Confessions
  13. Promise Canyon
  14. Wild Man Creek
  15. Harvest Moon
  16. Bring Me Home for Christmas
  17. Hidden Summit
  18. Redwood Bend
  19. Sunrise Point
  20. My Kind of Christmas
  21. Return to Virgin River

The characters on the Netflix show are nothing like their book descriptions

Interestingly enough, many of the characters in the series are nothing like their description. For one, Jack is supposed to have a low military cut, not the long hair that Henderson sports on the show. “None of the characters are how they were originally supposed to be when they were written,” one Redditor said via Express. Another added, “[Jack] is supposed to be very tall and muscular, also Preacher is meant to be a big scary beast and he is nowhere near that. Mel is supposed to have very light blonde curly hair and super petite. Brie is supposed to also be small and have very long brown hair, Paige is also supposed to be blonde.”

It appears that showrunner Sue Tenney was adamant about choosing the right people for the roles while also making sure her cast was diverse and compelling to watch.

RELATED: ‘Virgin River’: Fans Are Convinced Paige Is Already Dead

A ton of ‘Virgin River’ characters are missing from the show

In addition to the characters being completely different from their book descriptions, there are a ton of fan favorites missing from the series. In order to make the show work, Tenney and the producers knew they needed a paired-down story. As a result not include everyone. They also chose to expand some characters’ roles on the show.

Tenney revealed to TV Line that she and the producers handpicked certain characters for the series. Therefore, there are huge differences in storylines and in characters. Charmaine Roberts (Lauren Hammersley) is barely mentioned in the books, and Mel’s late husband doesn’t die in a car accident as he does in the series.

RELATED: ‘Virgin River’: Jack Might Not Be the Father of Charmaine’s Babies