Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Mailbox by Marybeth Whalen

Some books just intrigue me simply from the cover. Others capture me with the back cover blurp. Marybeth Whalen's new novel had me with both. So I dove right in, eager for a unique reading experience.

"The Mailbox" was good...just not as good as I'd hoped.

Loosely based on a real Kindred Spirit mailbox in North Carolina, Marybeth pens the story of Lindsey Adams and Campbell Forrester, two young people who forge a summer romance that they intended to last a lifetime.

But, as life sometimes does, circumstances intervene and the two end up going their separate ways. One thing Lindsey always has, though, is her letters to the Kindred Spirit, a mysterious person who maintains the famous mailbox.

No one knows who the Kindred Spirit is. He or she has been in existence seemingly forever, taking and reading the letters written from the deepest portions of the human heart and never letting these secrets out.

Once Lindsey's difficult marriage ends, she returns to Sunset for her first vacation since the divorce, bringing her two children with her. Hoping to capture some of the magic of her teen years and to share it with her hurting children, Lindsey also returns to the Kindred Spirit mailbox, sharing her struggles with her mysterious friend.

When Campbell re-enters her life, Lindsey faces the rejection she felt years ago head on. The question is, can she learn to trust Campbell again, and will she trust him with her friendship...or with her heart?

I enjoyed "The Mailbox", but it wasn't as unique as I'd hoped. Marybeth Whalen has created likeable characters, and her take on a romantic tale is well crafted. I think I'd hoped for more about the mailbox and the mysterious person behind it...maybe more about the folklore.

I'm grateful to my friends at The B & B Media Group for sending me my copy and giving me the chance to read this one. It's a good summer read, especially on vacation or by the pool.

I'm giving "The Mailbox" three out of five bookmarks, with a postage stamp as a charm. If you're ever in Sunset Beach, North Carolina, be sure to hunt down this Kindred Spirit Mailbox...and drop me a comment about your visit!

Happy Reading!



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Charlene Amsden said...

I thought this was an amazing first book with well-written characters and a believable every day life plot that still managed to be compelling. J=However, like you I was disappointed not to hear more about the mailbox itself and the history of it. I convinced myself not to be disappointed over that aspect by reasoning that anything she did tell us would be made up, and maybe do a disservice to the real romance and mystery of whomever tends the box.

Deena Peterson said...

For a romance, I found it predictable. What interested me was the mailbox and how it worked in the story...which wasn't what I expected.

But Marybeth is a good writer, and I'd read more written by her.