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The Guest Book

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted August 31, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    At our little cabin in the northwoods we have a cabin journal in

    At our little cabin in the northwoods we have a cabin journal in which we capture the special moments of each trip. We encourage others who visit the cabin to write in the journal, too, even the little ones. Sometimes they draw pictures. Throughout the entries there is a kind of back and forth communication, even a little campfire cooking rivalry. If someone else has been at the cabin since we were there last, both my husband and I will check the cabin journal right away after we unpack to read the latest news (which is very silly because we've usually talked to those people directly and already know the important stuff).

    In The Guest Book by Marybeth Whalen, young Macy had that same eager anticipation to check the guest book of the beach cottage she and her family rented for their annual vacation. It all started the summer she was five and she, encouraged by her father, drew a picture of some shells in the guest book. The next summer she found another picture had been added by a boy who also left behind a photograph, but not his name. Over the next ten summers drawings went back and forth and a secret friendship was forged. Then when a teenager, Macy received a note that she should go to a particular pier at a certain time and they would finally meet. Instead Macy convinced her mother to leave the beach house early and that they should not return next summer.

    Why didn't Macy meet her secret friend? How can an innocent childhood game still affect the now 26 year old woman? The answers to those questions are the heart of Whalen's contemporary novel. For now I will say that Macy, her mother, and her older brother all are emotionally stalled because of the father's death which happened that year when she was 15. Life has gone on, Macy has become a single mother, brother Max has "settled" into a life of partying and destructive behavior, and mom has built a shrine of memories to insulate her. A crack of change appears when mom suggests that once again the whole family travel to the same beach house for two weeks.

    Then the first night at the beach, Macy, who has simply buried God with her father, prays a single prayer - that God will finally reveal who the childhood artist is. Seemingly like miracles, three possibilities appear, each interested in the adult Macy, and she in him. But a larger lesson comes with the possibility that none of them is the childhood friend -- the lesson that we all have an Artist to our lives. Do we recognize the strokes of His brush, the shape of His clay? Are we willing to accept his creation within us?

    With the side stories of brother Max and mom, this is a book that offers something to more than just young romance readers (although that is still the target audience). This book was published in July and I was given an e-copy for review purposes. All opinions are my own. Secular publishers always seem to have a list of "beach reads" for the summer months. For Christian fiction readers, this title would be a good vacation read. Since it is now Labor Day weekend, I can only hope that maybe you have some late, late summer vacation time for some light, but meaningful reading. If not, perhaps you'll want to read this in the depths of January/February when you can only dream of sand beaches.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 2, 2012

    Twenty-six-year-old Macy Dillon is a single mother of one. She d

    Twenty-six-year-old Macy Dillon is a single mother of one. She doesn't love her job, she isn't sure if she should take back her daughter's father (that left them when Emma was born), and she just has a general feeling of being unsettled. Add on to that a brother that she has to bail out of jail quite frequently and a mother who can't get over Macy's father, that died ten years ago, and you've got a family that needs some healing.

    So they decide to head back to the family vacation spot that they stopped frequenting after Macy's dad died. Time In a Bottle, a beach house that has many bittersweet memories for the Dillon family.

    But, Macy also wants to go there because a part of her has never gotten over the boy that she's been corresponding with through pictures in a guest book since she was five. Macy has hopes of finding this man that she's never actually met, and tries to keep her heart open when she arrives at the beach house. Just hoping that he hasn't forgotten about her.

    We're given three possibilities of who the mysterious artist could be from very early on in the book. Also, it could, quite possibly, not be any of them. I find all three of the men that Macy meets to be likeable and I was switching back-and-forth through the book as to who I wanted to artist to be.

    I also enjoyed seeing Macy's mom and brother on their own journeys to healing. You can see that all of them have a large amount of pain to get over before they move on with their lives. But, Time In a Bottle, promises to bring each of them a little bit of joy to erase some of their heartache.

    I absolutely loved this book. When I got to the end and the "big reveal", I was honestly surprised. But, extrememly please with how Ms. Whalen chose to go. I also loved the message that if you just depend on God to take care of you and realize that He'll never forget you or leave you alone, you can find your way home.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2013

    I loved it would like too read more from rhis writer

    Jpw

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2013

    Loved this sweet story. Took a number of twists and turns. Would recommend highly!

    Loved this sweet story. Took a number of unexpected turns. Would highly recommend.

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  • Posted July 31, 2012

    Highly recommend

    Loved this novel-what a great beach read. It was especially meaningful to me as I have been fortunate enough to vacation at Sunset Beach for many years

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  • Posted July 23, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Are you looking for a great vacation read? Marybeth Whalen&rsquo

    Are you looking for a great vacation read? Marybeth Whalen’s sophomore novel, The Guest Book, is a charming book for vacation, especially if you are going to the beach. Having lived in the Carolinas most of my life and vacationed at Sunset Beach, NC, I was very excited to read Marybeth’s newest book.

    Marybeth combines a love story that spans many years through pictoral exchanges in a guest book in the beach rental house her family stays in year after year. After the death of the lead character’s (Macy’s) father, the whole family falls into deep grief and stops vacationing at the beach house. The memories are too painful for the family to return to a play of joy and fun memories.

    After 10 years, the family is ready to move on, and the lead character’s mother rents to same house to put the past to rest. Through the journey this family takes, Macy and her mother find healing and a chance at second love.
    Marybeth weaves the family’s story together beautifully through flash-backs and current experiences. I enjoyed reading this book.

    Zondervan provided me with a copy of this book for an honest review.

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  • Posted July 21, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A GREAT SUMMER READ FULL OF SECOND CHANCES AND HEALING~ THE GU

    A GREAT SUMMER READ FULL OF SECOND CHANCES AND HEALING~

    THE GUEST BOOK by Mary Beth Whalen is a christian fiction set in Sunset Beach,North Carolina. Follow Macy Dillion to Sunset Beach, North Carolina.Go with Macy with her struggles,grief,healing,regrets, a mysterious guest book,love,second chances, a few twists and turns. A great summer read! Of course, being from Eastern North Carolina myself,and knowing the area only made it seem more real. "The Guest Book" is a complex,compelling,story of childhood memories and God's neverending love. Macy gets her answered prayers with a flood of men. Follow Macy on her journey of discovery and find that dreams do come true after all. A very special book that Guest book turns out to be. Anyone who enjoys Christian reading,a great summer read,love,and God's healing powers.Received for an honest review from the publisher. Details can be found at Zondervan,the author's website and My Book Addiction and More.

    RATING: 4

    HEAT RATING: SWEET

    REVIEWED BY: AprilR, My Book Addiction and More

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2012

    Enjoyed every minute of this book!

    This was a wonderful summer read. It was very suspenseful and the characters were well developed and likable. I visit this part of the country often and the story made me feel like I was there. I will certainly read more books by this author. She is a gifted writer.

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  • Posted July 9, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Macy and her family spent a few weeks every summer at a beach ho

    Macy and her family spent a few weeks every summer at a beach house in the Carolinas.
    Each year she would draw a picture in the guest book. And every year she would return to find a picture from a boy in response. Years go by. After the death of her father the family quits their yearly visits. But in order to heal they feel the need to return. Will Macy find the guest book again? Will she finally get to meet the mysterious artist?

    I loved this book. Maybe it's in part because I grew up in the Carolinas and spent quite a bit of my adult life there as well. But even without that connection I know I would enjoy reading this author's books. The visuals were perfect for picturing the guest house and beach. The characters are well thought out and engaging. I found myself loving each family member and caring about them. The plot was enough to keep me entertained in the story, but the main character and her daughter were the main draws. Definitely a good summer (or any other season) read.

    I received this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

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  • Posted July 7, 2012

    This is a great modern romantic read for any time of year - in t

    This is a great modern romantic read for any time of year - in the summer, it'll have you longing for some time at the beach, and in every other season, it'll have you looking forward to the fun possibilities that every summer brings. The characters are fun and full of life, and there is a sweet, very romantic mystery involving the Guest Book that had me guessing all the way to the end and left my heart happy. I found myself identifying with and really rooting for Macy, the protagonist. The only thing I didn't like about this is that it had to end... I want a sequel!

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    Posted September 3, 2012

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    Posted August 13, 2014

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    Posted August 23, 2012

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    Posted May 29, 2014

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