A rural mailbox stands alone on an isolated North Carolina beach, and within its unobtrusive confines lay the hopes and dreams, the heartaches and joys of countless strangers. Tending the lone mailbox on this deserted beach is an anonymous reader called the Kindred Spirit…drawing hearts toward healing and hope. Marybeth Whalen’s debut novel, The Mailbox, is set around this real-life landmark. She explores the possibility that this isolated and mysterious message center can reunite two people who have been separated by a lifetime of regret and confusion. Because of the mailbox, second chances arise in the face of painful loss, and the promise that enduring love and faith can overcome the destruction of long-kept secrets rings true.
Lindsey Adams begins her visits to the Kindred Spirit mailbox as a young teen. There, she finds her first love, Campbell Forrester. But twenty years later, she returns to the beach as a woman whose husband, Grant, has divorced her after a string of infidelities. Remembering her first love, and wondering whatever became of Campbell, Lindsey allows the salty beach air to reengage her sense of hope. She begins to imagine that Campbell might not be long lost after all.
Meanwhile, Campbell faces his own hardships—including his broken relationship with his daughter and his longing to undo his inadequacies as a father. When Campbell learns that Lindsey has returned to the beach, he cannot help but feel hopeful that he may discover love again.
Whalen’s heartfelt and freshly evoked story explores how memories—and good-old-fashioned, hand-written letters—can not only haunt us, but also can heal us. She explores the memories of first romance while also taking a look at painful life circumstances. Marriage, parenting, and personal integrity are brought into focus in this edgy romance, as is the struggle to come to terms with God’s love for us and His plan for our lives. Using letters from the Kindred Spirit mailbox, Whalen delves into the hearts of two people who truly desire to experience the transformation of enduring love.
The Mailbox by Marybeth Whalen
David C Cook/June 1, 2010/ISBN 978-0-7814-0369-6/384 pages/softcover/$14.99
What did I think? This is a nice, light summer read. It was a feel good romance that went by really quickly. I enjoyed the story. A small focus on God, but not overwhelming or preachy. A great way to wile away a summer afternoon.