Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Guest Book by Marybeth Whalen

Title: The Guest Book

Author: Marybeth Whalen

Publisher: Zondervan

Published Date: July 3, 2012

Format: Paperback & Kindle

Buy on Amazon: Paperback or Kindle

Author Website: www 

Synopsis from Back Cover:

When Macy Dillon was five years old, her father encouraged her to draw a picture in the guestbook of a Carolina beach house. The next year, Macy returned to discover a drawing by an unidentified little boy, on the facing page. Over the next eleven years, the children continued to exchange drawings ... until tragedy ended visits to the beach house altogether. 
During her last trip to Sunset Beach, Macy asks her anonymous friend to draw her one last picture and told him where to hide the guest book, hoping that one day she would return to find it---and him. 
Twenty-one years after that first picture, Macy is back at Sunset Beach---this time toting a broken family and a hurting heart. One night, alone by the ocean, Macy asks God to help her find the boy she never forgot, the one whose beautiful pictures touched something deep inside her. 
Will God answer her prayer?  Will she find the artist?  And if she does, will the guest book unite them or merely be the relic of a lost childhood?

My Thoughts:

Marybeth Whalen's The Guest Book is a captivating story about love, loss, family, and new beginnings.  Macy and her family went to the beach every summer growing up and stayed in the Time in a Bottle beach house.  From the ages of five until sixteen, Macy corresponded with a boy through the pages of Time in a Bottle's guest book.  Every year they would anonymously draw each other pictures of what was important to them at the beach.  Through these 'letters', Macy and her mystery artist came to know each other better than anyone and they found that they developed feelings for each other.  Unexpectedly, Macy's father dies and leaves her family in shock.  Macy, her mother Brenda, and brother Max decide to return to the beach house that year when Macy is sixteen.  Plans were made to meet her mystery artist that summer, but with memories of her father at every turn, Macy and her family leave the beach house before her meeting.

Ten years pass and Macy and her family are still mourning the loss of their father and husband.  In an attempt to finally move on, Macy, her five year old daughter Emma, Max, and her mother decide to go back to Time in a Bottle.  As they arrive it appears that not much has changed.  Brenda soon reconnects with their neighbor Buzz, and Macy sets out on a quest to finally discover the identity of her mystery artist.  After a heartfelt prayer to God, Macy finds herself with three men who come 'a courting' and have connections to Time in a Bottle.  Pastor Nate, the young, artistic pastor that used to vacation at the beach house; Dockery, a volunteer at a local Art Camp that Emma attends; and Wyatt, Buzz's son that had easy access to Time in a Bottle while growing up.  Could one of them be her childhood love?       

In The Guest Book, Macy's passion is drawing.  Macy discovered her love for sketching when she was a little girl drawing shells with colored pencils in a beach house guest book.  Twenty-one years later, Macy finds herself as a Grocery Store employee.  Macy's life is not how she envisioned it.  Art school went out the window when she became a single parent.  To satisfy her love of drawing, Macy creates signs and window scenes at the store she works in.  Dreams of being a 'real artist' are all but gone.

Marybeth Whalen's The Guest Book is a great, feel good read.  Once I started reading it I found I had to keep reading to uncover the mystery of who 'The Artist' was.  I definitely recommend The Guest Book to anyone looking for a fun and touching story.  Filled with romance, mystery, and healing, The Guest Book is the novel to pick up this fall!

Marybeth Whalen has provided me with a complimentary copy of her book, The Guest Book,, for the purpose of review. 


  1. Great to connect with you on Book Blogs. I really like your site and have followed you on GFC - very interested in keeping up with what you do. This is well written review and it makes me want to buy the book. I must remember you when I get my novel out, and maybe for a bit of editing :-)

    Keep up the great work.

    C. S. Wimsey

    1. Thanks so much for the kind words! Please do keep me in mind if you have editing needs!

  2. this sounds like a great read! great review too!