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The Guest Book (Sunset Beach #2)

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  808 Ratings  ·  124 Reviews
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 continue to exchange drawings … until tragedy ends visits to the beach house altogether. During her final trip ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published July 3rd 2012 by Zondervan
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Give me the Beach!
14th out of 45 books — 16 voters
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CCC Book Club List 2014
63rd out of 64 books — 46 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Lisa Hall
Jan 02, 2015 Lisa Hall rated it it was ok
To preface, I like all kinds of fiction, including Christian fiction. I think there is a real place for romantic fiction for Christians. Some authors do a good job.

This book was harmless enough. But I have two quarrels with it. The framework premise of the story was a good hook - about the rental house and the guest book. However, the characterization of the main character was so unrealistic. First, I am not sure any woman would allow some guy to move into her house after he got her pregnant and
My Book Addiction and More MBA
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 ...more
Sep 02, 2012 Carla rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pleasure-reading
Another great beach read by Marybeth Whalen!

I enjoyed this book as much as I enjoyed her first two novels, The Mailbox and She Makes It Look Easy. Great story, characters and how Marybeth winds faith as well as music into her books. It's like hearing the soundtrack playing while you are reading along - with the sounds of the ocean blending in for that perfect beach read.

Jun 17, 2013 Kelly rated it really liked it
This was a very sweet story with surprising twists and turns. I recommend it!
Jul 10, 2012 Vox rated it really liked it
Well, what do you know. We have a summer beach read that is actually set at - GET THIS - the beach! Not that The Guest Book wouldn't work at any time of the year, but its arrival this summer fits rather nicely.

Macy is twenty-four, a single mother (the baby daddy hit the road when daughter Emma was an infant), works as a clerk at a grocery store, and basically has her life's gear set on idle. She's in a perpetual state of waiting. She waits for Emma's father to come back (he does, but is that wha
May 04, 2015 Amanda rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, galley, 2013
This review can also be found at Book Boudoir.

I don't usually read books with a religious undertone. And every time I say that I roll my eyes at myself because I seem to read them randomly -- even though they are on my "don't read" list. Yeah, it makes no sense. The summary of The Guest Book was enough to catch my attention and I decided to give it a try anyway. Part of me is glad I did. I'll explain why.

I'm a big believer in things happening for a reason. Whether it's a conversation you are hav
Jun 23, 2012 Kimberly rated it really liked it
Review written for

I really enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. It does fall under Christian romance so there is quite a bit about God and returning to Him after a time when Macy let herself stop believing.

This is a very melancholy book. The character is still in, I think, a depression from the last few years of her life. Her father passed away and she got pregnant by a boyfriend who then ran off and she has raised her daughter on her own. Macy’s brother Max is g
Sep 11, 2016 Darlene rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
What I love most in the world is to lose myself in a wonderful book and Marybeth Whalen’s The Guest Book was certainly one of those. I listened to the audio production of this book which was narrated by Renee Raudman and she does such a wonderful job. One of the huge attraction of audiobooks for me other than the fact that you can do so many other things while listening to them is that if you get a good narrator they can really bring the story alive for you in a way I don’t always find in a book ...more
Sep 02, 2012 Candace rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Sep 12, 2012 Patty rated it really liked it
The Guest Book
Marybeth Whalen

My "in a nutshell"summary...

Lots of dysfunction in this family tale...a father dies, a brother has drinking issues, a mother can't forget and a sister who is also a mother has to decide what she really wants out of life.

My thoughts after reading this book...

My thoughts are sort of simple, pleasing and profound ones. This was a lovely story of a family who had grieved over the loss of their father for many many years. A wife, a son and a daughter are all stuck in t
May 04, 2016 Gloria rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, rated
Macy Dillon and her family went to Sunset Beach, North Carolina every year until the death of her father. It was too painful for them to continue going. Macy's mom has continued celebrating her father's birthday each year as though he were alive and has a shrine to his memory in her home. On the tenth anniversary year of his death and on his birthday celebration, her mom, Brenda announced to Macy and her brother, Max, that she had rented their old beach house from their past trips, Time In A ...more
Jun 27, 2012 Manuela rated it really liked it
In the aspect of the novel’s structure, the story was solely told through the narrative of Macy. Although the story line was fun, witty and homey, it felt very one-dimensional. When the three men were introduced, on who could possible be ‘the artist’, it was very suspensful but it would’ve been much more enhanced if we as readers could have seen the thoughts of the men.Also, usually in most of the novels I read, minor characters do not play a major role in the novel, this fact remains true in ...more
Jun 10, 2012 Christine rated it really liked it
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 s
Feb 23, 2013 Margaret rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-care-for
Reading the back cover of this book, I was caught up in the idea of a young Macy communicating with an unidentified boy through drawings left in a beach house guest book. As each child found a drawing, another one would be put in its place until the year Macy's father died. A final picture was left behind with a note telling the boy where to hide the book until she could return to find it.
Twenty-one years later, the drawings and the unknown identity of the boy she communnicated with still haunt
Macy Dillon works in a local supermarket and satisfies her artistic bent by painting the store windows, because a single mother can't afford art school. She cares for her daughter, Emma, rescues and bails out her part-boy brother, Max, and spends time with her mother, who is still mourning the loss of her husband after ten years. But now her mother thinks it is time to move on, and proposes the family spend two weeks in their old vacation haunt of Sunset Beach, at Time in a Bottle, the house ...more
Amy Bradsher
Aug 14, 2012 Amy Bradsher rated it really liked it
Macy Dillon has been drawing in the guest book of a beachside vacation rental for 10 years - and a young boy has been drawing her pictures in response. Until, that is, her father died and Macy's family stopped visiting the beach. Now, years later, they return to find closure for her father's death and Macy prays that she might find that boy who so ensnared her dreams years before. With everything in disarray and pain on every side, might the guest book provide the hope and healing that Macy has ...more
Jul 30, 2012 Casey rated it liked it
A beach read…set on the beach. It was like slipping away to my own “Time in a Bottle”, with the crash of waves ripping across the sands and the squall of birds riding the air.

There is much to be said for the “flavor” of a book. This novel definitely carries that flavor and tone of finding oneself. It’s a journey of change and discovery for many of the characters giving it more than a shallow one-dimensional feel.

Over all, I wasn’t as taken with this novel as I expected, which surprised me. It
Sep 03, 2012 Laura rated it it was amazing
Macy was a little girl, her family took an annual trip the Carolina beach. When she was too young to write in the guest book, her father encouraged her to draw a picture. For the next decade, she exchanged pictures with a boy who visited the beach house later in the summer. After a tragedy, her family quit going to the beach house, but Macy still remembers the guest book and wonders what happened to the boy she shared her heart with. Deciding to go back one more time to the beach house, Macy's ...more
Pamela Barrett
Jul 13, 2012 Pamela Barrett rated it really liked it
An easy summer read that I finished in a couple of days. Single mom Macy, has been raising her daughter ever since Emma’s dad, Chase, left Emma when she was a baby. Macy’s life is finally on the right track when Chase shows up wanting to start over. Macy’s mom and brother don’t trust him, but Emma wants her dad to stay. Macy’s own father died when she was young and his death deeply affected all of them—her mom is stuck in the past, her brother drinks too much, and Macy carries a lot of guilt ...more
Shelby Henderson
Sep 14, 2016 Shelby Henderson rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, nook-reads
A very uplifting book about answered prayers. A brother and sister deal with grief ten years after their father's death at their beloved beach rental. By coming back, they deal with sorrows, promises and remember God's love.
Jan 14, 2015 mandyfujita rated it liked it
I thought that the premise was intriguing - a girl goes to a beach house with her family annually and draws a picture in the guest book. As a response, a boy about the girl's age does the same thing for 10+ years.

Macy Dillion was that girl that loved the beach and loved life. Her father was the world to her and when he dies of a heart attack, she can't bear to go back to the beach house at Sunset Beach because of all the memories of the dad the beach house represents. Macy has a daughter, Emma
Feb 08, 2014 Mary rated it liked it
free e-book.
This is considered a Christian Romance so if you don't believe in God this is not the book for you. The family is dysfunctional the father has died, the mother 10 years later is still having Birthday dinners for him, brother has drinking issues and the sister is still trying to find love at 30 thinking of a boy she shared artistic drawings with in a guest book at the beach house but never met. Macy and her family took the annual trip to Carolina beach since she was a little girl but
Jul 09, 2012 IrenesBookReviews rated it really liked it
The concept of this book is interesting. Communicating with another person by simply drawing a picture in a book. This takes place at a beach house where a girl and a boy draw the pictures. They draw in the guest book at the house. There are some twists and turns along their journey and that is what makes the story interesting.

The main character, Macy, is complex and the author does well at making her intriguing. The other stories that make up the book also entice you to keep reading. I thought
Aug 17, 2012 Cafelilybookreviews rated it really liked it
If you haven’t yet found your perfect summer read, RUN and grab yourself a copy of The Guestbook. Marybeth Whalen stole my heart again with a beautiful, heartfelt romance. I first discovered her when I reviewed The Mailbox, and ranked THAT book as my favorite summer read of 2010.

Similar to The Mailbox, this story takes place on Sunset Beach and involves a young woman finding her way, after some heartbreaking losses in life. Macy Dillon returns to the beach hoping to find solace for her heart. Du
Aug 04, 2012 Glenajo rated it it was amazing
Budding artist, Macy Dillion drew her first picture in the guesthouse at a vacation beach house when she was five. Over the years, a young boy drew pictures back to her, and they developed a line of communication that followed them through the years. Then Macy’s father died, she got pregnant, and the father of her child left her. Now five years later, her child’s father returns, but her mother plans another vacation to Sunset Beach. Macy is determined to find the artist from the guestbook to see ...more
Jun 28, 2012 Joy rated it it was amazing
There have been so many books that I've enjoyed reading over the years but every once in a while there is one that just stands out and this is that book! What a fabulous story! I read it in one day. Yes, I spent hours reading and couldn't put it down! It's not your typical romance and that's what I loved about it.

Not only is there romance but mystery as well, I couldn't figure out who the anonymous artist was. There were times when I thought I knew but then something would happen that changed my
Ibjoy1953 Hannabass
Nov 18, 2012 Ibjoy1953 Hannabass rated it it was amazing
My Thoughts On This Book

The Guest Book was truly a delightful and enjoyable read. The fact that Macy Dillon left these drawings in a guest book, and had someone reply with drawing of his own was so very sweet and heartwarming. And to come back ten years later looking for this guy makes for a really awesome story. With believable characters that will sure capture your heart, author MaryBeth Whalen gives readers a warm and interesting story you will love. And with the many twists and turns, you wi
Jul 03, 2014 Carol rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
This seemed like a fun plot since I’ve left a few doodles in guest books myself. In the end, I was pretty underwhelmed by the book.

Macy’s family is stuck living in the past and still unable to move on after ten years, and I found that pretty annoying. Macy herself came across as quite shallow and overly dramatic, more like an insulated young teen than a grown woman with a child. I didn’t realize until part way into it that the book is categorized as Christian fiction, but the Christianity is no
Heidi Robbins (Heidi Reads...)
This was a bit of a messy all-over-the-place book for me. Macy was dealing with (or avoiding dealing with) several issues, including grief over her father's death, her relationship with her mother, disapproval over her mother's way of dealing with grief, her brother's partying, being a single mother, dealing with her ex who had abandoned her with a newborn coming back to town after five years... and that's just the first few chapters. As the novel progresses, add on four men who are pursuing her ...more
Apr 16, 2012 Tonya rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012-reads
I love how Marybeth takes things that she seees and creates a story from them. Macy's family used to go the beach all the time. Macy started drawing in the guest book and leaving pictures for an unnamed boy who would leave one as well for her. After Macy's dad died, they stopped going to the beach.

However after 10 years Macy's mom wants them all to go back. Macy feels like maybe she will have a chance to find the boy. Also she needs time to think if her ex-boyfriend Chase, who is also the father
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Marybeth Mayhew Whalen is the author of The Things We Wish Were True and five previous novels. She speaks to women's groups around the US. She is the co-founder of the popular women's fiction site, She Reads Marybeth and her husband Curt have been married for 24 years and are the parents of six children, ranging from young adult to elementary age. The family lives in North Caroli ...more
More about Marybeth Mayhew Whalen...

Other Books in the Series

Sunset Beach (4 books)
  • The Mailbox (Sunset Beach #1)
  • The Wishing Tree (Sunset Beach #3)
  • The Bridge Tender (Sunset Beach #4)

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