Mandy J. Hoffman's Reviews > The Mailbox

The Mailbox by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen
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Jun 09, 2010

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bookshelves: blog-reviews, fiction
Read from June 08 to 09, 2010


Since last Fall I have enjoyed reading Marybeth Whalen's blog and have anxiously awaited the arrival of her first novel - The Mailbox. Marybeth is a talented writer and this book is truly a piece of artwork in black and white.

In The Mailbox, Marybeth creatively weaves together a story that crosses the past with the present as you learn of the old and the new all at the same time. The main characters were easy to relate to and understand as they grappled with serious life choices. Their emotions came alive and swept me into the story. I also enjoyed the unexpected twist that came towards the end just when you thought everything was being wrapped up neat and tidy.

Overall, this is a great summer read to pack in that beach bag or tote bag for any adult woman. I do stress that fact that I think this is an adult fiction read that needs to stay in the adult audience and not young teen girls due to some small references and conversations that while not inappropriate, are still best for adults only. I also rated this book with only 3 stars because of some theological differences I have with some of the content. I think it's an amazing storyline and an incredibly fascinating fictional plot with a sprinkling of fact; but I can not give it 4 stars because I think that the ideas expressed on divorce need to be read with caution and not with complete acceptance as is our tendency when we become emotionally attached to characters.

So while I have some reservation on the spiritual side of this book, I will not throw out the baby with the bath water. The Mailbox is a unique story, a relaxing read, and makes the reader want to slip away to Sunset Beach and find the real mailbox!


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.

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This review copy has been provided by the courtesy of The B&B Media Group, Inc.
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06/08/2010 page 164
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