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The Guest Book: A Novel (A Sunset Beach Novel) [Kindle Edition]

Marybeth Whalen
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $7.69
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Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing

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Book Description

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 to Sunset, Macy asks her anonymous friend to draw her one last picture and tells him where to hide the guest book in hopes that one day she will return to find it—and him. Twenty-five 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 of her. Will she ever find him? And if she does, will the guestbook unite them or merely be the relic of a lost childhood?



Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Marybeth Whalen is the wife of Curt and mom of six children. She is the director of She Reads, an online book club focused on spotlighting the best in women's fiction. Marybeth is the author of The Mailbox, She Makes It Look Easy, The Guest Book, and The Wishing Tree (Spring 2013). Marybeth spends most of her time in the grocery store but occasionally escapes long enough to scribble some words. She's always at work on her next novel. Marybeth and her family live in North Carolina. You can find her online at www.marybethwhalen.com.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1456 KB
  • Print Length: 337 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0310334748
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Zondervan (July 3, 2012)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006IBRHZG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,791 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Guest Book August 17, 2012
Format:Paperback
When I was in college, I loved hearing Jim Croce sing. I had one of his albums and played it over and over and over and over again (ad nauseum). One song made its way into my memory "Time in a Bottle" and that song is key to The Guest Book by Mary Beth Whalen. Macy is a single-mom with a five year old daughter, Emma. She is also a daughter to Brenda and a sister to Max. She grew up going to the beach every year for vacation and spending it in a cabin named "Time in a Bottle." Her father encouraged her to draw a picture in the guest book every year when they visited the cabin. After the first time, she came back to find a picture drawn in response to hers. It became something of a correspondence between Macy and some anonymous boy. Ten years after her last visit to the cabin, Brenda, Max, Macy, and Emma return to the cabin to put some family ghosts to sleep and to enjoy one more vacation. Macy begins a journey to find the anonymous respondent to her drawings in the guest book. The journey takes the whole vacation to find her mysterious correspondent, but along the way, Macy makes some life-changing discoveries about herself.

I've never read anything by Mary Beth before, but I really enjoyed this story. She uses flash-backs creatively without disturbing the flow of the story. The journey of self-discovery as well as God-discovery Macy embarked on is real, something similar to one of my own.

I give this book a real five stars, with a bottle full of time.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Guest Book March 18, 2013
By Amanda
Format:Paperback
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 having making you realize something, or even reading a book that makes you realize things won't always be tough. However, I don't like for religion to be the forefront of anything I read or listen to. Mostly because there is such a fine line between sharing your views and pushing your opinion on people to try and make them believe it too. TGB straddled that line for me.

It started out without any mention of religion and I thought maybe the other reviews I'd read were just flat our wrong. Then about half way through it seemed to just pop up...followed by it being mentioned what sometimes felt like every other page. It was borderline too much. That aside, I really did enjoy the book. [Don't look at me like that! I'm a woman and I have every right to like something even when it is full of things I don't connect with.]

There was a lot of repetitiveness. I felt like "the artist" was being drilled into my head every page or two. But it was a neat idea for a story. I just didn't feel like it was solid enough to grab me and not let me go. There was something that I didn't connect with. Possibly because I haven't gone through the major things that Macy had? I don't know. I can't say for sure.

I'd have liked to have learned more about certain characters. I enjoyed Macy's daughter, mother and brother .
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Guest Book begins with an interesting premise and then lapses into a rather superficial look at family and romantic relationships.

When I enjoy a novel, that novel has characters with depth and a great story line. I felt that this novel lacked both. I found the characters not especially interesting. They responded to situations with passivity and did not exhibit the growth I thought was called for. I struggled to finish reading the book and was not satisfied when I finally did.

Not the right pick for me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Guest Book August 8, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It all started when Macy lost the family contest to find the most beautiful seashell. Each year, her family spent two weeks at a beach cottage called Time in a Bottle. The year she was five, her father suggested the contest. She was very proud of her three fragile butterfly shells, but her older brother found a conch shell that was even more amazing. Because she was so upset about her loss, her father suggested she make an entry in the cottage's guest book left for guests to write about their experiences during their stay there. Since she was too small to write, she drew a picture, one of her three perfect shells. The next year that Macy and her family went to the cottage, a boy about her age had drawn a picture in the guest book in response to hers. This picture communication between the two budding artists continued for years, until the family stopped going to the cottage after Macy's father's death. It was just too painful to visit the cottage that was filled with so many happy memories.

Ten years later, as an adult with a child and a failed relationship behind her, Macy agrees to spend time in the cottage with her grieving mother, troubled brother, and her carefree little girl. Will the mystery artist have entered a new drawing just for her? Even more importantly, will she be able to find out who he is?

This is a light, but fun book. The reader is led through a maze of mystery by well-written, well-developed characters and picturesque settings. It is the perfect book for summer reading, light and breezy like a stay at the beach. I loved it!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wonderful book! I could not put it down!
Published 10 days ago by GBCmeme
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Beach Read
Needed another book for the last day or so of our beach vacation.
THE GUEST BOOK was an entertaining light read, with some romance, some mystery, and a spiritual (yet not... Read more
Published 14 days ago by Cheryllee
1.0 out of 5 stars not great
It's hard to respect a protagonist who 'falls' for three guys in two weeks time. Especially after she was so burned in the past. Not believable.
Published 2 months ago by Kelly Brand
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Keeps you guessing - the whole book through
Published 2 months ago by Wendy Marion
5.0 out of 5 stars great read!!
This was a great story that captivated me from beginning to end. As little girls we all have fairy tale princes that we wish we would someday meet. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Teresa
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice easy read.
Nice easy read that held my attention. I felt myself drawn into the story as if I were part of Macy,s family.
Published 2 months ago by Gopher fan #1
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
Couldn't put this book down, simple story and yet intriguing, kept me guessing and totally fooled. Great book for a vacation trip to the beach.
Published 3 months ago by Freda
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved The Story Line
I really enjoyed how it wasn't completely predictable.
Several unexpected developments kept you wondering as the story progressed. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars The Guest Book
Very good story kept you quite interested. Gave you many insights to think about. Book moved by quickly and made you want to read to find out the outcome.
Published 4 months ago by Muriel Bening
5.0 out of 5 stars Guest book
Great story, lots of twists yet subtle and quick moving story,love the beach back drop for the plot to thicken
Published 4 months ago by pedie
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More About the Author

Marybeth Whalen is the wife of Curt and mom of six children. The family lives outside Charlotte, NC. Marybeth is the author of the novels "The Mailbox," "She Makes It Look Easy," "The Guest Book" and "The Wishing Tree." She also serves as director of She Reads, an online book club focused on spotlighting the best in women's fiction. Marybeth spends most of her time in the grocery store but occasionally escapes long enough to scribble some words. She's always at work on her next novel. You can find her online at www.marybethwhalen.com.

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