Monday, August 9, 2010

‘The Mailbox’ by Marybeth Whalen – Book Review and Giveaway

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One of the favorite activities of summertime (which is passing by so very rapidly) is book reading while relaxing on the beach. The latest book I’ve read, ‘The Mailbox’ by Marybeth Whalen, is exactly perfect for that refreshing activity. 

Here is the synopsis of this book:


When Lindsey Adams first visits the Kindred Spirit mailbox at Sunset Beach, North Carolina, as a teenager, she has no idea that twenty years later she will still be visiting the mailbox – still pouring out her heart in letters that summarize the best and worst parts of her life.
Returning to Sunset for her first vacation since her husband left her and her two kids, Lindsey struggles to put her sorrow into words. Memories surface of her first love, Campbell Forrester – and the rejection that followed. When Campbell reappears in her life, Lindsey must decide whether to trust in love again or guard herself from greater pain.
Centered around the real and mysterious landmark on the coast of North Carolina, The Mailbox is a rich blend of folklore, faith, and the beauty of second chances.

Here is the book trailer:






Here is the biography of the author:

Marybeth Whalen speaks regularly through her association with Proverbs 31 Ministries, and she served as the general editor of For the Write Reason and The Reason We Speak. She and her husband, Curt, have six children and are active in their community near Charlotte, North Carolina. She is passionate about sharing God with all the women God places in her path. She has been visiting the Kindred Spirit mailbox for years.

One engaging element of the story for me is the fact that Lindsey is a runner. I am just getting started in that endeavor, and am interested in hearing how people – and book characters! – relate to that activity. Here is Lindsey’s perspective:

She rummaged through her suitcase to find her running shoes, thick socks, shorts, T-shirt, and exercise bra, wondering how far she would be able to go. She had only recently gone back to running, discovering anew the freedom and energy she gained from making herself hit the pavement regularly. Two days after Grant [her husband] left, she decided to run instead of cry. The weight and sadness she felt in his absence were lodged inside her – like something caught that needed to be loosened – and she hoped that the running would shake it free. The first day she ran until she nearly fell down from exhaustion. Pushing herself through exercise yielded a better release, she discovered, than sobbing. When she returned home, the sadness hadn’t disappeared, but the weight she felt before she left had lessened considerably. She had missed only a few days since, craving her runs like chocolate. (p. 122)

I am not at the point of craving running more than chocolate (!!), but I hope to get to that point!

An interesting subplot was that Campbell’s daughter, Nikki, was battling anorexia. I battled that illness myself in my early 20s, so could relate to that particular character. I really felt for her, and for her family that had to deal with this frail young lady in a gentle and compassionate manner. Anorexia is a serious – and life-threatening illness, and it is always a good thing when attention is brought to it. So many people – young and old – suffer from it, and it is so misunderstood. It is so much more than just losing weight/keeping thin.

It was terrific to see how both Campbell and Lindsey – who had been on separate lifepaths – were following God. Here is Campbell’s prayer after Lindsey reappears in his life:

“Lord,” he said. “I wonder if You have brought Lindsey and me together for a reason. You know I have waited half my life to have a chance with her again. Please don’t let me blow it this time. You know there are things I need to say to her. Things she might not understand. Show me how to tell her how much I already love her, how I have wanted to be a part of her life for longer than she knows. Give me the words to say. I don’t know if I can handle losing her twice. Just please, please, please don’t let this be anything but the real thing.” Campbell finished his prayer by asking God to keep His hand on Nikki. He didn’t want to forget his daughter in the rush of his anticipation about Lindsey. Nikki had to remain his priority. (p. 193)

I also loved the great advice Campbell’s mother LaRue gave him:

“You’re getting some pretty significant chances this summer, Son. Don’t shy away from the opportunities you’ve been given.”
“But what if I don’t deserve what I’ve been given?” he asked, turning to look at his mother in the dimly lit room.
She smiled again, her mouth barely turned up at the edges. “Honey, none of us get what we deserve. That’s why they call it grace.” (p. 221)

I have to be honest and admit that I was a little leery after discovering the secret that Lindsey discovered about Campbell (I consider it to be a spoiler; you’ll have to read the book to see what I mean…). I am not sure that I would be so trusting of him after learning what he did. Perhaps she is just more gracious – and more trusting – that I would have been in similar circumstances. God did use it for good (as Romans 8:28 tells us He does) – but I think I would have been a little more cautious than Lindsey was.  

Marybeth certainly did make Sunset Beach, North Carolina sound very inviting! Although I am more of a mountaineer than a beach bum, Marybeth’s portrayal of the area made me long to explore that part of the country!

I was intrigued by the concept of the Kindred Spirit Mailbox, which actually exists at the real Sunset Beach! Although I am not as romantic as I should be (especially as a female!), I still think it is a sweet concept! Marybeth even includes in the book directions for how to locate the magical and mystical mailbox!

Overall, I found this debut novel by Mrs. Whalen to be impressive. And it is a terrific beach/summer read – particularly since it is mainly based in a beach setting! I think it would be a terrific ‘chick flick’ movie; it reminded me a lot of a Nicholas Sparks book/movie.

You can order this book here.

This book was published by David C. Cook and provided by The B & B Media Group for review and giveaway purposes.
_____________________________________________________________

I have a copy of this book that I would love to send along to one winner! 

There are several ways to gain entry:

1) Leave a comment here on the blog, telling me what in particular intrigues you about this particular book.  Please make sure to leave your email address in this format – sample[at]gmail[dot]com.

2) Follow me on Twitter; I will more than likely follow you back!  If you are already a Twitter follower, that counts, too!  Please leave a new comment to that effect.

3) Follow me as a Google Friend on this blog; if you are already a Friend, that counts, too!  Please leave a new comment to that effect.

4) Become my Facebook friend.  Please leave a new comment to that effect.

5) Follow this blog as a NetWorked Blog Follower after you’ve become my Facebook friend.  Please leave a new comment to that effect.

So there are five chances to enter!  Please limit one entry per option.

This giveaway is for U.S. residents only.  The deadline for entry is Monday, August 23, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. EST.  A winner will be chosen via the Random Number Generator on Tuesday, August 24, 2010 and will be contacted via email.  The best to all of you!

72 comments:

Jo said...

This book sounds very intriguing and sounds like there is a lot going on and that a lot has happened to Lindsay and Campbell since they had been together.

Blessings,
Jo
ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

Jo said...

I'm following you on twitter.

Blessings,
Jo
ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

Jo said...

I'm your friend on facebook.

Blessings,
Jo
ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

Kathy Carlton Willis said...

I've been hearing about this book for a long time, and still haven't read it. Love the mailbox concept--sounds so romantic. And the fact that it's based on a real thing is cool. I want to go there! Congrats, Marybeth, on a great novel launch! I've earned 4 chances to win the book here: blog comment, blog friend/google, networked blog/facebook, facebook friend. Thanks! WillisWay (at) aol (dot) com

Judylynn said...

What interests me about this book is the idea of finding your first love. Sounds romantic!

seizethebookblog(at)gmail(dot)com

Judylynn said...

I am a Twitter follower!

seizethebookblog(at)gmail(dot)com

Judylynn said...

I am a Google friend.

seizethebookblog(at)gmail(dot)com

Judylynn said...

I am a Facebook friend.

seizethebookblog(at)gmail(dot)com

Judylynn said...

I am a NetWorked Blog Follower, too!

seizethebookblog(at)gmail(dot)com

Linda said...

1st--Carman sent me. Always forget to write that.
I'd loved to be enter for The Mailbox. Thanks.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Linda said...

Oooppss. Forgot in my 1st comment. I'd love to learn more about anorexia.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Linda said...

I follow on Twitter.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Linda said...

I follow by GFC.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Linda said...

I'm already a FB friend!!!

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Anne Payne said...

I think the book sounds captivating. Winning a copy would be a great treat!

Anne
homesteading[at]charter[dot]net

Anne Payne said...

I just became a follower on of your blog!

Anne
homesteading[at]charter[dot]net

Anne Payne said...

I sent a friend request to you on Facebook :)

Anne
homesteading[at]charter[dot]net

misskallie2000 said...

I experienced a divorce in 86 when my husband of almost 23 yrs left to go live with is girl friend at his sisters house. I still have flash backs to that time. Our daughter was grown and our son was almost 16 (a month later) and my world as well as theirs was turned upside down. I would love to read this book to see how Lindsey copes.
Thanks for the opportunity to enter.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

misskallie2000 said...

I follow you on twitter(@misskallie2000)

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

misskallie2000 said...

I am old follower via GFC

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

misskallie2000 said...

I am a FB Friend (@Brenda B. Hill)

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

misskallie2000 said...

I follow via NetWorked Blog

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Linda Kish said...

It sounds sweet..finding an old, lost love again.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Katie G. said...

I am really interested in the mailbox thign! Sounds really cool!

Please enter me! God bless!

~Katie G.

katiegalyean (at) yahoo (dot) com

Katie G. said...

I am a GFC follower.

katiegalyean (at) yahoo (dot) com

Katie G. said...

I am a networked blogs follower.

katiegalyean (at) yahoo (dot) com

Katie G. said...

I now follow you on twitter.

katiegalyean (at) yahoo (dot) com

Merry said...

I love hopeful second chance love stories and the beach setting is perfect. Please include me in the drawing for The Mailbox. Thanks!
worthy2bpraised[at]gmail[dot]com

Merry said...

I'm a Google follower.
worthy2bpraised[at]gmail[dot]com

Misusedinnocence said...

The anorexia interests me. I have a friend who is struggling with this disease and need to read more about it so I can help her as much as possible.

misusedinnocence@aol.com

Misusedinnocence said...

I follow on gfc.

misusedinnocence@aol.com

karenk said...

i have read many excellent reviews on mary beth's masterpiece...this book is on my 'wish list.' thanks for the opportunity to read it :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

karenk said...

i'm a follower :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Cindy W. said...

I would love to win a copy of The Mailbox. I love debut novels and the fact that a mailbox actually exists on the beach is awesome. Please enter me.

Smiles,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Cindy W. said...

I am a GFC follower.

Smiles,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Cindy W. said...

I am a follower through Networked Blogs.

Smiles,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Nancye said...

I am intrigued by this book, for sure! I want to find out what this mailbox is all about--the book sounds like it has lots of twists and turns--definitely not boring! Thanks for the chance.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I follow you on Twitter
@NancyeDavis

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

GFC Follower

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Facebook Friend

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

I follow you on Networked Blogs

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Anonymous said...

I would love to read this book because it sounds so interesting...seems to have all the things a good book should have....love, mystery, etc. Please enter me. Thanks!!!
jackie.smithATdishmailDOTnet

Anonymous said...

Forgot to say.....Carman sent me!
jackie.smithATdishmailDOTnet

Chanelle said...

Carmen sent me
Sounds intriguing with years of letter writing. Hope to win a copy!
cprarkins14 AT teancum.net

Chanelle said...

I am a new follower.
cparkins14 AT teancum.net

Chanelle said...

I am a follower on twitter

Ann Lee Miller said...

Maybe I'm imagining things, but the book strikes a wistful, yet deep, chord in me... I'll tell you after I read it. :) Kudos to Mary Beth for writing an excellent summary.
Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com

Maureen said...

I like the interesting concept. This poor lady sure had a full plate, and deserves some happiness.
Carman sent me!

alekee02[at]yahoo[dot]com

Maureen said...

I follow on Google!

alekeeo2[at]yahoo[dot]com

Maureen said...

I'm a FaceBook friend!

alekee02[at]yahoo[dot]com

Anonymous said...

The book sounds wonderful! I love the idea of the mailbox. What a great idea!

tishacleveland@bellsouth.net

Patsy said...

Book sounds great. Can't wait to see how Lindsey's life turns out. Thanks for giving away a copy.
plhouston(at)bellsouth(dot)net

apple blossom said...

Love the sounds of this book. Very intriguing post. thanks
ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

apple blossom said...

I'm a gfc follower
ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Kate said...

I'd love to win a copy!

kate[at]atentforthesun[dot]com

petite said...

This book sounds captivating. The beach setting which is a favorite of mine, the reuniting, how love is so important and the characters are combine to make this memorable. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

lag123 said...

This book has deep meaning and that is what intrigues me. Thank you for the giveaway!

lag110 at mchsi dot com

lag123 said...

I am a new follower via google friend connect. Carmen sent me!

lag110 at mchsi dot com

barbjan10 said...

First time to visit to your blog and that's because Carmen sent me and I'm glad. I note several things that I relate to this story - I have met again my first love and maintain friendly contact. Also family problems and the battle with anorexia can be devastating. Thank you for entering me in this giveaway.

Grace & Joy in Christ,
Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

barbjan10 said...

I follow you on Twitter and am looking forward to learning more about you.

Blessings,
Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

barbjan10 said...

We will soon be Facebook friends, as I've just sent you an invitation. I hope you will accept. I enjoy making new friends frequently.

Grace & Peace,
Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

barbjan10 said...

I'm your Google friend and look forward to hearing about your blog consistently.

Blessings,
Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

barbjan10 said...

I joined the networked blogs to follow you. I'm looking forward to getting to know you and your talents much better.

Sharing God's Love,
Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

LaTawnia said...

Since I am living with my second chance with true love... I would like to read this story! Please enter me!

I follow you via GFC

Carman sent me

latawniakintz[at]gmail[dot]com

LaTawnia said...

I follow you via Twitter

latawniakintz[at]gmail[dot]com

LaTawnia said...

I follow you via Networked Blogs

latawniakintz[at]gmail[dot]com

LaTawnia said...

I am a Facebook friend/fan

latawniakintz[at]gmail[dot]com

Tara said...

I follow you on Twitter!

@TaraLin

TaraTagli at gmail dot com

Ann Lee Miller said...

I love the North Carolina coast, love the mailbox connection, the trust issue, new beginnings. I voted for this book for our discussion and would love to read it!
Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com

barbjan10 said...

This book intrigues me. I love second chances. Just taking another chance to win this great giveaway. Thanks for the opportunity.

Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

Ruthie said...

I live in NC so it would be interesting to read about a place I know. Please enter me, thanks.

ruthiekb72@yahoo.com

Sandee61 said...

I've read alot of good comments about this book, and would love to read it. I'm also new to your blog, and enjoying it. I'm drawn to covers of books, and this one has me curious about the storyline. Please enter me in your giveaway. Thank you!

Blessings,
Sandee61

Muzzley56[at]aol[dot]com

 
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