It’s a mailbox, and it sits on a beach on an island off the coast of North Carolina. Its owner is the Kindred Spirit, whoever that might be. The locals know it to be a place where messages can be written, feelings poured out, stories told on paper and left for the Kindred Spirit to read.
Lindsey Adams placed her first message there when she was 15 and visiting relatives for the summer, having fallen in love with a local boy, Campbell Forrester. She will place a letter in the mailbox each year for the next 20 years, through love, Campbell’s betrayal, college, finding new love, marriage, children and then divorce. Campbell has lived his own life apart from Lindsey, a life that includes a forced marriage, a daughter, abandonment by his wife and then divorce. He hears she’s back on the island; she knows he’s there, too.
In The Mailbox, first novelist Marybeth Whalen weaves a story of second chances and re-found love. It’s a road that’s anything but smooth. She tells their history and their present in alternating chapters, until the overall story merges into one.
The reader knows how the story has to end (this is a romance, after all; you know how it better end or you’re going to have to have a serious talk with the author), but Whalen keeps you guessing with enough twists and turns that what could have been predictable instead becomes intriguing. It’s a sweet story, a moving story, and a good first novel for Whalen.
Note: I received this book from the publisher and/or publisher's agent for review purposes.
Marybeth Whalen is interviewed on the novel over at Novel Journey.