Lately I've been trying to find authors new to me. While I know Marybeth Whalen by name and association with some of the writers groups I belong to, I don't recall having read any of her books before. If The Guest Book is a good sample of her writing, I will have to devour a few more.
The story is intriguing. Macy Dillon returns to her family's favorite beach house with her mother and brother. It evokes pleasant memories but also feelings of loss as this had been her father's favorite place to bring the family and he has been gone now for ten years. In her youth, Macy had drawn pictures in a guest book at the vacation house and her pictures had been replied to with other pictures drawn by a boy her own age. After a tumultuous relationship with the father of her daughter, Macy wonders if returning to the beach house will answer her question of who the boy, now a man, was who drew the pictures in the guest book and will there still be a connection between them?
As I read it, I kept thinking of the Nicholas Sparks books I've read and loved. While this is a romance, it's not a formula romance and there is a wonderful sense of mystery to it. Whalen's characters are believable and invite you into the story. It's a great book for the road or just a good mind escape from the winter cold.