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?
This was a sweet story of death and new life. Beginning with an annual family dinner to celebrate Macy's father's birthday (so what that he's been dead for ten years) this book looks at how the premature death of their father/husband has affected the lives of those in Macy's family, and how they finally, with help from God and his servants, move on with life.
Macy is a single mom. Her daughter's father left them five years ago, and has just reappeared. He'd like to pick up where they left off, but she's not sure that's what she should do. Macy is an artist who practices her trade painting signs for the grocery store in which she works. Life has been a struggle since her daughter was born, and even before that. Her dream is to meet the boy (now a man) with whom she used to exchange drawings via the guest book of the vacation house in which they stayed every year. She doesn't know who he is, but somehow she felt he really understood her like no one else ever did.
This year Macy's mother decided they were all going back to the beach house in which they used to stay. It was time to move on with life and this part of their old life was where they were going to start anew. Macy starts to look for "the artist" and comes up with three possible men. She, who has never dated much, now has three men interested in her. Who will get the girl? Are any of them "the artist"? I won't spoil the story. I will say that the ending was happy and sweet but that I'd be seriously concerned about anyone I knew who let a childhood dream play that much of a role in adult reality.
The book is Christian fiction, and on the religious side. One of the guys she sees is a minister and he helps both Macy and her brother come back to God. We hear Macy pray. We go to church with the characters. In short, if you don't like religion in books, there is way too much of it here; however, it is well integrated into the story.
I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via Edelweiss. I was not obligated to write a positive review, or any review. Grade: B.My Review
Also by Marybeth Whalen:
Also by Marybeth Whalen: