What I love most in the world is to lose myself in a wonderful book and Marybeth Whalen’s The Guest Book was certainly one of those. I listened to the audio production of this book which was narrated by Renee Raudman and she does such a wonderful job. One of the huge attraction of audiobooks for me other than the fact that you can do so many other things while listening to them is that if you get a good narrator they can really bring the story alive for you in a way I don’t always find in a book and Renee Raudman is one of those narrators. The Guest Book is a special story of love, loss, and family; it is a story of people healing and finding themselves again – it is a beautiful story.
As a child Macy’s family always spent their vacation time at a Carolina beach house. Macy has wonderful memories of their time there but the best memory is the one of her private correspondence with a boy who always came to the beach house after Macy’s family had already left. They had a special relationship that started when Macy’s father encouraged Macy to draw a picture in the guestbook at the beach house after a row with her brother. She does and when she returns the next year she finds that a boy has left her a drawing in the guest book as well. They continue on this way for eleven years until a family tragedy ends their trips to the beach house. On her last visit Macy tells this boy to leave her one last picture and hide it where she will find it when, someday, she returns to find it and him. The return though doesn’t happen for many years and by that time Macy has a child of her own but she still dreams of that special boy.
When Macy’s mother Brenda suggests that they all -Macy, her daughter Emma, and Macy’s brother Max, take a much needed vacation to the beach house again Macy embraces the idea. The family has held on to past hurts for so long and maybe this is a way for them to heal and move on and live life fully again. Of course when they arrive one of the things Macy does is find the guest book and the last picture that the boy left her and then she finds herself praying to a God she thought she left behind to help her find this man who she feels so destined to be with. Well God answers but he brings her three men who are all very nice and that she feels attracted to. Unfortunately Macy isn’t brave enough to ask outright if one of them may be the one who drew in the guest book with her so she tries to find out in more subtle ways. Is it one of these men who left her those drawings? Will she find the man she feels is her destiny?
The Guest Book is a great, feel good kind of story. It unfolds like a summer day — nothing huge jumps out and grabs you but the story enfolds you in its pages and doesn’t let go. I loved the healing that took place in this novel and the hope that you can find in God and in others around you. Loved it!
Source: Audiobook purchased by me.