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Sunday, July 22, 2012

I was able to read The Guest Book while on vacation at Tybee Island. As I mentioned before, I was chosen to receive a free copy that I would read and then do a book review on my blog.  I have been "friends" with Marybeth for years in the blog world. I knew that she had a passion for writing and I was so happy for her when her first book, The Mailbox, was published. I thought her writing had really improved in her second book, She Makes It Look So Easy and I was really looking forward to book three. I must be honest and say that this is a book that is a nice beach read but it is not a gripping story that will stay with you for days after you read it.  So here goes my thoughts on the The Guest Book.

Macy Dillon is a young single mom to five year old Emma. Her life is in disarray. She is working a dead end job at the local grocery store while  in her heart, she would love to go to art school and develop the God given talent she possesses.  Emma's father has arrived on the scene after a five year absence, hoping to reconnect with the family he left behind.  One of the problems I had with the book was that Macy allowed this dead beat dad to stay at her house, sleeping on the sofa no less while she tries to decide if she wants to rekindle the relationship. Notice to ALL girls...have some self respect and know that if someone leaves you when you need them, they are not the man for you!!  Meanwhile, Macy's mom is finally beginning to move on after the death of her husband. Her husband died ten years ago but she still has a shrine to him in her home. Macy's older brother struggles with a drinking problem  and Macy enables him to keep it a secret.  Brenda, Macy's mom, suggests that the family take a two week trip to Sunset Beach, a place that was special to their family. Brenda hopes the trip will help them to finally put some of their grief to rest and allow them to move in new directions.  Macy remembers drawing pictures in the guest book at their beach house as a child. Every year when the Dillon family returned to the beach house, a little boy had drawn a picture for her. After all these years, Macy is still intrigued by her mystery beau. She would love to find out who he is! She has a feeling that he is her Prince Charming.  The main plot of the story is Macy's search for the boy who is now a man. I had a hard time connecting with Macy but one character that is very well developed and likable is Avis, the older cashier and Macy's fellow worker at Ward's grocery. I would like to know more about Avis. In fact I could see a book about her! Maybe Marybeth will grant my wish!

I do not want to give away too much about the book so that you will read it for yourself. But I have to say that it took me a while to really "care" about these characters. About half way through the book, I started to understand who was who and what motivated them! And I think the ending was a little disappointing. One of the Amazon reviewers thought that Macy picked the wrong man and I tend to agree with that reviewer.  The whole book  left me a little frustrated. I think the characters just did not click with me as the characters did in She Makes It Look So Easy.  So if you are looking for a book to take to the beach for light reading, try  The Guest Book. And I will be looking forward to reading Marybeth's next book which she is working on right now. I have found with most authors I enjoy, there are some of their books I love and some that are just so so. That does not make me think any less of the author, I think in most circumstances, it is just my own view of the book.   But I always encourage everyone to read...it broadens your horizons.

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