The Mailbox by Marybeth Whalen

A few weeks ago, I received an email from a woman who was planning a summer trip to Sunset Beach.  She asked for recommendations for light summer reading for her trip, especially books with settings at Sunset Beach.  I recommended some novels set in the Wilmington area, but at that time, I knew of none that met her very specific criteria.

When I discovered The Mailbox, I notified her, even though it was too late for her trip.  If you’re planning a beach trip—or doing your reading right here in Greensboro–you might enjoy this book.

On a desolate stretch of sand at Sunset Beach is a mailbox.  On it appear the words, “Kindred Spirit.”  If you feel the urge to write down your thoughts, you can open the mailbox, pull out the pens and paper, and confide in this willing listener.  No one knows who the Kindred Spirit is.  [This is fact, not fiction.]

The novel gets its inspiration from this mailbox, which Whalen, who lives near Charlotte, has visited for years. The plot begins with teenage Lindsay Adams visiting relatives at Sunset Beach and falling in love with resident Campbell Forrester. She confides in the “Kindred Spirit,” placing her letter in the mailbox. As time goes on, Lindsay and Campbell grow up. Their relationship ended, each marries and has children. Almost twenty years later, both are divorced, and they meet again at Sunset Beach. Will they renew their relationship? Who is Lindsay’s “Kindred Spirit”? The story is told, in part, through Lindsay’s letters placed in the mailbox.

Whalen and her family live in the Charlotte area.

(Helen Snow, Information Services)

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