Author: Marybeth Whalen
Publisher: David C. Cook
My synopsis: Lindsey and Campbell shared a summer romance when she was 15 and he was 16. She was staying with her aunt and uncle at Sunset Beach, North Carolina where he lived. They were quickly inseparable and swore that they would love each other forever. That they would make the long distance thing work. Before they parted for the year, Campbell took her to the beach and shared with her the Mailbox and the Kindred Spirit. Nobody knew who put the mailbox on the beach, or who collected the letters and notes that were left there. Lindsey quickly took out a notebook and began her first letter to the Kindred Spirit. She filled it with all her feelings about Campbell and how she had resented her mom for making her come to the beach to begin with - but how she felt so different now and didn't want to leave.
The next summer was the same, except that there was another girl, Ellie, that Lindsey tried to warn Campbell about. She told him that Ellie was after him, but Campbell did not believe her. Before she went home for the year, she again went to the mailbox to tell the Kindred Spirit all her thoughts and feelings about the last year and the summer. Except this time when she went home, Campbell's letters stopped coming so frequently and he called even less. He was feeling guilty because he had gotten drunk one night and had ended up sleeping with Ellie. Then he finds out that she is pregnant and chooses to "do the right thing" and marry her. He can't stand the thought of telling Lindsey and breaking her heart, so he writes her a letter instead.
Lindsey continues to come to Sunset Beach every summer, first with her best friend Holly - mainly as comfort in case she runs into Campbell. Holly has been her rock and always lets Lindsey know that she is praying for her and that God could be a comfort to her also. It isn't until college that she meets a boy who made her feel anything like Campbell did. Her and Grant marry after college and still come to Sunset Beach every summer. Every year she makes a trek to the Mailbox to leave the Kindred Spirit a letter. Even though her and Campbell's lives have taken different paths, she usually reminisces about him in her letters.
Now, Grant and Lindsey have divorced and Lindsey is coming to Sunset Beach with just her children. She is hoping to be able to finally close the door on her marriage. Unbeknownst to her, Campbell and Ellie had divorced many years before. He is still living in Sunset Beach and is working on a relationship with his daughter Nikki. Both of them have come to have a personal relationship with God, but neither believe that they are worthy of any kind of second chance in their lives. Campbell and Lindsey soon run into each other and decide to go out on a date. Everything seems as perfect as it did when they were teenagers. But before they get in too deep, Grant reappears and tells Lindsey he was wrong and wants her back. As Lindsey prays for some clarity as to which path she should take, will she be able to convince herself that she is worthy of a second chance with either of them?
My thoughts: I loved this book. Who doesn't remember at least one summer romance? (Mine was when I was 13 and was over much quicker than Lindsey's!) I like the way that we learn about Lindsey's and Campbell's lives in flashbacks and also what we learn through Lindsey's letters to the Kindred Spirit. Each chapter started off by telling you what year you were in, and were that was confusing to me at first, I quickly fell into the rhythm of the story. Being divorced myself, I could relate to all the feelings that Lindsey had as to what she should do for her children - Was she being unfair by robbing them of the chance to have a real family with their father. I believe that this is her first fiction book, though she does have some non-fiction under her belt. I look forward to reading another one by this author!
~I received a complimentary copy of this book from TBB Media in exchange for my unbiased review.~
About the author: Marybeth Whalen speaks regularly through her association with Proverbs 31 Ministries, and she served as the general editor of For the Write Reason and The Reason We Speak. She and her husband, Curt, have six childrenand are active in their community near Charlotte, North Carolina. She has been visiting the Kindred Spirit mailbox for years.
Publisher/Publication Date: David C. Cook, June 2010