1022 Evergreen Place
Ms. Macomber’s tenth installment in the Cedar Cove series is every bit as entertaining as her prior nine. In this novel, the reader enjoys an in-depth view of the lives of Mack McAfee and Mary Jo Wyse.
Mary Jo Wyse comes to Cedar Cove in search of her husband, David Rhodes, her unborn baby’s father. She is enjoying Grace and Cliff Harding’s hospitality, staying at their home, when she goes into labor on Christmas Eve. Noelle comes so quickly that Mary Jo is not able to make it to the hospital in time. Mack McAfee, a paramedic, delivers the baby.
Before the birth, Mary Jo lives with her three brothers in Seattle. After Noelle arrives, she decides to get out from under the thumb of her eldest brother, Linc, and to make a new life for herself and Noelle in Cedar Cove.
Mack informs Mary Jo that the duplex next to him is vacant and the rent is inexpensive, so she jumps at the chance to settle there. Little does she know that Mack owns the property and is already in love with her and Noelle.
Hidden under the floorboards in her bedroom closet, Mary Jo finds a batch of letters from a World War II soldier named Jacob, After showing them to Mack, she and he decide to uncover the mystery of the writer and receiver, a woman named Joan, who had lived at that address during the 1940s. They begin their quest to find either Joan or Jacob to discover if either is still alive and living in the area. Spending time with Mary Jo makes Mack realize he wants to spend the rest of his life with her and raise Noelle as his own.
However, David Rhodes enters the picture with his own plans. Mack suggests marriage to Mary Jo as a means to get David off her back. She accepts Mack’s proposal, but David threatens to apply for full custody of Noelle—a child he does not even want—just for spite. Mary Jo does not want to involve Mack in a nasty custody dispute, and though she is also in love with him, she cannot fully trust her instincts after how David treated her. In addition, she thinks Mack is only offering marriage as his way of being kind. Alas, will young love be thwarted?
The setting of Cedar Cove, based on the author’s hometown, is a place many would want to make their home. Its small town quaintness, added to the passel of close-knit friends and family portrayed in this novel, make 1022 Evergreen Place a heartwarming read.