Jim Trainor

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Mail Girl
ISBN 978-0-578-83177-0 (2021)
Things that are lost may still be found.

Shelby Sims delivers the mail in rural Wisconsin, trying to move beyond her past wounds by caring for those along her routes. When the mail piles up at Mr. Riley’s old cottage, Shelby senses something is wrong, even though everyone assures her that he’s probably just gone fishing.

Then, Shelby is the victim of an ugly incident at the post office. When she stands her ground, she risks termination and possibly prosecution. Impulsively, Shelby sets out in her old Buick, heading west, to Colorado and perhaps beyond, to find the missing Mr. Riley and maybe herself.

Andrew Logan is a priest on a quest for discernment, hiking deep into the mountain wilderness. A fall leaves him injured, lost, and far from help. Starving and cold, he is facing death. Or is he on the verge of finding life?

Mail Girl brings together two people with seemingly little in common, searching for answers that may be found only in the most unlikely places. It’s a story about risk-taking, danger and love.

   (From the first page of Mail Girl)

   

       Except for the mailbox at 113, the scene along Drury Lake Road was as it always is. Quiet. Serene. A picture postcard, some have called it. Soaring maples and oaks provide a canopy over the narrow road, almost creating a green tunnel in the summer. The road is two-way, but has no center stripe, and its winding narrowness requires cars to pass with care.

       The boat ramp at the west shore of Drury Lake is accessed from this road, and it’s one of the few centers of activity on a summer day. Drury Lake is one of fifteen thousand lakes in Wisconsin and is little different from most of the others, but its tranquil shoreline of stately trees and abundance of smallmouth bass bring the fishermen in on the weekends. 

       The homes along Drury Lake Road are mostly old cottages like 113, their age revealed by weathered sidings and mossy roofs. They were built back in the day by families whose children, now grown, have left for careers in Chicago or the Twin Cities. Although many of the cottages are used only on summer weekends, there is a handful of full-timers, mostly elderly, puttering in their gardens, feeding on memories of water skiing, laughter-filled barbecues by the lake, and children who do not visit anymore. 

       The mailbox at 113 was no different from the other mailboxes along Drury Lake Road—a standard metal box, like you’d find at Home Depot, mounted on a four-by-four post. But the mail hadn’t been collected for days. It was so chock full, the door wouldn’t even close completely. It wasn’t a big thing, and no one passing by noticed the mailbox at 113—they were focused more on dropping a Rapala lure in front of a hungry bass.

        But Shelby noticed. It was her job to notice. 

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