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On Folly Beach by Karen White
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On Folly Beach (2010)

by Karen White

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3202334,663 (3.94)7
  1. 00
    Dream When You're Feeling Blue by Elizabeth Berg (writemeg)
    writemeg: Another beautiful novel set in World War II with dynamics between sisters and a great love story.
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Emmy loss the love of her life, Ben, in the Afghan war. She assuages her grief by working in her mother's Indiana bookstore. When her mother learns of a bookstore for sell in her childhood home, Folly Beach, S.C., she convinces her daughter to purchase it and move to the coast as a means to move on with life.

When she arrives, she discovers that the sale is conditional on Emmy continuing to employ the owner's Aunt Lulu who creates and sells bottle trees from the store's backyard. Finding Lulu prickly, she keeps her distance until she discovers a stored box of books, many including love notes between a unknown man and woman. Since Lulu refuses to divulge the story behind these notes, Emmy begins to investigate the history behind these love letter, which date to a 1942 WWII, a time when German U Boats were spotted off the east coast and Lulu was only nine.

This beach read is told in two timelines: contemporary and WWII Folly Beach. I found the latter story more interested than the former and would have preferred the whole novel to be set during this time period. Although an enjoyable read, the novel was difficult to get into and keep me engaged.
( )
  John_Warner | Jan 19, 2016 |
Emmy Hamilton is at a loss after her husband’s death in Afghanistan. Her mother convinces her to move to Folly Beach, a South Carolina barrier island, to take over a bookstore. Reluctant at first, Emmy only makes up her mind to go when she finds a sort of love letter written in the margin of an old book that came from that store, Folly’s Finds. The first person she encounters is an irascible old woman, Lulu, who seems downright hostile. When she finds out that a condition of her purchasing the store is keeping Lulu on as a tenant for her business designing and selling bottle trees, Emmy nearly gives up. But the margin notes in the books are a mystery she cannot abandon, and somehow Lulu holds the key to the full story.

Going back and forth in time from 2009 to 1943, when Lulu was a nine-year-old girl obsessed with Nancy Drew, the novel slowly reveals the great secret. Or at least that is what White set out to do. I guessed the big secret fairly early on and was impatient for the characters to catch up.

The book is full of pat answers to major problems. You are stuck grieving the loss of your husband? Remember that he loved you and you’ll be fine. You don’t want to know the truth about the past? Nonsense, it will do you good to face it.

There’s actually a nugget of an interesting story here. White based the 1943 story on a real episode of a German spy ring that did infiltrate America and actual German U-boats that sank American merchant ships. But I grew impatient even with those chapters set in the past, because I didn’t believe in the characters, and didn’t really care about them. I wanted to slap Maggie upside the head more than once. And I would have thrown Cat out of the house, deathbed promise to my mother notwithstanding.
( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 13, 2016 |
Folly Beach by Karen White
Emmie had lost Ben and seeks a calm place to live. Lulu makes bottles for the bottle tree, just outside of the bookstore. The bottles catch the bad spirits so they don't go into the houses.
Story also follows Maggie and Lulu along with Kat whose lost her husband in the war. They are selling the bookstore also. Love hearing of the sand dollar legend, have heard it before but still beautiful.
Emmie rents the cottage in SC as Maggie is retiring from the bookstore and her nephew is fixing up the place.
She hopes to also find out about the notes written in older books that were sent to her mothers store. She plans to buy the bookstore....
Confusing at times as there are two storeis, one in 1942 and another in 2009 and it involves some people from both. Like the mystery and history parts of this book.
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device). ( )
  jbarr5 | Oct 16, 2015 |
"Excellent! If you love a great mystery, 1940's, history, the south, South Carolina, books, and romance - a must! Folly Beach, SC has survived desite hurricanes and war, but its the personal battles of Folly Beach's residents that have left the most scars, and they are why a young widow has been beckoned there to heal her own. Generations past and future find hope for second chances! A perfect summer read! Karen White is an extremely talented writer and no end to her imagination! I loved the 3rd person writing, from two generations - 60 yrs apart and one 10 yr old girl's secrets she has carried for a lifetime. " ( )
  JudithDCollins | Nov 27, 2014 |
I really liked the plot line of On Folly Beach, but I had a difficult time relating to the main character. ( )
  megmo07 | Sep 27, 2013 |
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Epigraph
The ocean is the same ocean as it has been of old;
the events of today are its waves and its rivers.
--Sayyid Haydar Amuli
Fourteenth Century
Dedication
To my parents, Catherine Anne and Lloyd Sconiers. Thank you for your love and guidance.
First words
Emmy awoke to the song of the wind in the bottle tree, to the black night and the winter chill, and knew Ben was gone from her the way the moon knows the ocean's tides.
Quotations
Paige closed her eyes for a moment and shook her head. Finally, she said, 'This isn't about him anymore. You can choose to unpack your bags at the detour sign and dig a trench for the long haul, or you can make your own detour.'
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451229215, Paperback)

Folly Beach, South Carolina, has survived despite hurricanes and war. But it's the personal battles of Folly Beach's residents that have left the most scars, and why a young widow has been beckoned there to heal her own...

To most people, Folly Beach is simply the last barrier island before reaching the great Atlantic. To some, it's a sanctuary for lost souls, which is why Emmy Hamilton's mother encourages her to buy the local book store, Folly's Finds, hoping it will distract Emmy from the loss of her husband.

Emmy is at first resistant. So much has already changed. But after finding love letters and an image of a beautiful bottle tree in a box of used books from Folly's Finds, she decides to take the plunge. But the seller insists on one condition: Emmy must allow Lulu, the late owner's difficult sister, to continue selling her bottle trees from its back yard.

For the most part Emmy ignores Lulu as she sifts through the love letters, wanting to learn more. But the more she discovers about the letters, the more she understands Lulu. As details of a possible murder and a mysterious disappearance during WWII are revealed, the two women discover that circumstances beyond their control, sixty years apart, have brought them together, here on Folly Beach. And it is here that their war-ravaged hearts can find hope for a second chance...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:42 -0400)

Folly Beach, South Carolina, has survived despite hurricanes and war. But it's the personal battles of Folly Beach's residents that have left the most scars, and why a young widow has been beckoned there to heal her own. To most people, Folly Beach is simply the last barrier island before reaching the great Atlantic. To some, it's a sanctuary for lost souls, which is why Janie Hamilton's mother encourages her to buy the local bookstore, Folly's Finds, hoping it will distract Janie from the loss of her husband. Janie is at first resistant. So much has already changed. But after finding love letters and an image of a beautiful bottle tree in a box of used books from Folly's Finds, she decides to take the plunge. But the seller insists on one condition: Janie must allow Lulu, the late owner's sister, to continue selling her bottle trees from the store's backyard. For the most part Janie ignores Lulu, and sifts through the love letters. But the more she discovers about the letters, the more she understands Lulu. As details of a possible murder and a mysterious disappearance during World War II are revealed, the two women discover that circumstances beyond their control, sixty years apart, have brought them together, on Folly Beach. And it is here that their war-ravaged hearts can find hope for a second chance.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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