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On Folly Beach (2010)

by Karen White

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4552743,258 (3.9)12
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 Lul, 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)
  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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» See also 12 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
When Emmy Hamilton's mother encourages her to buy the local book store, Folly's Finds, she hopes it will distract her daughter from the loss of her husband. But the seller has one condition: Emmy must allow Lulu, the late owner's difficult elderly sister, to continue working there. For the most part Emmy ignores Lulu, but a bundle of love letters she finds in a box help her better understand Lulu. As details of a possible murder and a mysterious disappearance during WWII are revealed, the two women discover that fate has brought them together.

It started slow for me, but once I got into it, I found it really interesting. I love the way the story is told from 2 different timeframes (present and past) and the historical features about WWII. ( )
  lrobe190 | Jul 4, 2021 |
I loved this book! It's a little bit mystery; a little bit romance; and mostly about family and relationships. It is a story of love and letting go.

"How do you know when it's been long enough?" This quote from the book weaves its way throughout the story and made an indelible impression on me. I think this is an important question to ask yourself, not just in regards to loss.

I would highly recommend reading this book! ( )
  Martha662 | Jun 27, 2020 |
This book has everything I consider necessary for a perfect novel an engaging plot, romantic setting, characters who own bookstores, mystery, and a light historical aspect. I enjoyed every aspect of the story, the theme with the bottle tree, the parallels in the characters, and the bits of redeeming qualities that surprise you in certain characters as well as misidentified fallibility in others. ( )
  kglattstein | Jun 1, 2020 |
What could be better....a beach read combined with fascinating historical fiction! Loved the back and forth narrative of this complex novel. My only complaint is the title. Should be called Come Back To Me. Great for pleasure reading, book club, etc. ( )
  LizBurkhart | Sep 5, 2019 |
The story really pulled me in. It's told in two alternating times, the 1940's and nearly current day (2009), with a common thread between the two stories.

Emmy's husband dies (2009), her mother encourages her to move and start a new life and new memories. She encourages her to buy a book shop called Folly's Finds.
What ultimately pushes Emmy to go ahead with the idea, is a box of books that he mom bought from the shop. She finds notes in the margins, two people writing back and forth to each other through the books.

The other story takes place with Maggie, Lulu and Cat. The first two are sisters, the third is their cousin. When know that the books are from this time frame and from Maggie's shop Folly's Finds.

A mystery starts to form. What woman wrote the notes? What man was writing back to the woman?

As Emmy digs to uncover the truth, Lulu bristles at all the questions of the past. And Maggie's grandson Heath tells Emmy that she may be obsessing over these books in order to avoid her own sadness.

This book has well written characters, a very charming setting (Folly), intrigue, a love story and mystery. ( )
  Mishale1 | Dec 29, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
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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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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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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 Lul, 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.

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