Wednesday, May 26, 2010
On Folly Beach ~ Book Review
Welcome to Folly Beach! Kick off your shoes, grab a cool drink and stay a while. There is so much to see here, so much history and some incredible people. You're going to wish you could stay longer, and may even want to truly visit someday.
Karen White's On Folly Beach is a fantastic read. The story delves into the intertwining lives of our main character in current day, the people she meets once she relocates to the beach, and the lives of those from many years ago.
A simple bottle tree opens up our story and connects our characters. Emmy, the main character, wakes up from a call within herself, knowing that her husband Ben is gone. Ben is serving in Afghanistan, and Emmy just knows that he has passed. She makes her way out to her parents' backyard, over to her mother's bottle tree, as the wind whistles through the still of the night.
Emmy's mother brought this bottle tree with her from her home. There is so much about her mother's past that she does not know. So when Paige encourages her to head there and renew herself, find a passion for life again, Emmy is not sure what to think.
She flat-out refuses. Why would she want to leave the world she once knew? The world where Ben was a part of her every day life? She never wants to forget him. Never wants to leave him behind.
And then her mother passes along a stash of old books that she recently purchased from Folly Finds. An old bookstore from the beach. Emmy finds herself drawn to them, overwhelmed with a need to sort through them. Eventually we find out why. She begins to find hidden letters within their pages. Love letters. Notes of passion and longing. Who wrote these? Where did they come from? She can't help but need to know more.
Emmy decides to relocate to Folly Beach to take over Folly's Finds. She rents a house from the owner, Abigail, stumbles into the actual owner, Heath [Abigail's son!], and there's a strong connection. She finds out more about Heath and his family, especially his aunt Lulu, who Emmy immediately clashes with.
Lulu. There is so much to say about Lulu. Lulu's sister Maggie is the other main character of the story. She lived in the 1942 version of Folly Beach. Maggie lived and loved, loved and lost. Lulu and Maggie lived with their cousin Cat, who lost her own husband, Jim, in the war. This is just one of the many parallels between the 1940s story and that which takes place in the 2000s. Lulu is the tie that binds.
After reading you might say that Lulu is the main character, as she is the only one you find in both sections of the story. Lulu is quite the mystery. She's a quirky old lady who makes bottle trees in Emmy's life, and a young child, supportive and protective of her sister Maggie in a world so long ago.
The mystery and the entanglement between both stories made this book one I didn't want to put down. I loved each character, even the ones I hated. I wanted more. I wanted to see Emmy's life as it took each turn, and was ready for 100 more pages, if I'm being honest.
I definitely encourage you to pick up a copy for yourself. I can promise you'll enjoy it. As for me, I have a copy of Karen White's The Memory of Water in my to-read book bin that I'll be digging out for my summer reads. And I didn't even realize that when I decided to read this one. I'm definitely a new fan of hers. I'm sure you will be, too.
**I was not compensated for this review in any way. The publisher did provide me with a copy of this book to facilitate my review. **