On Folly Beach

On Folly Beach

by Karen White
4.2 105

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On Folly Beach by Karen White

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Tradd Street novels comes a story of old wounds and second chances, set in the small South Carolina town of Folly Beach.
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...
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 that changes everything: Emmy must allow Lulu, the late owner’s difficult elderly 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 she finds in a box of used books. 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 have brought them together, here on Folly Beach. And it is here that their war-ravaged hearts can find hope again…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451488466
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/28/2016
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 561,566
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Karen White is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty novels, including the Tradd Street series, The Night the Lights Went OutFlight PatternsThe Sound of GlassA Long Time Gone, and The Time Between. She is the coauthor of The Forgotton Room with New York Times bestselling authors Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig. She grew up in London but now lives with her husband and two children near Atlanta, Georgia.

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On Folly Beach 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 105 reviews.
dhaupt More than 1 year ago
Emmy Hamilton is barely thirty but has known soul saddening loss, her husband Ben has been killed while serving in Afghanistan. Her mother Paige thinks Emmy has wallowed long enough and arranges for her to go to Folly Beach South Carolina where she's to buy a book store and to get on with her life. But Emmy isn't ready to get on with her life, according to her, her life ended with Ben's death. But life had a way of surprising even the toughest of customers and Emmy soon finds a reason to get up every morning, it seems she's found a mystery from WW11 concerning the family that previously owned the book store and she's bound and determined to get to the bottom of it. Karen White's Lowlander novels have such heart and soul to them, they speak to the very deepest part of you and this one is no exception. It's a story told in unfortunately thousands of households all across the country, a loved one dying while serving in the Middle East and the sacrifice of that solider often includes leaving someone he loves behind to try to pick up the broken pieces of their lives and try to go on, and Karen does this with grace, and heartbreaking honesty. She does it with her prose like dialogue where her vivid descriptions will take you on the beach and further into the Ocean where her visualizations will come to life for her readers. Her character Emmy makes your heart hurt and yet you want to push her on, cheer her up and embrace her as she takes baby steps back into life. Her co-staring characters are equally engrossing and we learn all we need to know about them from our very capable author. She seamlessly takes us from the early 1940s to the present as she spins her tale. She'll keep your interest throughout the entire read and you'll find yourself endlessly turning pages to find out what happens next. This is a poignant look at what secrets can cost their keepers and how it's never too late to repent them. Join those of us who have already learned all the secrets and solved all the mysteries, come back to the coast, smell the pluff mud, feel the sand between your toes, feel the pull of the tides all On Folly Beach. It's The Must Read of this summer.
12GABBY12 More than 1 year ago
ON FOLLY BEACH, by Karen White Reviewed by Hana Gabrielle Packard There is something for everyone in ON FOLLY BEACH. Karen White's clever writing never ceases to keep me entertained. This is a heartbreaking novel on many levels and yet is hopeful and inspiring at the same time. White intricately weaves together two parallel stories of love, romance, grief, unsolved mysteries and unanswered questions, shifting between the 1940s, (World War Two), and present day. It is tenderly mixed with the stories of the men they met and loved, and what became of those relationships. We all love the "what if" prospect. The history and folklore in the background of the storyline is very interesting. Its the story of Emmy, a recent widow whose husband had been killed in Afghanistan while serving his country; its the story of Lulu, a woman who has lived on Folly Beach for more than seventy years and who has harbored secrets all these years. Emmy's mother heavily encourages her to buy a bookstore in Folly Beach, South Carolina, where she herself had grown up, and then offers her an additional incentive. As Emmy goes through boxes of old books she finds in the house she rents and in the store, she begins to uncover what appears to be a secret correspondence between a man and a woman living in Folly Beach in the 1940s..and so begins the mystery..I enjoyed the exciting mystery that kept me glued to the pages for hours, the realistic, touching characters, the interesting historical background and the wonderful writing. It's a heartbreaker and a tear jerker but we all need a good cry every now and again. You will not be disappointed in this one!
WendiB More than 1 year ago
Brave. That's what people kept calling Emmy when she moved to a new town after the death of her beloved Ben. Renting a beautiful home in Folly Beach, South Carolina and purchasing a local bookshop, it's everything Emmy can do just to make it through one day at a time. Yet, as Emmy uncovers several mysterious and achingly fervent messages left within the margins of some old books that had been boxed up by a previous owner, a spark of life is breathed into the embers of her soul. Moving in tandem to Emmy's journey, a long ago forgotten past is slowly being exhumed. The time, 1942, as America becomes further embroiled in World War II. Men are lost, promises are made, and secrets are taken to the grave never to be spoken again. At least, that was the plan. On Folly Beach is a heartbreaking novel on many levels and yet hopeful and inspiring at the same time. Beautifully rich in local and historical detail, each character is meticulously developed, relinquishing the very essence of their souls. Captivated from the start, I found this tale breathtaking. This is truly Karen White at her best.
Sue_G More than 1 year ago
Karen White has written another wonderful novel with a twist. This time, it's World War II and German spies off the coast of South Carolina, near a town called Folly Beach. Maggie is a young woman raising her little sister Lulu in Folly Beach. Their cousin, Cat, is a beautiful war widow who only wants to dance and have a good time. Along comes Peter, a mysterious man from the Midwest who soon catches Maggie's heart. In present time, Emmy is also a war widow; her husband was killed in Afghanistan. She moves to Folly Beach from Indiana to buy Folly's Finds, a bookstore owned by Maggie's family. Emmy is intrigued by old books from the shop that have secret love letters written in them. Who wrote them? Why? What happened? Two women, separated by 60 years, are brought together as Emmy tries to find out the mystery of the love letters. Along the way, she has to deal with Lulu, now in her 70's and very silent on what happened to Maggie all those years ago. I love Karen White's novels, and this one is another solid read you will enjoy. It's about love, grief, and learning to let go and move forward in life.
Timberlake More than 1 year ago
Once again Karen White takes you on a journey to the unknown. From today to several yesterdays ago, the story moves along beautifully with stories within stories, and from grief to forgiveness. You see her characters thinking, feeling and grasping for tomorrow and the truth. Karen's books are amazing and always a good read.
LCH47 More than 1 year ago
When Emmy Hamilton's husband dies in the war in Afghanistan she struggles with her sadness and isolates herself in her hometown in Indiana. Her mother encourages her to buy a bookstore in Folly Beach, South Carolina, where she herself grew up. She takes the plunge, and from the first moment, she is hurled into a world of beauty, and interesting, unique characters. As she examines some old books, she begins to uncover what appears to be an intriguing and secret correspondence between a man and a woman living in Folly Beach in the 1940s. Letters and notes in the margins of pages lead Emmy to question some of the townspeople. I was captivated from the first page. The book is written as two parallel stories, one set in 1942 and the other set in the present time. This is a memorable, suspenseful, unforgettable tale. I recommend highly. Other high recommendations: SHE WALKS IN BEAUTY, EXPLOSION IN PARIS, and HEART OF THE MATTER.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a big fan of Karen White's books, liking some more than others. This book was by ffar her best yet. There were two stories that were connected. One takes place on Folly Island during World war II, the other on Folly Island in the present (even mentioning last summer's scandal with the governor of South Carolina in passing). Both stories have war widows as main characters. One widow is much more sympathetic than the other. Both stories were really good, but the World War II story had a lot more depth to it. The descriptions of the setting are so well drawn that after reading this book I'd like to pack my bags and head for Folly Island for the summer!
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Noblesville, Indiana Emmy knows her beloved Ben died while serving in Afghanistan. Her parents help her with her loss. In 1942 in Folly Beach, South Carolina, Widow Catherine is tired of grieving for her spouse Jim who died in Pearl Harbor. She persuades her cousin Maggie to go dancing. Maggie loved Jim, who dumped her for Cat. Maggie's nine year old sister Lulu also loved Jim. The sailors want Cat while civilian Peter prefers Maggie, the only male who does. Peter informs her he cannot serve due to his asthma, but does his best checking the quality of his father's leather goods made in Iowa for the military. In 2009, six months have passed since Ben was buried; Emily hides inside her mom's bookstore. Paige tells her daughter Emily that Folly's Find owner Abigail is retiring and wants to sell her Folly Beach store. Emily reluctantly agrees to look at the store. In 1942, Peter visits Maggie at her bookstore Folly's Find where he meets a belligerent Lulu but he is gentle with her. Cat meets Peter who is polite but ignores her. Lulu is shocked as this is the first time she saw Cat lose a man. In 2009, Emily rents a house that Abigail's son Heath was building for him and his fiancée. After he needed radiation treatment for cancer, his engagement ended. Emily sees the tree in the garden with bottles tied to it. Inside are notes as there are inside books published in 1942. Lulu nastily tells her she is trespassing. The two well written subplots rotate back and forth while complementing one another. The links between the periods are the store and Great-Aunt Lulu, but the entire cast in both time frames is fully developed within the family mystery. Fans will relish visiting Folly Beach during WWII in which the rumored Nazi presence is on everyone's mind and in 2009 when descendents look back over six decades ago. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read most of Karen White's books and would have to say this is my favorite so far. I enjoyed trying to piece together how things would play out and found it hard to put the book down. Definitely would recommend!
Lisa-Buttery_Books More than 1 year ago
Intriguing book. The mystery begins with notes written in the margins of books. The notes take a young widow on a journey to the 1940s as she discovers the secrets of a South Carolina family. I loved the tie in to the bottle trees, which were used by slaves to scare away evil spirits and in the book were used to communicate with loved ones. One of the main characters, Lulu, loved the bottle trees, which was fitting for a young girl who had so many ghosts in her life. This book is also about book lovers, which always immediately helps me identify with the characters. We read this book for our book club party and we had fun discussing the characters, who each had their own secrets. There were characters that did not seem to have a single redeeming quality, but someone in the group was able to sympathize with and defend them-a sign of well-written characters. The book also encouraged me to do more research about Folly Beach, WWII and life in the 1940s.
Gertt More than 1 year ago
On Folly Beach is a tender story about loving and letting go that will stay with you even after the last page is read. This is a story of two women, from two different time periods, who lost great loves, a serious little girl who kept secrets that impacted their lives and the lessons we can learn from the past. The history of living in coastal cities during WWII and how close the war came to our shores, fits perfectly with not being able to help who we fall in love with and that during war, the survivors are brave and sometimes the enemy can be a victim. I've only recently started reading Karen White's books and she has become one of my favorite authors.
cewilch More than 1 year ago
I just discovered this author and am catching up by reading everything she has written - and enjoying myself immensely. I am finding out that there is something addictive about reading books about "the low country." Karen White's ability to write a tightly woven plot ensnares the reader from beginning to end, and she doesn't waste a word. I look forward to her next offering.
DEVILICIOUS More than 1 year ago
This story is told in flashback, Folly beach as backgound, in the 1940's, war time, and also more currently in the year 2009. In flashback, Maggie and Lulu are parentless sisters, living with their cousin Cat. Their lives on Folly Beach is typical of war time, but it is tenderly mixed with the stories of the men they met and loved, and what became of those relationships. The story centers on Emmy, who is facing a sorrowful loss. She tries to move on and moves to Folly Beach to "find herself". There she runs into some of the ghosts and real-life people who were in the flashback story. This book is a love story that will inspire anyone who has lost a love, or who is in love. I recommend this book to any age group. A GOOD READ! Other reads that stick in my mind are EXPLOSION IN PARIS and A YEAR IN PROVENCE.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Since reading my first Karen White book(The House on Tradd Street),I have started to read all her books. On Folly Beach is no disappointment,the author grabs you on the first page and you can,t put it down.
SouthernSilverReader3 More than 1 year ago
Karen White did it AGAIN! This time she brought generations 40 years apart together and the way she did it is amazing. You will learn some things about our country if you read this book that many people are not aware of today. These characters are wonderful and so true to the times they were living in - they become so real to the reader. You will love the story! Lots of little tidbits come to light (such as the bottle tree & its origin). There is certainly romance, mystery, and two very different lifestyles in two extremely different times in our country's history. The writing style is fantastic! You don't want to miss this story, especially the way the women interact with each other.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
rokinrev More than 1 year ago
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. It was not an advance copy. In no way did this affect my opinions) “Life should be a question Emmy, and you’re way too young to think you’ve already found all the answers”. Headed to Folly Beach South Carolina after the death of her husband Ben in the Middle East, Emmy hopes a complete change of scenery will help her move forward in life. A librarian by trade, she just purchased Folly’s Finds, a bookstore that spans generations of tourists and locals alike. Finding ongoing correspondence between two locals in the margins of some of the used books, Emmy is quite taken with the snippets of a love story that seems to be between two people during 1942. Entwined in the love story, Emma finds that everything may not be as precise as these love letters spell out, and she sets about to find out the story within the story, and, in doing so changes her own story. This story almost seamlessly takes the reader from 2009 to 1942. They mystery opened up parts of the South during that war that I never knew existed (I am a Northerner). There is much more than meets the eye as Emmy learns to stop living on the surface, and delves/dives deep within history, love and her own story to find the answers. Will she understand? Does it affect how she sees the past ? How did it affect the ones she grows to care about in the present and how will that impact the future? I really love Southern LowCountry Fiction. I almost always find a tidbit or two of new information in almost every book I read. And Ms.White’s On Folly Beach makes me want to kick off my shoes and stay a while. I recommend Karen White and highly recommend this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
bongie More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not Ms. White's usual book. Though it does take place in the Carolinas. Enjoyable. Nice beach book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The overview of this book is confusing there is no Janie character her name is Emma
tcbuzzy More than 1 year ago
fun read, with twist and turns.things i didn't know about WW11.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the first Karen White for me to read. I enjoyed this book so much. I love books that make you "cheer" for the characters. Books that make you laugh and books that touch your heart. Books that you don't want the story to end. To me, this book had it all. I am now on my second, of many, Karen White books to read. Try this author out, you could very well be glad you did!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago