On Folly Beach, Karen White – Book Review

Shells on the beach, On Folly Beach by Karen White

Shells on the beach, On Folly Beach by Karen WhiteEmmy has just lost her husband and is at loose ends trying to figure out what she plans to do with the rest of her life. Her mother, Paige, realizes the trouble that Emmy is in and recommends that she leave town, start over somewhere else.  Though their relationship has always been fraught with tension, mom has been nice enough to pick out where Emmy should go – Paige’s hometown of Folly Beach, South Carolina.  Even though she has more than a few misgivings, Emmy buys an old bookstore on Folly Beach and moves there to start rebuilding a life that is her own.

My introduction to Karen White came through the Tradd Street Series – The House on Tradd Street and The Girl on Legare, both were fun ghost stories tinged with romance, similarly set in South Carolina.  While I enjoyed those novels, I was enchanted by this one.  Dipping into World War II for a parallel story about Lulu, the older woman who comes as a package deal with the store Emmy purchases, and her star crossed sister Maggie, is a tense and intriguing mystery that plays a role in the present day.  I empathized with Emmy’s grief and her struggle to understand how and if she would be able to move on, and watched gleefully as she became embroiled in solving the clues left in books in the house she rents from the mysterious man with the broken engagement.

Let me say that this particular novel is a book lover’s dream with plenty of literary references, and intriguing interchanges facilitated by books.  Woo! White does a wonderful job navigating between the past and the present, though I have to admit that my attention wandered a little in the present, and  I favored the past because of the mystery that is unfolding there.  I was trying to piece together what happens!  The characters in this novel were well considered, warm and sympathetic and trying to guess their stories and their drive kept me invested in this satisfying tale.  My mom can’t wait to wrest it from my hands, and all you mystery lovers interested in World War II should be trying to hunt up a copy as well!

Highly Recommended.

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Book Information: On Folly Beach, by Karen White
Publisher, Publication Date & Other Info: New American Library Trade – May 4, 2010 – Hardcover– 416 pages
Author Website & Other Resources & Links: Karen White
Source: Review Copy Sent By The Publicist

Read More Reviews At: You’ve Gotta Read This Diary of An EccentricPeeking Between The Pages Life In The Thumb

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 Blogger Unplugged! December 23,    2009   Jan 2, 2010

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    1. It is quite engaging! This is the first stand alone that I am reading by her and I think I like this a little bit better that the bickering of Jack and Melanie.

    1. I hope that you like it. It was one of those books that I don’t think I was fully intending to read at the time, but after I read a few chapters, I was hooked.

    1. It is a stand alone! And i enjoyed it even more than I liked the Tradd Street Series. I think it could have been just a tad bit shorter, but I think that about most books, so I might not be the one to judge by.

    1. I just love it when books are peppered with literary reference. I always like to see how the characters in the novel interpret the stories that they read, and when they give me new books to try out.

  1. We’ve got a week planned at Folly Beach this summer and I think I should treat myself to this one when we go! (Or maybe sooner…as research.)

    1. Folly Beach sounds awesome from the books and I love reading about places that I have visited. You should definitely do it and give us some pictures with your post!

      1. Folly beach is amazing this is why I want to read the book. I highly recommend visiting filly beach.

  2. You used the right word…enchanting. Can we have a show of hands on how many of us want to move to Folly Beach (OK any beach for that matter) and open a small bookstore? And if we happen to find classics with lover’s notes written in the margins, all the better. I wanted to transport myself there. Guess I’m just going to have to make time for some of her other books!

    1. This was the perfect set-up for a bookworm. It is crazy how much I love books with literary references and that whole mystery with the books, genius! And weren’t there good margaritas and drink in here too. I loved the scene where they went to the restaurant for dinner.

    1. I may not be able to keep going with the Tradd Street series, since Jack and Melanie try nerves, but I will definitely be reading more of her stand alones.

  3. My husband and I discover Foley Beach a few months ago, and really enjoyed our visit. Matter of fact after reading this book I can’t wait to go back. Little things that were said and places in the book brought back memories of places that we seen there.And of course the bottle tree. We visit North Carolina each spring for the last three years. and I remember seeing the bottle tree at different places. Now I know the meaning. Love the book. can’t wait for my daughter who lives in North Carolina to read On Foley Beach

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