"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...." (via Barnes&Noble)
On Folly Beach by Karen White follows the story of two women: Emmy - a modern day woman who has just lost her husband in Iraq, and Maggie - a woman who survived WWII and the heartache that came with it. Their lives intersect when Emmy buys Maggie's bookstore, Folly's Finds at Folly Beach, SC, and moves from the midwest down to the Coastal South. She is haunted by her own memories and ghosts even as she discovers Maggie's ghosts as well. Emmy reveals Maggie's past through unsigned notes written in old books. Love, war, passion, heartbreak, betrayal, espionage, deception, and grief filter throughout the entire stories of both Maggie and Emmy.
History buffs will enjoy the story since it talks about German U-boat activity in the Atlantic during WWII and also about the Duquesne Spy Ring. The writer takes some liberty with history to make it more real for the story, but the basic facts stay the same.
This book touches on some of the hardest human emotions, and ultimately, it is about learning to let go, grieve, and then move on with your life. It is tragic at times and heartwarming at others. But overall, you leave the story feeling like you have glimpsed into the heart of human existence - love and loyalty between two human beings.
On Folly Beach is potentially the best novel I have read in a very long time. I would highly recommend it to any reader. It was incredibly well written and poignant.
I doubt that I will ever forget this story.