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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  2,488 ratings  ·  271 reviews
An acclaimed master of suspense creates a heroine you will never forget in this superbly chilling novel of a woman who begins a desperate undertaking that may transform her life--or end it.


Rae Newborn is a woman on the edge: on the edge of sanity, on the edge of tragedy, and now on the edge of the world. She has move
Paperback, 523 pages
Published 2002 by HarperCollins (first published 2001)
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342nd out of 4,953 books — 11,050 voters
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May 24, 2012 Joyce rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2007
I don't normally watch movies or read books about mental illness of my own volition (I went to go see A Beautiful Mind without really knowing what it was about; that's been it in recent years.) I've danced with the devil a few times (though never as dramatically as Rae) and I usually prefer other subject matter for my pleasure reading/movie consumption. But, I love and respect LRK's writing (and really, would read her grocery list at this point) and knew that if there was anyone who could handle ...more
This book was recommended to me by a friend. It was 400 pages long. I had gotten to page 200 and still didn't know why it was so wonderful! The book is about a 52 year old woman who has lost her husband and daughter in an accident. She was attacked and raped, was put into a psychiatric facility and is now trying to heal. To do so, she decides to go to an island that she inherited from a great uncle. It is a small island which serves now as a bird sanctuary and no one lives there. The main charac ...more
FOLLY (Mys/Novel-Rae Newborn-Washington State-Cont) – Ex
King, Laurie R. – Standalone
Bantam, 2001, US Hardcover – ISBN: 0553111035

First Sentence: The gray-haired woman stood with her boots planted on the rocky promontory and watched what was left of her family pull away.

Rae Newborn is a woodworker whose work appears in galleries and museums. She is also a woman who has known tragedy, severe depression and attempted suicide more than once. Working to put her life back on track, Rae has come to Sal
Lisha Adela
May 24, 2012 Lisha Adela rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
This book took my breath away. It was a mystery that was resolved in the casual and not so casual conversations of a woman coming to terms with loss and grief in a malevolent environment. It was about rebuilding literally a house on a made up San Juan Island in the Pacific Northwest and in the process resolving many clues about her family. The writing was superb almost poetic and yet the plot and character development was complex and the action required a careful read. Highly recommended to ever ...more
I loved Folly! I liked the way Laurie R King develops the connection between rebuilding a life that is in shambles and rebuilding a house from the foundation up.
I had a bit of trouble getting out to do chores outside and getting to bed at a decent hour until I finished listening.
Great read/listen.
Being a huge fan of Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell series, I picked this up in an attempt to branch out into some other things she’s written. When I started reading this, I was expecting a typical mystery story, and nothing more. How wrong it was to assume that! This is the saga of Rae Newborn, who at fifty-two years old has been through hell and high water. In addition to coping with severe depression, which has caused her to make numerous attempts on her own life, she is also dealing with the h ...more
I checked this book out when the next Mary Russell book wasn't available at the library for a few weeks. It is written by the same author, Laurie King. I almost turned it back in after reading the first chapter or two, because I didn't think I was going to like it. I got hooked, and ended up being glued to the book until I finished it several days later. This book tells the story about a woman who decides to go to an island her uncle left to her, and rebuild his cabin that had been destroyed dec ...more
Very disappointed in this book. The premise was great, (what if the voices in your head really are there?)I loved the setting, the tie-in with family history, and I was excited for a good mystery, but things just kept going well for the heroine. I did like the hammer scene, but wanted more suspense overall.

I agree with this review:

Beautiful prose and intriguing characters can't quite save the confusing, and at times needlessly complicated, plot of this challenging psychological thriller, set on
Sue Seeger
Ms. King can't be satisfied with two successful series', she also has to PWN some unbelievable stand alones. (The show off) Folly's mentally fragile MC, Ray Newborn, is such a masterfully drawn character. The tension builds as she tries to conquer her phobias and resurrect what's left of her sanity alone (she thinks) on an island in the pacific northwest, but not all her fears are irrational.
This book was recommended by someone at work who would also like to write books. I found it quite interesting. The mystery unfolds slowly, but what I really enjoyed was the protagonist's journey from deep depression to health while rebuilding her's uncle's home. Her life parallels the life of her uncle, which she reads in his diary. I am ready to read one more by King.
Anne Hawn Smith
This book is a very compelling look at madness and healing. I found it different from anything else I have read by Laurie R. King. The main character is a woman, Rae Newborn, in her 50's, who has been subject to severe depression and several suicide attempts, and who has come to a deserted island in the Juan de Fuga straits. She was attempting to reconstruct the house left by her mysterious Great Uncle Desmond. The house burned and Desmond disappeared many years before and for some reason, she h ...more
Laurie King's Folly is a very sympathetic portrayal of the effects of psychosis and madness on the individual. In this case it is Rae Newborn who is literally reborn from her last bout of suicidal mental illness through the solitude of an uninhabited island and the project of rebuilding a burned-out house. We join her as she leaves therapy to live on an isolated island off the coast of Washington state. Her only human contact is a weekly visit by a tatooed man called Ed who drops off her supplie ...more
Neilie J
I just discovered Laurie King last month when I started reading The Beekeeper's Apprentice. This book's a far cry from the light-hearted story of Sherlock Holmes and his young protege, but I was instantly sucked into it. Having struggled with some of the mental issues the protagonist of this story suffers from, I was shocked at how well the author portrays them. Her ear for dialog is spot-on and I found myself often tearful at the profound insights she'd subtly slip into the thoughts of her char ...more
I am a seldom reader of suspense and mystery genre, so take my review with that in mind. I did not know Folly was a suspense when I began reading. I picked this book up because the premise of a women going off to an island to live by herself smelled delicious and Goodread readers reviewed it well--especially an acquaintence, who recommended it.

Folly deserves its good reviews and I am glad to have read it. I warmed up to it slowly. Thirty or so pages in and I was already calculating how quickly
Karen Syed
I am not sure how to describe my feelings on this book. On one hand, I liked it. The story keep me listening and wanting to find out the truth. On the other hand, I found it a little hard to get into, and up until about 2/3 of the way through the book, I wondered why I kept listening.

There were a few scenes where I felt like the characters involved were contrived simply to resolve someting, but that they didn't really do all that much to move the stor along.

I did enjoy the book. I might listen t
Carol Stanley-Snow
A very intimate story of one womans battle with depression. The story follows her throughout her travels to 'her' island where her lone quest to face and hopefully conquer her demons.

A story that will suck you in and keep you on the edge of your seat.

A must read.
OK, everyone needs to calm down and stop with the negative reviews of this book. I thought it was great, and i've read the whole series. As a whole, the series has its ups and downs but this is not by any means the weakest one. For me it was one of the best; i raced through it. However .... you do have to be very familiar with Gilbert and Sullivan and especially with The Pirates of Penzance. Holmes isn't very present in this one (but this series isn't really about Holmes anyway, is it) and the m ...more
I didn't think I would want to read a book about a 52 year old woman with mental health issues building a house on an island.Not even, if they were the beautiful Washington State San Juan Islands.A place I have longed to visit but never will.The island of Folly is a figment of the writer's skillful imagination. This was my first time reading King but not my last. A wonderful story and I so related to 52 year old Rae Newborn.
May 24, 2012 WK rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: lrk
This is a spellbinding tale about a fascinating women and her unique way of putting back the broken pieces of herself. Two different mysteries are presented, intertwined and solved. I 'read' the audio book performed by Frank Muller. My sister thought the book should have been read by a woman, because it is mostly about a women, but I disagree in this case. Frank is excellent at telling a tale in a tense & suspenseful way and this is a tense and suspenseful story.

One reader I know sai
I'll admit that it took me a little while to get fully absorbed into this story about a woman who removes herself to a remote island to rebuild a house originally built by a secret uncle, the dark sheep of the family, over one hundred years before. Rae Newborn has had a roller coaster of a life. She has suffered greatly from depression which started as post partum depression after her first daughter was born. She grew estranged from her husband and daughter and fought through bouts of suicide an ...more
Folly is the story of Rae Newborn, a woman who has endured far more than anyone should have to, ending with several months spent in a psychiatric hospital. What worked for me in this book: Rae Newborn's slow, intricate path from mental illness back to strength and wholeness. Beautifully and convincingly done, and for that I give it five stars. I wasn't all that excited to read a book about mental illness, but after about fifty pages or so, I couldn't put it down. This is easily the best book I'v ...more
Too long (we get it; she's crazy and/or susceptible to becoming so) and the ending came out of nowhere. Laurie King has a tendency to pack so much into the rest of the book -- specifically, the ins and outs of her main character -- that her endings can seem tacked on and almost like a deux-ex-machina. This one more or less made sense, but it still had very little weight compared to the rest of the book's heft.
Terri Lynn
This whole thing is so absurd. First of all, Sherlock Holmes was a lifelong confirmed bachelor. He had NO wife and in fact, did not WANT a wife. The only woman in his life was his housekeeper and occasionally a female client. What's next- a book about mysteries being solved by the wife of the Pope?!
This book was one of the best books I have read in awhile. The plot was engaging, the characters were fasinating, and the writing style was beautiful. It took me about a week to read it because I read it slower than I usually read fiction because I wanted to savor all the exquisite sentences!
I changed my rating from 3 stars to 2 because I think I was being too generous to give it 3 stars. My cousin gave me this book when she was done with it and said she liked it. But I remember thinking it was not compelling and I was frankly glad to be finished with it.
This is one of Laurie King's stand alone books. I did really enjoy this book. I loved the main character, a wood sculptress. The mystery aspect is well thought out, but mostly I enjoyed when they talked about wood, the building of the house, and the woman's courage.
I was nearly a quarter of the way into the book before I began to enjoy it. I read it because it was chosen for a virtual book club and because I like King's Mary Russell novels. I finally finished it book last night and can say that I enjoyed it except for the identity of the bad guy. It seemed that King pulled him out of a hat.
Rae, one of the protagonists, along with her great-uncle Desmond, is rebuilding Desmond's home on an island as a therapeutic device as she recovers from the loss of her
A great book! Great story, great writing--what more does a reader need?
Rae has suffered a terrible loss and is very fragile. She's inherited an island in the San Juan Islands, sometimes called Folly and sometimes called Sanctuary, and it is both to her at various times in the book.
What a great supporting cast of characters. King hints at the stories they have but leaves us wanting more--Ed, the illustrated man, has a book in (on) him, I'm sure.
Rae moves to the island to rebuild the house that bu
This book haunts me for some reason. The idea of an emotionally fragile woman retreating to an island to recover and rebuild her life, pursued by a malevolent force from her family's past, just gets me. My favorite of all King's books.
This is one of my favorite books of all time. It was empowering and made me realize that just because I am middle aged plus doesn't mean I can't be physically and mentally stronger than I have been.
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Edgar-winning mystery writer Laurie R. King writes series and standalone novels. Her official forum is
THE LRK VIRTUAL BOOK CLUB here on Goodreads--please join us for book-discussing fun.

King's most recent novel, Dreaming Spies, sees Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes travel from Japan to Oxford, in a case with international players and personal meaning. The Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series foll
More about Laurie R. King...
The Beekeeper's Apprentice (Mary Russell, #1) A Monstrous Regiment of Women (Mary Russell, #2) O Jerusalem (Mary Russell, #5) A Letter of Mary (Mary Russell, #3) The Language of Bees (Mary Russell, #9)

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