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On Folly Beach

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4.06  ·  Rating details ·  10,031 Ratings  ·  1,067 Reviews
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...

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, which is w
...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published May 4th 2010 by NAL (first published January 1st 2010)
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Nahla Aboushadi I think it would be a fine book for a book club. It is a heartwarming story with a beautiful setting and a collection of very well developed…moreI think it would be a fine book for a book club. It is a heartwarming story with a beautiful setting and a collection of very well developed characters. I am one of Karen white's biggest fan.(less)

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Siobhan
Apr 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Karen White's books need to come with a warning on the cover that prepares the reader to not be able to do anything else but continue reading until the book is finished. On Folly Beach was a nice, comfortable summer read.
Book Concierge
Emmy Hamilton is at a loss after her husband’s death in Afghanistan. Her mother convinces her to move to Folly Beach, a South Carolina barrier island, to take over a bookstore. Reluctant at first, Emmy only makes up her mind to go when she finds a sort of love letter written in the margin of an old book that came from that store, Folly’s Finds. The first person she encounters is an irascible old woman, Lulu, who seems downright hostile. When she finds out that a condition of her purchasing the s ...more
Diane Chamberlain
Sep 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Totally loved it. It reminded me of my own books, so clearly it was the sort of story that resonates with me. Karen did a beautiful job balancing different points of view and different time periods. A delight.
Tammy
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoy Karen White novels and this did not disappoint — a gripping southern drama using a Folly Beach, South Carolina bookstore as the background for its setting.. modern day intertwining with the WWll era.

Strong female characters, family secrets and a delicious mystery dating back to 1942 made this a great pick!
Bloomreader
Apr 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
Avoid. I can't believe so many people think this is a 4-star book. I've lived on Folly Beach...sunned on Folly Beach....and ma'am, this is not a realistic representation of Folly Beach. Anybody interested in a true interpretation of the Low Country needs to read "The Prince of Tides" by Pat Conroy. The description of the flavor and life of the Low Country is truly lyrical, and the plot climax an actual surprise. As far as "On Folly Beach" went, I never felt that the characters really took life. ...more
Jennifer
May 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
From my blog...[return][return]Filled with emotion, longing, secrets and hope, On Folly Beach by Karen White is a beautiful look at two women, brought together by circumstances unknown to the other, who learn they may not be as dissimilar as they each originally believed. The story is told alternating between present day Folly Beach 2009 and 1942 Folly Beach the year that changed so many lives. Emmy, at the urging of her mother, drives to Folly Beach to consider purchasing Folly's Finds from Abi ...more
Angie
I very much enjoy Karen White's writing, and this was no exception. I just couldn't put the book down today (luckily it was a "snow day" so it was okay to binge read)! There is a lot to offer here and a lot going on. It was not hard to follow the 2 timelines, though and each had great things to offer a reader. As you read, you try to sort out the different family mysteries that the truth of have become almost lost over time. It is both heartbreaking and heartwarming, and studies the lengths we w ...more
Meg
Emmy Hamilton arrives in Folly Beach, South Carolina with a heavy heart. Her beloved husband, Ben, has been killed while fighting in Afghanistan; her mother, though compassionate, can barely stand for the grief of it all. Devastated at having to watch her own daughter lose someone so dear to her, Emmy’s mother encourages her to travel to the East Coast and purchase an old bookstore — Folly’s Finds — after purchasing boxes of old books on eBay.

Sifting through the novels, Emmy begins to feel a kin
...more
Staci
Apr 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Staci by: TLC Book tour
Shelves: 2010-reads
This book has so much going for it...Southern location, bookstores, Nancy Drew, book lovers, loss loves, broken hearts, an intriguing mystery and strong family connections. There wasn't a page that I didn't enjoy reading and even though I wanted desperately to see how Emmy and Lulu's stories would end, I truly didn't want this book to run out of pages!!! I love how White took historical facts and weaved them into her story. It really made everything come alive and I could visualize each characte ...more
Marci Antoniuk
Aug 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Man! Sometimes I get into a reading funk where I start a lot of duds and have to abandon them. This month has been the opposite of that. Reading heaven!

So, my friend Ellen recommended I read The Beech Trees, another book by Karen White, but our library didn't have it so I reserved this one instead. And she was right, Karen White is wonderful. One thing I loved about her is that every sentence was beautifully crafted, and feelings were described in a new and interesting way. This is the kind of b
...more
Donna
Sep 24, 2016 rated it liked it

3 stars. I love Karen White. She has become one of my favorite authors. She is very creative with her stories and I usually am in complete love with her writing. I didn't feel that with this book even though it was a great story and it had a nice sense of place, regarding both time periods.

With this book, the main thing that was a miss for me were the characters. In the beginning they were so unlikable and the dialogue between the love interests was so painful. It was very stilted. They eventua
...more
Elizabeth
Aug 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Karen White has combined her lovely, lyrical writing with a beautiful setting and two intertwined and intriguing stories to make a very satisfying read.

The two stories alternate -- one of librarian and Midwesterner Emmy, a new widow whose husband has died in Afghanistan and who, at her mother's urging, has purchased a book store at Folly Beach, South Carolina. There her story intersects with that of Lulu and her now dead sister Maggie who owned the store during WWII. The author skillfully weaves
...more
Lyn (Readinghearts)
Nov 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Lyn (Readinghearts) by: Marilyn Killilee
I had never read a book by Karen White before, but if they are all like this one, I will be reading more. One of the things that I really like about my on-line book clubs is that I end up meeting people who can introduce me to wonderful new authors.

Folly Beach, South Carolina is a small island whose main population is summer tourists. In the 1940s, though, in the thick of WWII, it was a place for many soldiers to gather. This book tells two stories of Folly Beach, one current and one from the 1
...more
Debbie Robson
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As most people who follow my reviews know, I rarely cross to the dark side (commercial fiction) in my reading. In fact there’s usually only two reasons why I do and they are 1. subject matter that fascinates me and this is rare and 2. a place that I want to read about.
On Folly Beach by Karen White fits into both categories. Folly Beach South Carolina is a place that my character Jane Townsend visits in my novel Crossing Paths. It is a brief visit but my research into the place has ensured that
...more
Lisa-Buttery_Books
Aug 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is my first Karen White novel and I loved every minute of it! This intriguing novel is the perfect mix of mystery and history. The mystery begins when a young widow finds notes written in the margins of books. The notes take her on a journey to the 1940s as she discovers the secrets of a South Carolina family. This book is also about book lovers, which always immediately helps me identify with the characters.

This book was a great choice for our book club party, especially for the history bu
...more
Pam
Jul 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book was awesome. We had a storm today in PA knocking out power which forced me to finish this book. I love all the historical facts, some which I was not even aware, shared and also the way it melded the present with the past. Plus it was set at my favorite book location, the beach. This book was a page turner for me.
Autumn
Aug 22, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012
uneventful, took me forever to read this book!!
Diane
Mar 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Loved it! This book has it all--a little history, a little mystery, and a bit of romance. Plus it has Folly Beach for it's backdrop!
Kayla Edwards
Apr 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this one! But this is Karen White we're talking about so who's surprised?

Emmy is trying to pick up the pieces of her life and move on after her husband dies overseas when her mom buys a box of old books from Folly's Finds in Folly Beach, South Carolina. In the books, she discovers what appear to be love letters between the margins of the books. The tale that follows jumps between Emmy's present and that story of that past she finds in those margins. This wonderfully woven mys
...more
Monica
Apr 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio-books
I listened to this novel and I am not really an audio book person. This may have diminished the score because I was frustrated at times with the narrator reading too slowly. The story takes place over two different time periods, one during World War II and the other in 2009. The story was ok but very predictable. The characters were a little frustrating as well as you knew what mistakes they were going to make and I just wanted to tell them to make better choices. I did want to finish this story ...more
April
Apr 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Karen White has a talent that shines and glitters like diamond chips, upon black velvet, in the sunlight. Her writing voice is amazing and never ceases to thrill me. For me, On Folly Beach was an intricate, intriguing and delicate blend of two stories interwoven into one. There is the story of Emmy Hamilton who has lost her beloved husband, Ben, to the war in Afghanistan. With his death, comes the end of Emmy's dreams and plans for the future. It is not until Emmy's mother gives her a push (as w ...more
Ruth
Jan 31, 2014 rated it liked it
This was an interesting tale that went between the early 40's and 2009. Emmy lost her soldier husband in Afghanistan and her mother convinces her that buying a book shop on Folly Beach and going there to heal would be a good thing to do. When Emmy arrives she meets the family who she is purchasing the book store from and finds that there are a few quirky things that go along with buying the shop. As she begins to organize the house she has rented, she finds notes and messages written in the bord ...more
Erin S
Sep 02, 2011 rated it liked it
It took me a year to finally read this book. It was a very slow start. I read a few pages last summer, put it down and tried again a few months later. STILL couldn't get into it. Tried again THIS summer and it clicked. I loved the dual storylines, but would have been just as happy to read the WWII as its own novel and longer. I was much more drawn to that cast of characters as a whole. The dual storyline was a great addition though! This is not your usual summer, fluffy, chic lit beach read. Thi ...more
Sriprae
Jun 11, 2010 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathryn
Nov 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
This book just kept getting better and better. Part of the book took place in 2009 and the other in 1942. Each part easily transitioned into the other. There are alot of subplots that move into each other and the last 50 pages or so put everthing together. Does the guy get the girl in the end? I'm not sure, but the book certainly shows how family secrets and lies can do nothing but harm.
Lori
Jun 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this... Karen White does it again!!! I can almost smell the ocean and feel the sand between my toes!!!
Susan Peterson
Sep 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A very moving story. I love how Karen White weaves mystery in her stories. Her characters are people we care about.
Michele
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
One of a Karen White’s earlier books. I’ve read almost all now. It took me a little while to get into this story, but I’m glad I did. It really explored grief and how we all approach and go through it differently. I loved the setting at Folly Beach and the bookstore of course! The characters all spoke to me in different ways and I liked where everyone ended up at the end.
Cindy Hatok
May 07, 2018 rated it liked it
I usually love Karen White books, this one seemed to drag and take a long time to read. It's not terrible, but isn't the best one I've read. There is a lot happening with the characters and it seems to take some time to unravel the mysteries.
Liselle
Apr 30, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5.

I really enjoyed this story but it took a long time to get there.
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After playing hooky one day in the seventh grade to read Gone With the Wind, Karen White knew she wanted to be a writer—or become Scarlett O'Hara. In spite of these aspirations, Karen pursued a degree in business and graduated cum laude with a BS in Management from Tulane University. Ten years later, after leaving the business world, she fulfilled her dream of becoming a writer and wrote her first ...more
More about Karen White

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“Mama?"

"Yes, Emmy."

She traced a rivulet of rain with her finger as it made its journey down the glass. "How do you know when it's been long enough?"

Emmy could sense her mother smiling into the phone. "When you relaize that love doesn't have a time span. Only pain does. I think sometimes it's hard to distinguish between the two, so we just hold on to both of them like they're inseparable.”
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“Sometimes, just when we think we can see our lives on course and we can settle back and get comfortable, a new path opens. Some people just keep going, too scared to veer off the familiar path. But others, well, they step off into the unknown, and find that maybe that was where they were supposed to be all along.” 2 likes
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