On Folly Beach
Genre: Women's Fiction, Historical Fiction
Summary (from Goodreads): 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 why Emmy Hamilton's mother encourages her to buy the local book store, Folly's Finds, hoping it will distract Emmy from the loss of her husband.
Emmy is at first resistant. So much has already changed. But after finding love letters and an image of a beautiful bottle tree in a box of used books from Folly's Finds, she decides to take the plunge. But the seller insists on one condition: Emmy must allow Lulu, the late owner's difficult 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, wanting to learn more. 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, sixty years apart, have brought them together, here on Folly Beach. And it is here that their war-ravaged hearts can find hope for a second chance...
Review: I chose this book to bring along on my vacation to South Carolina thinking that it would be a perfect beach read. While the setting of the beach house on the salt marsh was in keeping with the area we were visiting, and the history around the bottle trees was interesting, I found this book too easy to put down. The characters were flat, especially Maggie, the main character in 1942, and I found myself getting frustrated by her naivete and the way she let herself be treated by Cat. The love story between her and Peter seemed to come out of nowhere, and I couldn't understand why she thought she was in love with him. The story seemed to be building up to a great big surprise ending, and while there certainly were some twists, I had figured out the main one pretty early on in the story. Emmy, with her grief over her KIA husband and her reluctance to make huge changes in her life, was a more relatable heroine, but I felt like her story took second place to the story set in the 1940s.
Rating: 3 stars