Karen White’s On Folly Beach intertwines the stories of two families across multiple generations as they grapple with the consequences of war. In 2009, Emmy focuses on solving a WWII era personal mystery after discovering notes written in the margins of books. In 1942, Maggie, Lulu and Cat live in a world deeply affected by the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the USA’s formal entrance into the war.
This beauty of this novel is how it combines deeply developed characters with a bit of local and national history to spin a tale of love, loss, and family. Set in gorgeous Folly Beach, White paints a beautiful portrait of South Carolina and demonstrates how loss forces change.
With plenty of literary references, a bookshop I wish existed in real life, and a smidge of suspense, this book is sure to sweep you off your feet and have you searching for an Air B&B in Folly Beach. It’s conclusion is also bound to send you to Google to learn more about these previously unknown (or at least unknown to me) historical tidbits.
I loved spending time with these characters in this setting, and had the hardest time putting this book down to do anything else. When I wasn’t reading it, I often found myself trying to solve the mystery in the back of my mind.
If you’ve read and enjoyed this novel, you may also enjoy The Postmistress. This novel reminded me of it many times, with the WWII era beach setting and the fear of German U-boats off the Atlantic coast. I have a feeling Folly Beach, and what it taught me, will stay with me long after I’ve shelved it, just as The Postmistress did.
What WWII era historical novels have stuck with you?