This book is very very good. It's not my usual suspense novel. It's hardly able to call itself one. However, I loved it. I feel like I'm a better person to have read it, experienced it, and in a sense, lived it. The narration is fantastic. The storyline had me hooked within an hour. Sometimes you read a book and you know that, though it was alright, you'll forget about it after a month or two (those airport fictions). I will remember this book for years to come.
First of all, let me say that Laurie R. King is one of my favorite authors. She has two different mystery series (Mary Russell, Kate Martinelli) which are quite popular and very accessible. But she writes these other books which sometimes deal with harder topics. One of these is the book _A Darker Place_ is based on a professor helping the FBI by going undercover into a religious sect. And then there's Folly.
Folly is the story of a woman recovering from a mental breakdown. While institutionalized for her attempted suicide, she found a book about a man rebuilding himself by building a house. She decides to follow this path and rebuild an old house on a private island in the San Juan Islands. While hospitalized, she plans her project out and is able to convince/fool medical people/family that she's ready to do this. She arrives on the island Folly in the early spring and plans on getting the house done before winter. There's no electricity, no water system, no way off of the island. On the positive side, she makes arrangement for a local man to bring her groceries/supplies once a week and the has the finances to help.
What's important to remember is that when she arrives on the island, she's extremely mentally fragile. She probably makes her life harder by going off of her meds which means that she's coping with panic attacks; guilt about how she raised her first daughter; and extreme grief for the loss of her husband and second daughter.
In the process of rebuilding the house she rebuilds herself.
This makes the book sound depressing -- and it isn't. Because of the inner narration, you're well aware of the intensity of her panic attacks and grief. With time, you see the woman grow in a strong, capable woman.
I don't want to spoil the story by going into further details but I found this one of the best recent works of fiction I've read in years.
I have read all the Mary Russell novels -- this is a very different book. The first few chapters are difficult because King chooses to reveal her central character's history gradually through a haze of grief and depression and flashbacks; however, these are deftly done, and they have a purpose -- to mimic the heroine's slow climb to clarity after a series of horrific experiences. Similarly, King's lengthy descriptions of the house-building are sometimes a bit tedious, but also echo the heroine's struggle to build a life on the ashes of the one she lost. Throw in a mysterious uncle, a hippie smuggler, a kind Sheriff, and other mysteries to be unwoven, and the novel sustains interest to the last minute. I highly recommend it as well as "Keeping Watch," the sequel. Both books fearlessly delve into the disturbed minds of good people faced with horrors almost too great to bear, and finding unorthodox ways to master the pain.
Whenever I have been compelled to write a review, it has always been for the negative. Well, I will remedy that with Folly.
I have never read Laurie King before, so I purchased this book on the strength of Frank Mullers narration alone and have been very pleasantly surprised. A well written, well narrated, great story. I will read more of Laurie King.
I am a 65-year-old psychologist, married for 25 years, with two sons who are 25 and 22. I love reviewing the books and the feedback I get.
I hadn't read anything else by this author, but if Frank Muller read it, I will listen. And, I was rewarded with a marvelous story. A woman, 52, has a psychotic episode and then loses her husband and their daughter in a car accident. She retreats to an island in the San Juans that her family owns. She rebuilds her life, and the house which has burned down to its foundation, in a book that is satisfying, romantic and beautifully told. Rae rejects psychiatry, throwing her medications into the ocean, but keeps in touch in her thoughts with the psychiatrist who cared for her. The caring was clearly personal as well as professional.
Rae has had a very successful career as a woodworker. She has a deep and abiding love for wood, and she is able to create both gorgeous pieces of art and a very personal, deeply livable house on the island. She researches the history of her ancestor, Desmond, the original builder of the house, and through him she makes a certain peace with her own family, including a son-in-law whom she hates (no peace is made here), a daughter about whom she is quite ambivalent, and a granddaughter whom she loves unconditionally.
If you have listened to Frank Muller before, then you can anticipate the thrill of just listening to his voice. I hope he taught younger narrators how to do this work. If not, it is our loss. He never missteps. The actress Cate Blanchett comes to mind when I try to think of a living artist with talent comparable to Frank's. Maybe we'll get really lucky, and Cate will someday read for us. Until then, Frank remains the best.
I'm so glad I merely went looking for a read by Frank Muller. I found Folly, the story of a damaged, fragile woman who puts the pieces of her life back together through good old hard, sweaty, physical work; coming out the other side as whole, strong. I believed in her. King kept me idly wondering about the identity of the bad guy by just tickling my curiosity, then moving elsewhere. Plus, best of all, I got to savor the late Mr. Muller's gift of narration. Yes indeed, a truly good read.
This book is different than L. King's usual stories, I look forward to the next one about Rae. I loved this story of a woman trying to get herself back together after many tragic blows. Wonderful story that keeps you on your toes and guessing what will happen next.
It all made sense in the end- every word, every thought had a purpose.
The face -off in the window.
I haven't, but that voice of his was perfect for the atmosphere of this book.
No, it moves along at a slower pace, but it's weaving its tapestry carefully.
Just keep listening; it's worth it.
Yes and probably will. Lots of suspense, very original story yet easy to relate to. Love when Laurie King goes a little deeper into the human existence.
Her follow up book to Folly, "Keeping Watch" and "Touchstone". Also maybe some Philip Kerr books.
Yes, very good.
Was hard to get into at the beginning but I soon fell right in!
This was a well written and believable story about a woman who moves to a remote island in the San Juan islands to get away from her personal past and connect with her family's distant history. What she finds was her future. But it wasn't easy. The story is well written, having obviously been researched to a fine detail...the main character's struggle with depression, the rich detail about her island and the Northwest, and the creative story about her island.
The story took some interesting twists and turns and ended up where I thought it might but not for the same reasons.
Frank Muller is simply the best narrator I've ever listened to (I've listened to about 300 over the years). He is a key reason I chose FOLLY in the first place, as he generally doesn't narrate uninteresting books.
No...I listent to it while commuting. But it sure made my trips to and from work much shorter.
I just put Laurie King's sequel on my Wish List, hoping for another great story.