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Folly Paperback – May 28, 2002
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She would pull herself together, she would go and rebuild Desmond's house, she would lift his walls and dwell within them quietly all the rest of her days. Everything that House was lay there waiting for her to take it up: House as shelter, House as permanence, House as a continuation and a legacy, comfort and challenge, safety and beauty, symbol and reality joined as one.Bequeathed to Rae by Desmond Newborn, a great-uncle she never met, Folly Island is lovely indeed. But when Rae discovers Desmond's journal in the 70-year-old ruins of his house, she learns that Desmond had his own internal horrors to confront on the island. As she labors in solitude, her prickly nature deterring all but the most determined of her would-be neighbors, it's not just her well-being that's at stake. Rae must prove herself sane if she is to have any contact with her beloved granddaughter Petra. So when the "skin-crawling feeling of being watched" doesn't fade, she does her best to ignore it. But does paranoia have its roots in reality? And is Rae doomed to repeat her ancestor's tragic end?
So effectively does King weave together past and present--the shrouded history of Desmond's life and death on Folly, and the tense, dusty, exhilaratingly panicky account of Rae's wrestling with old demons and new timber--that the future seems less important than the author might have wished. In other words, the eventual unmasking of Rae's watcher pales in comparison to the gradual revelation of Rae herself within King's haunted and haunting narrative. But with such a strong character and such moodily lovely prose, readers shouldn't miss the denouement-driven trappings of standard suspense. --Kelly Flynn --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
But it is a very good book.
Unlike the books of her Kate Martinelli series or Mary Russell series, King's newest novel is only incidentally a mystery, although almost none her other books are _simply_ mysteries. But in "Folly" there's certainly fearful suspense artfully manipulated and enough problems to be solved to provide a satisfactory, if not perfectly neat resolution. The plot's chronology is complexly presented, so it's no book to read when you have to put it down for a day then pick it up for thirty minutes before bedtime. But the focus on single and mutably complex main character (however unfortunately allegorical her name) justifies that.
While I am a great fan of King's work, I wouldn't claim that she can't write a less-than-wonderful book -- see "To Play the Fool" or "The Moor," a book that gave me an even worse headache than the Dorothy L. Sayers' exercise with Scottish fish and train timetables. But this book IS, in many ways, wonderful. The metaphor of a woman rebuilding herself as she rebuilds a house may be as obvious as "new born" and "sanctuary," but that doesn't make it any less compelling -- see Homer or Virgil or Dante, also writers with obvious controlling metaphors.Read more ›
Rae Newborn has endured tragedies and loss that would destroy a weaker woman, and while she has faltered, she has not fallen. Instead she finds redemption in a house-building project that she tackles alone, on a desolate northwest Washington State island. King uses the metaphor of house construction to underline Rae's rebuilding of her shattered psyche, one layer at a time; she gives older women readers insight and hope as she slowly tears down the old, then begins constructing the new, developing Rae's muscles and physical stamina to parallel her slowly evolving mental and emotional health.
I loved the character of Rae Newborn for her own life's "folly" of attempting the incredible task of building a house. I cried for her tragedies and losses and suicide attempts. I was angry at her family members (like I would be at my own) if they could not, or would not, see the person beneath the title of Mother or Daughter, Aunt or Niece, etc. I cheered at the characters who fought to befriend the frightened, desperate Rae when she tried so hard to stand in isolation rather than chance loss once more.
Mostly I hated the last pages of this book, because they WERE the last pages and I would have to leave Rae Newborn, when I wanted to stay with her on that island, or wherever life took her, forever. She became my sister, my friend, my hero.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Lots of interesting characters play a role in Rae's brave mental health recovery.Published 17 days ago by Amazon Customer
Can I use more stars? A fantastic book!! From the very first chapter, I wanted to be on the island with Rae, helping her build the house. Mental health through hard work! Read morePublished 2 months ago by Roxywriter
I only read a few pages and put it down. I tried to start reading book for a second time but it still didn't interest me. The heroine was too full of angst.Published 3 months ago by BELLE LEWIS
One of all-time favorites! As an artist, I related to the main character who was a wood sculptor. Her determination to deal with her demons, the complex level of plots, and the NW... Read morePublished 6 months ago by PAMELA HOWE