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Folly Paperback – May 28 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (May 28 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553381512
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553381511
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.5 x 2.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #121,785 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
I have read the first two of the Mary Russel series before I read this one. I like this one much better. The Mary Russel series is good. However, I can't help feeling that Sherlock Holmes by Conan Doyle is probably NOT as King depicts him. Folly is a stand-alone novel. At first I had my doubts because depression/suicide is not exactly my favorite subject matter. However, the book is absorbing. Despite the fact that I thought I would not be able to empathize with the protagonist at the beginning, I couldn't help becoming interested in her plight as the story unfolded. King is a good story-teller. Much more so in Folly than in the Mary Russel series. She can probably cut some of Desmond's diary entries shorter, however. Philosophizing on fear or solitude or whatever gets a bit boring at times. I found myself skipping over paragraphs of it towards the end.
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By A Customer on March 6 2004
Format: Paperback
WOW! I love the way the story slowly unfolds, increasing in depth and mystery. I've visited the San Juans twice and envied Rae's sojurn there, although not during winter or roughing it. I highly recommend this book, although I don't think it's the thriller others did. Very good story, great characters, good mystery about Uncle Desmond, and some suspense at the end. Laurie King is an intelligent writer.
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Format: Paperback
Rae Newborn, an internationally famous woodworker, moves to a remote island to rebuild her great-uncle's house. Isolated and paranoid, with only a tenuous hold on sanity, Rae has the "skin-crawling feeling of being watched." Well, just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean people aren't watching you. Laurie King's Folly is a beautifully written, rich psychological thriller. (King is also the author of, among a slew of other things, The Beekeeper's Apprentice, the excellent first book in a series about Sherlock Holmes' life in retirement.)
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By Untouchable on Aug. 4 2003
Format: Paperback
I found this to be a compelling book of renewal, both material and spiritual. We join the story as 52 year old Rae newborn is waving goodbye to her family after being dropped off on a deserted island. On this island she plans to rebuild a house that had originally been built by her great uncle. She also hopes to rebuild herself after fighting her way through severe depression.
During construction of the house we learn all about Rae's past, the reasons behind her depression and her fears. We also learn about her great uncle Desmond and the mystery surrounding his life and death.
But while everything appears to be progressing well, we get a sense that something is not quite right. Someone appears to be trying to find her and she continues to get the feeling she is being watched, but is never sure whether that's part of her mental problems or that it's actually happening.
Suspense builds steadily with some remarkable discoveries taking place. I found the last 100 pages or so were filled with unexpected twists and revelations. This is a very enjoyable book containing a terrific story of discovery and renewal coupled with a very interesting mystery and tense finale.
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Format: Paperback
This is one of the best books I've read in recent months. I was absorbed about the story of a woman recovering from a breakdown who goes to live on an island and rebuild the house on it. Are her terrors real or is someone else on the island?
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Format: Hardcover
Rae Newborn is a 50-something woman who has struggled with mental illness virtually all of her adult life. However, after she is attacked in an attempted rape a few short weeks after her beloved husband and young daughter are killed in a car accident, she goes over the edge, spending months in a mental institution. When she finally begins to emerge on the path to recovery, she makes a decision to head for an isolated, unhabited (fictional) island off the coast of Washington state. Years before, Rae's uncle had come to the same island for peace and solitude and had built himself a home; when his near-completed house burnt almost to the ground, he disappeared. Rae, formerly a well-known furniture-maker and artist, resolves to rebuild her Uncle Desmond's house despite how "crazy" this might seem to others, including her grown daughter. The book mostly details Rae's thoughts and reflections as she works on her house in solitude, although she receives occasional visits from her supply boat, the local sheriff, and a female park ranger. Interspersed throughout the story are selections from Rae's own journal as well as that of her Uncle Desmond, which she uncovers in the course of her labors. The theme is that of a woman building her future (literally) while still recovering from her traumatic past. There's a few surprising twists thown in at the end, although the climatic conflict of the book was over quickly and a little too neatly. Other than that, however, the book was an enjoyable and engaging read.
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Format: Paperback
"What does it mean to lose one's mind? Where does it go? What is sane when the world is mad by contrast?" So reads a 1918 entry in the diary of Rae Newborn's Great-Uncle Desmond, the first builder of the "Folly" or great house on a lonely 150 acre island in the San Juan chain in the Pacific Northwest.
Rae, an internationally known expert in wordworking, plans to recreate Uncle Desmond's house using only a picture taken 70 years ago. Subject to depression her whole life, and recovering from a complete breakdown after a drunken driver killed her husband and 9 year old daughter, Rae comes to Folly Island after a year in a mental institution. Rae's journey to Folly has come to mirror Desmond's--an effort to rebuild his house in an attempt to rebuild her life.
Desmond, considered a misfit after physical and psychological injuries sustained in World War I, escapes from the Newborn's oppressive Boston household to the freedom of the beautiful Sanctuary Islan, which was renamed Folly Island after Desmond's building attempt. Desmond's history comes out during Rae's stay on the island and she is particularly troubled with what seems to be a family history of madness.
She struggles to overcome her own panic and fears on the island, all the while feeling someone is watching her. Her lawyer gets a message to her that someone paid thugs to attack her two years ago--the final event that triggered her breakdown. She also is told the her greedy son-in-law is trying to declare her mentally incompetent, so he can get control of her sizable fortune. Then things begin to disappear around her camp, disrupting the stability her almost finished house has given her. Her past and present family mystery deepens when she finds the 70 year old skeleton of Desmond in a cave near the house.
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