On Folly Beach by Karen White
I picked up this book for a very odd reason... I had a friend who was dying of cancer and his favorite place was Folly Beach, South Carolina. I bought the book to share with him. I only read it while waiting for appointments... feeling that making it last would keep him alive longer... I think it even worked for a time. I got up to the last few pages and set it aside - refusing to finish it until he died.
Having few, if any, expectations about the book, I was surprised by how coherent the story was and how memorable the characters. I remembered the story whenever I went back to it. This is doubly amazing because the books slipped back and forth between the present and the past.
The story winds into the past of a community controlled by the effects of World War II and into the broken heart of a 21st century war-widow. The historical details about the years of WWII are wonderfully done. They are then sprinkled with the richness of life in Folly, South Carolina.
To my surprise, this is a wonderful read. It is a bit of a love story, but mostly historical fiction and intrigue.