• Paperback: 368 pages
• Publisher: NAL Trade (May 4, 2010)
The latest Southern novel from the acclaimed bestselling and award-winning author of The Memory of Water.
To most people, Folly Beach, South Carolina, is simply the last barrier island before the Atlantic. To some, it’s a sanctuary, which is why Janie Hamilton’s mother encourages her to buy the local book store, Folly’s Finds, hoping it will distract Janie from the loss of her husband in Afghanistan. Janie is at first resistant, but intrigued after finding love letters and an image of a beautiful bottle tree in a box of used books from Folly’s Finds, and decides to take the plunge. The store’s seller insists on one condition: Janie must allow Lulu, the late owner’s elderly sister, to continue selling her bottle trees from its back yard. Historically, bottle trees were brought by African slaves to the American South, and Janie had grown up with one in her backyard, and it has always been a symbol of refuge to her.
Janie generally ignores Lulu as she sifts through the love letters, wanting to learn more. But the more she discovers of the letters’ authors, the closer she feels to Lulu. As details of a possible murder and a mysterious disappearance during World War II are revealed, the two women discover that circumstances beyond their control, sixty years apart, have brought them together, here on Folly Beach. And it is here that their war-ravaged hearts can find hope for a second chance…
They had her at hello. From her first moments on the South Carolina and Georgia coasts, novelist Karen White was in love. Was it the history—especially that of Charleston and Savannah—the architecture, the sound of the sea, the light, the traditions, the people, the food, the lore? Check all of the above. Add Karen’s storytelling talent, her endless curiosity about relationships and emotions, and her sensitivity to the rhythms of the south, and it seems inevitable that this mix of passions would find its way into her work.
Known for award-winning novels such as Learning to Breathe, the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance 2009 Book of the Year Award finalist The House on Tradd Street, the highly praised The Memory of Water, the four-week SIBA bestseller The Lost Hours, Pieces of the Heart, and her IndieBound national bestseller The Color of Light, Karen has shared her appreciation of the coastal Lowcountry with readers in four of her last six novels.
Italian and French by ancestry, a southerner and a storyteller by birth, Karen has made her home in many different places. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, she has also lived in Texas, New Jersey, Louisiana, Georgia, Venezuela and England, where she attended the American School in London. She returned to the states for college and graduated from New Orleans’ Tulane University. Hailing from a family with roots firmly set in Mississippi (the Delta and Biloxi), Karen notes that “searching for home brings me to the south again and again.”
Karen’s novel The Memory of Water was a WXIA-TV Atlanta & Company Book Club Selection. Her work has been reviewed in Southern Living, Atlanta Magazine, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and by Fresh Fiction, among many others, and has been adopted by numerous independent booksellers for book club recommendations. Last year her 2007 novel Learning to Breathe received several honors, notably the National Readers’ Choice Award and the Booksellers’ Best Award, which in 2009 was again presented to Karen, this time for The Memory of Water.
Visit Karen White’s website here.
Karen’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS
Monday, May 3rd: Rundpinne
Tuesday, May 4th: Downtown Southern
Thursday, May 6th: Life in the Thumb
Friday, May 7th: Café of Dreams
Monday, May 10th: Diary of an Eccentric
Tuesday, May 11th: Peeking Between the Pages
Wednesday, May 12th: Write Meg
Thursday, May 13th: Savvy Verse & Wit
Friday, May 14th: Luxury Reading
Monday, May 17th: Lit and Life
Wednesday, May 19th: Books Like Breathing
Thursday, May 20th: Jenn’s Bookshelves
Monday, May 24th: From the Land of Cotton
Tuesday, May 25th: Natalie’s Sentiments
Wednesday, May 26th: A Tale of This Newlywed
Thursday, May 27th: Good Girl Gone Redneck
Friday, May 28th: Flower Patch Farmgirl
Monday, May 31st: Sasha and the Silverfish
Tuesday, June 1st: Red Lady’s Reading Room