I thought it was a perfect week for a beach read. Never mind the sub-zero temperatures, forget about shovelling the laneway , and put away those woolly underwear– it’s summer–if only in a book. Yes I know there are some of you out there that are actually enjoying warm ocean breezes and sand between your toes but for the rest of us–well–there’s books.
This is a pretty good story. Newly widowed Emmy is going through some old books in her mom’s book shop when she finds a case of books that all seem to have little notes in the margins. They all came from a “going-out -of- business- sale” in Folly Beach, South Carolina. Circumstances find Emmy travelling to Folly Beach as she considers buying the store and learning more about the notes in the margin. The relatives of the note-writers still live in Folly Beach.
These cryptic messages were written in 1941 and 1942 and it seems that this mystery is further complicated by the war and by lives lost in the war.
The best character is seventy-seven-year-old Lulu; she is the beloved, cranky and difficult aunt of the Folly Beach clan, but in 1941-1942 she was a nine -year old with a fascination for Nancy Drew. She followed and spied on people and found out things that no nine-year-old should know.
The book has a narrative that shifts back and forth between present day(2009) and 1941-42. (And Lulu is the key)
This a good book that tackles some serious subjects . If I have one complaint it is that I found that everyone seemed to get on board the “you need to move on” bandwagon even though she had only been widowed for six months. I know everybody grieves differently and at their own pace but six months seems to me to be a little soon to starting pushing. No one needs to be Queen Victoria but, you know, she lost the love of her life and all the dreams they shared–just no need to push after six months.
But good book–Go Lulu!
Penguin Books 2010