A moving, resonant and haunting psychological suspense novel from an award-winning author. A lonely island off the northwest coast of America. A ruined folly. A woman's fight to reconstruct her life after the devastating loss of her husband and daughter. A threat from the past...Rae Newborn, shattered after a catastrophic nervous breakdown and an attempted rape, is left on a deserted island off the coast of Washington State. Her aim is single-handedly to rebuild a family house destroyed by fire back in the nineteen twenties. All she wants is to be left in peace, but memories and real life intrude. Her nights are haunted by ghosts from her past and fears that the monsters lying there will return; her days interrupted by unwelcome visits from the local police and a mysterious intruder. But her tranquillity is truly disturbed when she makes a discovery in the foundations of the house, one that throws a dark shadow over her whole family history. What really happened on the island eighty years ago? And what was the truth behind her great uncle's disappearance after his return, shell-shocked, from the trenches of the First World War? Violence comes down through the years to explode once again on the isolated island, this time threatening to destroy not just Rae but future generations as well...
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"The thing about madness was, it just took so damn much energy, and it was so thoroughly tedious in the meantime." Master woodworker Rae Newborn knows madness intimately, with every bone, every pore, every particle of her being. At 52, with three suicide attempts, extended hospitalizations, the death of her husband and daughter, and a vicious attack behind her, Rae has come to Folly Island, far out in the Straits of Juan de Fuca, to rebuild her life by building a house:
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 FlynnFrom the Inside Flap:
An acclaimed master of suspense creates a heroine you will never forget in this superbly chilling novel of a woman who begins a desperate undertaking that may transform her life -- or end it.
What happens if your worst fears aren't all in your mind?
Rae Newborn is a woman on the edge: on the edge of sanity, on the edge of tragedy, and now on the edge of the world. She has moved to an island at the far reaches of the continent to restore the house of an equally haunted figure, her mysterious great-uncle; but as her life begins to rebuild itself along with the house, his story starts to wrap around hers. Powerful forces are stirring, but Rae cannot see where her reality leaves off and his fate begins.
Fifty-two years old, Rae must battle the feelings that have long tormented her -- panic, melancholy, and a skin-crawling sense of watchers behind the trees. Before she came here, she believed that most of the things she feared existed only in her mind. And who can say, as disturbing incidents multiply, if any of the watchers on Folly Island might be real? Is Rae paranoid, as her family and the police believe, or is the threat real? Is the island alive with promise -- or with dangers?
With Folly, award-winning author Laurie R. King once again powerfully redefines psychological suspense on a sophisticated and harrowing new level, and proves why legions of readers and reviewers have named her a master of the genre.
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 7111347