On Folly Beach takes place in both 1942 and in 2009 in Folly Beach, South Carolina. Maggie is a young woman raising her little sister, Lulu, and living with her beautiful cousin, Cat on Folly Beach at the start of World War 2. Cat is already a war widow; her short marriage to Jim ends when he dies at Pearl Harbor. Cat is beautiful, yet insecure, and has to always be the one the men love. Jim was, in fact, dating Maggie first, until Cat got her claws into him.
Maggie soon meets Peter at a dance in Folly Beach. He's a civilian and explains that he can't enlist because he has severe asthma. He's on business from his father's factory in Iowa. Hmm. He's mysterious, and soon Maggie finds herself drawn to Peter as he makes appearances in Folly Beach, each time bringing Maggie and Lulu books for Maggie's shop, Folly's Finds.
In 2009, Emmy moves to Folly Beach after losing her husband in Afghanistan. She buys Folly's Finds from Maggie's daughter-in-law, and finds love notes written in used books from the shop. She quickly becomes intrigued--who wrote them, and why? As Emmy digs into the mystery, the story goes back and forth, between 1942 and 2009. You learn Maggie's story, and at the every end, know just who was having a secret affair, what was going on around Folly Beach, and Lulu's role in it all--the secrets she has kept for 60 years.
I loved this book. It's about love, and how making choices can leave you stuck and unable to move forward. It's also about forgiveness, sacrifice, and being brave enough to move forward, and leave sadness behind to forge a new, happy life.
If you like this novel, try her backlist. She's written about 8 other novels, and I've read quite a few. I highly recommend her!