Forget Castaway, forget Survivor. For a true tale of survival, pick up Laurie R. Kings Folly. King crafts a novel that is part-mystery, part-spiritual journey with this tale of a woman determined to conquer the depression shes struggled with all her life. To achieve this goal, Rae Newborn leaves behind her troubled relationship with her aloof daughter Tamara, sleazy son-in-law Don, and her beloved granddaughter Petra, to build a new life on a private island in the San Juans where her great-uncle Desmond once lived.
Recovering from traumatic losses and a suicide attempt, Rae travels to the island known as Folly (aka Sanctuary) and takes on the massive project of reconstructing Desmonds house, which burned to the ground in 1927. Rae, a talented woodworker, submerges herself in the hard work, and learns more about both Desmond and herself. Though she grows stronger both physically and mentally, Rae cant help but think it is her paranoia that is making her imagine voices in the woods, a strangers footprint, the sensation of being watched.
Folly is a fascinating, though slow-building, tale laden with symbolism and centering around a womans quest to save herself and her sanity. Despite the 11th-hour introduction of a villain (and a love interest), the solitude of the island offers an eerie environment and excerpts from Desmonds journal provide a suspenseful mirror to Raes life on the island. (Mar., 400 pp., $23.95)