Folly Cove. Holly Robinson. Penguin Publishing. October 2016. 400 pp. ISBN#: 978110199534.
Folly Cove Inn, its owner Sarah Bradford, and her daughters, Laura, Anne and Elly, are famous in the Rockport, Massachusetts area and throughout the country. The singular jazz singing, elegant meals, pristinely beautiful grounds, and the hosts’ friendliness to guests make the Inn a favorite vacation spot as well as a site for weddings and celebrations galore. At one time, the three sisters were as close as possible, a support for each other against the persistent demands for perfection from their mother. But now through a series of unexpected events, secrets galore are about to come out, facts and dreams that will shatter or unite their relationships forever!
Anne is the first to come home from her idyllic love and beach life far from Rockport. Her perfect life has come undone, her love has left and she arrives home to shock Sarah with a baby girl. She soon moves into a nearby cottage on the grounds as her mother doesn’t want a child’s noise to disturb the guests; she never realizes her coldness to her granddaughter just adds more hurt to Anne’s already dispirited mood. But Anne’s feisty enough to fight for her daughter and agrees to help out at the inn to make money to support her daughter.
Laura is the daughter who stayed at home, married and had a child. But something is unraveling in her marriage and she has no idea what it is. She and Anne hate each other over a supposed betrayal that happened years earlier. The truth of that terrible time will be clarified in time but not before words and even a physical attack brings all the venom to the surface.
Elly is a talented singer who just couldn’t make in the music business but developed other skills. Her return home is guided by her need to recoup and see if she should move in a different direction. She’s the beauty of the family which causes some resentment but her genial mood makes everyone around her laugh, smile and speak honestly about whatever is needed at the moment.
All of these ladies will gradually meet men secretly and in the open that will force them to face who they are individually and as a family. Those talks that follow are stunning. Even Sarah is about to undergo a transformation, albeit forced in one sense.
This is a family story that is so very, very real. It has so many moments of different emotional ranges concerning dreams, betrayal and loyalty, sympathy, truth-telling, and a bond that is stronger than any one or series of events can destroy.
This reviewer loved this novel and highly recommends it as a careful, talented work of engaging contemporary fiction! Great story and characters every reader can identify with in some way or ways!