Folly takes place primarily in the San Juan Islands, off the northwest coast of Washington State. The map shows the collection of islands that make of the grouping. Friday Harbor is located on San Juan Island, pretty much in the center of the above map, or on the east side of the island itself.
Rae's island is located in the intersection of the Spieden Channel and the Haro Strait, so it's pretty much near the northwest corner of San Juan Island, probably north of Roche Harbor (the very northwest corner of San Juan Island).
Vancouver Island and the city of Victoria is just west of the San Juans. The city of Vancouver (site of the 2010 winter Olympics) is just north. Bellingham and Anacortes are just east. Seattle is due south. It's about as far northwest as you can get and still be in the mainland United States. Only Alaska is further northwest!
Folly has a very full cast of characters:
- Rae Newborn: Well known wood worker, suffers from monopolar depression, recovering from the death of her husband and child, and a recent suicide attempt.
- Tamara Collins: Rae's daughter by her first husband
- Petra Collins: Tamara's daughter, Rae's grand-daughter
- Don Collins: Tamara's sleazy, scheming husband
- Ed De la Torre: Captain of the Orca Queen, operating out of Friday Harbor. Rae's mailman, milkman, delivery boy, and occasional coffee buddy. Very much a resident of Margaritaville.
- Dr. Roberta Hunt: Rae's shrink
- Alan Beauchamp: Rae's deceased husband
- Bella Beauchamp: Rae's deceased daughter
- Desmond Newborn: Rae's great-uncle who originally built Folly
- William Newborn: Rae's grandfather - Wealthy, disapproving, Boston businessman
- Lacy Newborn: Rae's grandmother, William's wife
- Jerry Carmichael: San Juan County Sheriff
- Nikki Walls: Park Ranger
- Caleb: Nikki's young son
- Sheriff Sam Escobar: officer investigating Rae's attack in the San Jose area
- Pam Church: Rae's attorney
- Vivian Masters: Rae's "wood man" - the person who acquires the special woods she uses in her art.
- Jordan Benedict: Vivian's partner
- Gloriana: Owns a New York art gallery where Rae shows some of her smaller works
- Allen Carmichael: Jerry Carmichael's brother, Vietnam Vet
- Rory Beauchamp: Alan's son by his first wife