Book Review: South of Broad by Pat Conroy.

This is Pat Conroy’s first novel in 14 years.

Other Books.: The Boo,  , The Water is Wide (1972, nonfiction) The Great Santini (1976),   Lords of Discipline (1980)  Prince of Tides(1986)  Beach Music (1995), My Losing Season(nonfiction)  , Pat Conroy Cookbook (nonfiction) 2004

I have read several reviews of South of Broad, and there are several people who did not like this book.  I strongly disagree, I loved it. 

A couple of reviewers thought that Conroy, had too much “drama”, that he was writing because he likes to hear the sound of his own voice, that the build up over powered the events.   That’s what I like about Conroy, the descriptions, of the settings he makes me almost feel that I am really there.   

The narrator, Leo King is a paper boy in the beginning of the book, and his descriptions of bicycling through his paper route made me want to visit Charleston and walk or even bike those streets. 

Although this book is is the story of 10 people who meet the summer before there senior high school year (1969) and we follow them through to the present.  It is almost a love story of the city.

This is one of those books I didn’t want to put down.  When I did have to put it aside to do some real work I kept wondering what would happen next.  

Although some critical reviews did not find this story plausible, or believable, that these people would remain friends for so many years.  I think it is something we would all hope for.

I found  parts of some of Conroy’s books to be a bit graphic,  and although this one had some “gritty “, I did not find it as disturbing as some of the others.  This was the first book that had a sympatric, loving father.

I found the end of the book uplifting, and felt like I was saying good-bye to some good friends when I finished the last page.