Leopold Bloom King has been raised in a family shattered–and shadowed–by tragedy. Lonely and adrift, he searches for something to sustain him and finds it among a tightly knit group of outsiders. Surviving marriages happy and troubled, unrequited loves and unspoken longings, hard-won successes and devastating breakdowns, as well as Charleston, South Carolina’s dark legacy of racism and class divisions, these friends will endure until a final test forces them to face something none of them are prepared for. Spanning two turbulent decades, South of Broad is Pat Conroy at his finest: a masterpiece from a great American writer whose passion for life and language knows no bounds.
The whole country has been debating the book list for the Great American Read; especially concerning the books that did not make the list. One of my favorite American authors is Pat Conroy, author of The Great Santini, The Prince of Tides, and The Water is Wide. The Prince of Tides is one of my all-time favorites. I just finished reading The South of Broad, one of Conroy’s later novels. Conroy tackles many social issues in this heartfelt and often brutal novel that spans between 1969 and 1986. At the core of the novel is the lifelong friendship between ten unlikely friends and the starring role belongs to the city of Charlestown, South Carolina.
From the Prologue: “It was my father who called the city the Mansion on the River. He was talking about Charlestown, South Carolina, and he was a native son, peacock proud of a town so pretty it makes your eyes ache with pleasure just to walk down its spellbinding, narrow streets. Charlestown was my father’s ministry, his hobbyhorse, his quiet obsession, and the great love of his life. His bloodstream lit up my own with a passion for the city that I’ve never lost nor ever will. I’m Charlestown-born, and bred. The city’s two rivers, the Ashley and the Cooper, have flooded and shaped all the days of my life on this storied peninsula.”
Which of your favorite books did not make the list for The Great American Read?