I grabbed this book in an airport on the way to somewhere a couple of decades ago. I had never read Conroy at that point, and what a find it was! I'd read a few pages, then pause and say, "This guy can really write!" It ended up being one of my all-time favorite books. I have reread it a number of times. It deals with some painful issues, including child abuse, but is written from the point of view of innocence.
Pat Conroy is one of the finest writers of the last 60 years. Similiar themes run throughout some of this novels. Others are vastly. But all draw on his native North Carolina, it's Low Country, and the people there.
This is undoubtedly his most accomplished work (maybe Lords of Discipline gives this one a run for its money). A unusual, gifted mother, an absent and abusive father, a suicidal sister and older brother make up the family.
While attending to his hospitalized sister in NY, our hero begins meeting with her therapist, ostensibly to provide family background. In the process, a hideous family secret comes to the fore. But this is not a mystery, nor a blood-sucking novel. It's the journey of a close family through perilous times - and the journey of a deeply troubled man.
The story aside, Conroy's writing will lift you from your chair and softly deposit you on the gentle shores of the marshes. His prose awakens your nose to the smells of bogs and rotting fishheads. The stars in the sky are no longer specks of light; we pulse with them and wink mischievously at dolphins and humans.
THIS is the book to order if you want to be carried away on the words of a gifted writer. (Except for the plot summary, this review covers all his writings.)
An outstanding novel by a truly gifted writer. One my favorite novels of all time. It's the kind of book you recommend to friends, even those who don't read. It is much better and deeper than the movie. Pat Conroy at times would include Mark Twain-like situations that are very funny.
Read the first two sentences: "My wound is geography. It is also my anchorage, my port of call." Conroy was a terrific word smith. This is a book you will want to savor like fine wine.
Perhaps pat Conroys' most magnificent novel. A brilliant novel, spanning 3 generations. Southern to the bone, a geography of the heart. A must read
A must read for Conroy fans. More subtle than Lords of Discipline and the Great Santinin in its layers of meaning. Fast paced. Great film version also available starring Nick Nolte and Barbra Streisand. Just forgive Streisand the manicure.