Title: South of Broad
Author: Pat Conroy
Publisher: Nan A. Talese
Publication Date: April 11, 2009
Hardcover: 528 pages
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 high school 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.
South of Broad by Pat Conroy is filled with beautiful and effusive prose, a deep sense of love and pride in South Carolina, and an extremely likeable main character. The novel begins in 1969, the year Leo King turns 18 and decides changes need to be made in his life. Leo is well liked by those older than him, but lacks friends his own age; this he decides will be the year things turn around for him. Conroy brings about the metamorphosis of Leo King in a commanding manner and the reader meets with an almost dizzying array of characters that are both vibrant and realistic. South of Broad takes the reader through twenty years of Leo’s life and the lives of his friends, as one can imagine there is a lot of ground to cover and not all of it is pleasant considering the many years over which the novel takes place. However, what may be a near Herculean task for some writers, Conroy pulls off brilliantly for he has a style of writing that captures the readers attention, makes the reader care about the characters and keeps the reader engaged to the very end. I would highly recommend South of Broad to anyone, and even though it is a lengthy novel, I do believe it would make an excellent discussion group pick.
Pat Conroy is the bestselling author of nine books: The Boo, The Water is Wide, The Great Santini, The Lords of Discipline, The Prince of Tides, Beach Music, My Losing Season, The Pat Conroy Cookbook: Recipes of My Life and South of Broad. He lives in Fripp Island, South Carolina.
Visit Pat Conroy’s website for more info about his work.
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I received a complimentary copy of South of Broad by Pat Conroy to be a part of this tour and offer my honest review of the novel. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.