This book is simply a wonderful read! It tells us of what life was like in Charleston,
South Carolina. Conroy's gift is the prologue to this book giving us view of Charleston before getting into the story.
"I consider it a high privilege to be a native of one of the loveliest American cities, not a high-kicking, glossy, or lipsticked city, not a city with bells on its fingers or brightly painted toenails, but a ruffled, low-slung city understate and tolerant of nothing mismade or ostentatious. Though Charleston feels a seersuckered, tuxedoed view of itself, it approves of restraint far more than vainglory".
The story begins in the summer of 1960 when Leopold Bloom King's senior year in Charleston takes place. Leo lives with a loving father who teaches science at the town high school. His mother is a highly respected Joyce scholar and high school principal, also an ex-nun. Leo has trouble dealing with life when his older brother commits suicide at the age of ten. He becomes lonely and isolated searching for a way to overcome the grief and hardship. Leo becomes part of a tightly knit social group which include: Sheba and Trevor Poe (glamorous twins with an alcoholic mother and a prison-escapee father); Niles and Starla Whitehead (mountain runaways); socialite Molly Huger and her boyfriend, Chadworth Rutledge.
This circle of friends widens across two decades from the
1960s through the AIDS crisis in the 1980s.
"SOUTH OF BROAD is Pat Conroy at his finest: a long-awaited work from a great American writer whose passion for life and language knows no bounds".
I have marked pages with post-its where I learn interesting vocabulary words, love the writing of certain paragraphs and so enjoy the characters and their offerings throughout the story. I can be found going back, reading those treasured pages.
This book will go in the Little Free Library sitting by our driveway!