Merle M. (Boulder, CO)
An Entertaining Disappointment
Pat Conroy's latest book is a very entertaining read full of his classic descriptions and love of the south, however it is not believable enough to get lost in. Unfortunately even today I do not see the friendships he describes crossing class, race and sexual preferences as possible in the south. There are great vignettes, but the AIDS scene of San Francisco does not weave into Charleston. The host of characters is colorful, but unrealistic. Those in love with southern scenery or Conroy should read it; others might find more cohesive worlds elsewhere.
Linda S. (Tucker, GA)
Somewhat of a let-down for a huge Conroy fan
This book is, essentially, a love story - to the city of Charleston, the Catholic faith, and friendship. While I won't go into plot specifics, like all of Mr. Conroy's previous novels, the writing is very descriptive, and the story is framed by a tragic childhood. The book employs many references to James Joyce and the reader unfamiliar with Joyce will miss some of the suggested nuances. While I enjoyed the book, I didn't love it the way I did his previous novels; it just wasn't as powerful.
Deborah P. (Dunnellon, FL)
South of Broad by Pat Conroy
I have been an ardent fan of Mr. Conroy and waited impatiently these last 14 years for another novel, after reading Beach Music. I was ecstatic to see that South of Broad was 500 plus pages and looked forward to his unique command of language and his ability to spin a story that captures a reader's attention from the first sentence.
The 14 year lapse did nothing to diminish his wonderful way with words, drawing the reader into a world of words that are pure pleasure to reread over and over. I can not say the same for the plot or the character development. I found the plot to be predictable and boring. The novel seems to be overburden with too many characters that lack character development and a reason to continue in their varied relationships. The novel is disjointed in the 20 year transition from childhood in 1969 Charleston to Part Two where the only thing that changes is the year,1989.
I had no doubts that my 14 year wait would be rewarded with another Conroy masterpiece ...sadly, I was wrong.
Vicky C. (Manhattan, IL)
worth the wait
Each and every page in this book kept me interested - held my attention. There wasn't a paragraph that was skipped. I can't say that about too many books, and believe me I have read many in my 53 years. Can't wait to recommend it to my sister's book club.
Paul R. (Albuquerque, NM)
South of Broad
I continue to be amazed by Pat Conroy's descriptive abilities. In a line he is able to make the reader taste, smell, and feel the south.
Not up to the standards of "Prince of Tides" or "Beach Music." The characters seem forever trapped in a state of adolescence with raging hormones dictating their every action, but their story was engaging and the pages seemed to turn themselves.
Linda B. (streetsboro, OH)
South of Broad in true Conroy style
With characters as lush and vibrant as a Charleston garden, Pat Conroy weaves a story about life-long friendship and human connection that cannot be broken by time, distance, nor violence. Conroy's writing is tragic, with even more Southern drawl and flair for the dramatic than his previous novels. A must-read for all fans in search of the Great American Novel.
Jo K. (Saratoga, CA)
I completely devoured this book and was easily lost in the low country and lives of the characters. Pat Conroy writes so well, there were sections where I just lingered over sentences...they are so beautifully written especially when he is describing the city of Charleston.
I recommend the book heartily...it would be great for book clubs. And I am now very anxious to read come of Conroy's earlier work.