Reader reviews and comments on South of Broad, plus links to write your own review.

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South of Broad

by Pat Conroy

South of Broad by Pat Conroy
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2009, 528 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2010, 544 pages

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Rebecca

South of Broad, Southern, Unlikely friendships
Pat Conroy has written another hit. This one is a based in Charleston, South Carolina and is a story of unlikely friendships that start in High School and last a lifetime. Leo King is eight years old when he finds his ten year old brother who has committed suicide. This tragedy colors the rest of his life and brings him to gather a motley crew of friends his senior year in high school. This group of friends stays together over a lifetime and can always count on each other.

Leo's mother never liked him because he was not his beautiful brother Steve. She was always telling him how ugly, stupid, and crazy he was. I could relate to Leo so much. I had the very same mother! Leo grew up in the south during integration just as I did and was just one year younger than me. We had the same experiences with our high schools being integrated, the fear, anger, hatred and finally acceptance.

Twenty years later, the group is pulled into a mystery when Sheba, now a movie star, asks for their help in finding her twin brother Trevor. Although Pat Conroy is wonderful at building characters, describing the location and making you feel a real part of the story, he is not really into keeping us on the edge of our seat in the mystery department. It was pretty easy to figure out everything long before the answer was revealed but it did not take anything away from the story at all because his skills at writing a believable story are amazing.

Being a southerner myself and very familiar with Charleston, I could see each street and house and walled garden as it was being described. I have also spent many days in San Francisco so I could picture the rundown neighborhoods and the mansion on the coast. And for those of you not familiar with these locations, Mr. Conroy has masterfully painted a magical picture for you to treasure.

I could not put this book down once I picked it up and as soon as I finish passing it around to all my friends, I plan on reading it again.
Peg

Feast of Emotions and Adjectives
Conroy’s newest Southern adventure “South of Broad” is worth the wait – I inhaled this novel. His liberal use of adjectives allowed me to imagine or remember the ambiance, smell and taste of everything about the cities of Charleston and San Francisco, both favorites of mine. “South of Broad” introduces Leo King’s unusual family and strangely wonderful companions who share the adventures and misadventures from his childhood to adulthood. Anyone fortunate enough to have good friends (especially if they've married one) will be reminded of those relationships while reading Leo’s life story. “South of Broad” has enough ambiguities to satisfy a mystery lover, and unanticipated surprises. The book is also an excellent window back to the 1960s, 70s and 80s, when racial tension was high, the rules of right and wrong seemed to be changing, and sex turned deadly.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story with characters who are intimately involved with each other and their environment; in fact, sometimes the city or the water surrounding the city becomes an important character.

Do not start this book on a Sunday - unless you are retired, or have a vacation day available; you will not want to close the book until the satisfying end.
Margaret

South of Broad, instant best seller
South of Broad is an instant best seller and here is why:

The story immediately draws in the reader. The writing is excellent with many spots of humor as well as suspense. The plot takes place in Charleston, S.C. depicting three generations of friends. character development is well done and believable. the reader finds the story line delightful, funny and at times sad. the plot keeps ones interest up to the very end.

Only criticism is that it is a bit wordy at times.
Janet

A Journey Worth Taking
This is the fourth book I have read by Pat Conroy . In his beautiful melodic prose (he could have been a composer or an artist), Conroy takes us on a journey with the friends young Leo King makes as a teenager into their adulthood, and in some cases, their deaths). His parents are equally important in making Leo the man he is to become. The town of Charleston weaves it's magic into this poignant, funny, tragic and mysterious tale, making the author's love of his city most apparent. Make no mistake--Charleston is as major a character as are the human subjects.

So settle in for a magnificent story that will not disappoint your sense of adventure, and prepare yourself for a journey worth taking.
Joselle

Loved it!
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.
Vicky

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.
Brenda

South of Broad is an exceptional read!
I would rate this book a ’10’! It is a ‘must read’! I just did not want it to end!

South of Broad is a captivating story about nine high school students whose lives are irrevocably linked together the summer before their senior year of high school. Themes of love, lust, abuse, hate, belonging, and racism fuel these friendships, which extend over twenty years. The author, Pat Conroy, is an amazing story teller. His characters became my companions…my friends. His writing is grand and beautiful. Many times I read and reread lines to totally grasp the rhythm and depth of his words. And, last but not least…the real star of the book is Charleston, South Carolina, the “Mansion on the River”. What a love for the city this author has!
Elizabeth

South of Broad
Pat Conroy has done it again. I was completely immersed in the book. The characters were described so well, I felt as if I knew each one. His love of Charleston is strongly sensed by the reader.

How wonderful for a group of friends to be so strongly bonded. An excellent book.

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