Pat Conroy’s first book in 14 years, “South of Broad,” comes out Aug. 11. Here’s a sneek peek at Gina Webb’s review, which appears Sunday in Living & Arts:
Now, in his first book in 14 years, the one-and-only prince of tides himself returns to his old haunts, this time promising—in a dazzling prologue — that “everything I now reveal to you will be Cha>rleston-shaped and Charleston-governed and sometimes even Charleston-ruined.”
Ahh, ruined! That’s the Pat Conroy we know and love. And it’s no idle threat. “South of Broad” is a lavish, no-holds-barred performance by a writer who, in full possession of his strengths and flaws, explodes on stage with another bravura, irresistibly poignant attempt to resurrect his old demons — suicide, mental illness, child abuse, and the rage and pain left in their wake — and to save the characters who are menaced by them.
But for many Conroy fans, meeting the cast of “South of Broad” will feel like a family reunion, because the gang’s all here: The orphaned mountain siblings; the Hollywood star; the suicidal brother; the suicidal wife; the drunken, abusive father; the beautiful, distant mother — and, of course, the gentlemanly, articulate narrator of the whole complicated, heart-breaking, bigger-than-life mess.