Fate. Pat Conroy’s first novel in fourteen years, South of Broad, is a sweeping love story of Charleston, South Carolina. The large cast of wounded and hurt characters are bound together by friendship, marriage, and fate. Conroy’s lyrical writing delivers passion about people and place, and kept me engaged in their lives from the first page through the last. I often find novels over three hundred pages in length to become bloated, but with South of Broad, Conroy uses over 500 pages with care, needing each page to bring the people and places to life. The social issues Conroy covers on these pages are done with courage and empathy. There’s a depth to each character, and a backstory that added to my appreciation of this novel. Like most good novels, South of Broad grabbed me, and wouldn’t let me go until I surrendered myself to Conroy’s world.
Rating: Four-star (Highly Recommended)