I once asked a group of friends to name an author they thought our kids and grandkids would study in high school, much like we studied Thoreau and Hawthorne. A writer that transcends the trend and is recognized for his or her true genius. Pat Conroy’s name came up over and again.
This ranks as one of my favorite reads.. It’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed a character as complicated and layered as Leo. If I took each character separately—the wacko, once-was-a-nun mother, Steve Martin-esque from Parenthood father, flamboyantly gay neighbor across the street with a harlot sister, etc — it might all seem contrived, but together, they all work. And to top it off, it has one of those, “Dangit, how did I miss that coming?” kind of endings. If you are like me, you’ll have to plow through a bit of a tedious mid-section, but the payoff is well worth the effort.
If you love to read novels about strange (and this is an understatement) family dynamics, put this at the top of your “To Do” list.
South of Broad