Tuesday, August 29, 2023

What Are You Reading? by Kathleen Cook


I love Pat Conroy; as one reviewer put it: “Few writers write as well, but none as beautifully.” He has a way of making everything so real, so earthy, so gut-wrenchingly emotional. You always finish the book with a sense that you’ve been part of something special, and that in some small way, you understand humanity just a little bit more than you did before reading his work.

 South of Broad is one such example. Set in Charleston, South Carolina, against the backdrop of high school romance, murder, suicide, Hurricane Camille, loss of loved ones and sexual predators, the book enfolds you in a lifelong friendship from High School through later years. The bond between this group of friends remains strong throughout the decades, with each one willing to sacrifice, in adulthood, to find one of their childhood friends. A lost lamb riddled with AIDS, they hope to bring him back to die in his Charleston home surrounded by love.

The author obviously knows Charleston very well. As someone who lived as a teen in the Carolinas, I can relate to the sights, sounds and smells and attest to their authenticity. South of Broad is hilariously funny, painfully heartbreaking, an upper and a downer all wrapped into one. In the end, however, you can’t help but believe that the world is a beautiful place because there are still good people in it, friends who will love you forever no matter your sins.

Kathleen Cook is the Arizona Authors Association Editor as well as its Website Administrator.  

No comments:

Post a Comment