by Pat Conroy
published by Nan A. Talese
Pat Conroy is without doubt America’s favorite storyteller, a writer who portrays the anguished truth of the human heart and the painful secrets of families in richly lyrical prose and unforgettable narratives. Now, in Beach Music, he tells of the dark memories that haunt generations, in a story that spans South Carolina and Rome and reaches back into the unutterable terrors of the Holocaust.
Beach Music is about Jack McCall, an American living in Rome with his young daughter, trying to find peace after the recent trauma of his wife’s suicide. But his solitude is disturbed by the appearance of his sister-in-law, who begs him to return home, and of two school friends asking for his help in tracking down another classmate who went underground as a Vietnam protester and never resurfaced. These requests launch Jack on a journey that encompasses the past and the present in both Europe and the American South, and that leads him to shocking–and ultimately liberating–truths. (from Goodreads)
I am a big fan of Pat Conroy. I loved The Prince of Tides and South of Broad especially, so I was excited to read Beach Music, which was published a while ago. It is a long book, but you never feel dragged down by it. It is lyrical and fast moving, even when there wasn’t much action going on. While there are a few too many dramatic flairs for one story, they never overpower the book. I found myself wishing I could have know Jack McCall and all of his crazy family. A very long spanning drama, it was a great read.
4 out of 5
About the Author
Pat Conroy is the New York Times bestselling author of two memoirs and seven novels, including The Prince of Tides, The Great Santini, and The Lords of Discipline. Born the eldest of seven children in a rigidly disciplined military household, he attended the Citadel, the military college of South Carolina. He briefly became a schoolteacher (which he chronicled in his memoir The Water Is Wide) before publishing his first novel, The Boo. Conroy lives on Fripp Island, South Carolina
I’ve had this one sitting on my bookshelf for about a year. Gotta get to it soon. Good to know you liked it.
My biggest gripe with Conroy is his acres of description, but he can spin a good story.
Wow, it’s been years since I’ve read any Pat Conroy! I didn’t actually like Beach Music, but Prince of Tides is one of my all-time favorites, and I love several of his early books. Plus, the Carolina settings are always so lovely.