South of Broad by Pat Conroy
Could it be I loved this book because I spent a week housesitting a friend of a friend's house south of Broad this summer? Or because my mother is a native of Charleston? Well maybe, but the real reason is I love the big, convoluted, messy stories Pat Conroy tells. This one is the story of a group of unlikely friends who come together the summer 1969 and stay friends for a lifetime. They include ultra rich native Charlestonians, three orphans, a black football player, twins who move to the city that summer to escape their deranged and very dangerous father and our narrator, Leo. Leo has spent much of his youth in and out of mental hospitals after discovering his beloved older brother dead. The summer of '69 is the summer before his senior year in high school. South of Broad follows the friends and their families through love, tragedy, terror and illness. I could not stop reading it and did not want it to end. Hopefully Conroy will not make me wait another 14 years for his next book!