Beach Music by Pat Conroy
You must read this book! Whether you like historical fiction, or suspense, or comedy, or tragedy, you must read this book, because it has it all. In developing the story, Conroy creates stories within the story, which enriches both the plot and the character development. The basic story is about a young Southern father named Jack, whose wife has committed suicide and he’s made a new life for himself and his daughter in Rome. He’s vowed to separate himself from his family because of their layered, painful past, but he receives a call that his mother is dying of leukemia and that he must come home. This initiates a journey into his past as well as the past of others who have surrounded him since his youth.
Pat Conroy is a genius — a magician with words who can create such imagery that you feel you are seeing what he’s seen, even if it’s in his imagination. The dialogue between the characters is brilliant, rapid-fire sarcasm at its best. The dramatic stories of the characters’ pasts are so vividly drawn that it’s hard to believe they are not real. And the characters are all so beautiful that when you finish the book, it’s quite sad — you have to say goodbye to these loving and lovable people.
I loved this book and I’d recommend it heartily. A MUST read!