The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
This is the story of 36-year old twins Tom and Savannah Wingo. Tom has recently lost his job and finds out that he may also be losing his wife to another man. Already dealing with this two blows he finds out that his sister has attempted suicide again and is in a psychiatric facility in New York City. Tom leaves his beloved South Caroline to be with his sister and help her in any way he can. His sister’s therapist, Lowenstein, won’t allow Tom contact with his sister, yet asks Tom to sit down with her and tell her about growing up in the lowcountry so she can better help Savannah. What follows are Tom’s memories as he tells Lowenstein, a woman he slowly falls in love with, what is was like to grow up as a Wingo.
I wanted to read a book by Conroy and this seemed to be THE book to read. Overall it is a sad book interspersed with times of joy, but the main character has such a lovely, witty and sarcastic voice, even the most shocking and depressing memories he relates are made bearable. While some may assume this is a beach read it is not. There is a lot here in telling the life of the Wingo clan and his lyrical writing style makes for a slow read because you want to catch all he’s saying. If you ever visited the lowcountry of South Carolina and want to feel like you have returned, this is a way to recapture the ambiance wherever you may be.