Beach Music, by Pat Conroy

ImageWhat can I say about a book that makes me fall in love with it more each time I go back to it? No one matches Conroy’s lyrical writing. Even if I didn’t already love the low country of South Carolina, he would make me love it sight unseen.

This is a long book, but not one word too long. There are many, many characters but with the exception of Jack’s brothers, they don’t get blurred from one to another. There are many storylines, but it never feels confused, and everything fits together without any awkwardness. There are perhaps one or two scenes that feel contrived, but those are infractions I’m willing to overlook.

You will cry many times, but it’s not a sad book. There are unspeakable horrors, but they are told through flashbacks that show how a character became who they are.

I love Jack and Leah, Mike and Ledare and Jordan, Lucy and Jude and John Hardin and so many others. (I don’t love Capers, but maybe I’m not forgiving enough.) I don’t identify with every situation, but I love it all more with each new visit to this beautiful book.

I read it this time because a dear friend was finally ready to read it and I wanted to read alongside and enjoy her impressions as she went through it. OK, that’s just an excuse because I would have easily remembered what she was talking about, but it had been nearly three years since I’d last read it and I was missing the people and places and it was time to go there again…

I give this an enthusiastic five stars, and easily count it in my top five books ever.

To buy your own copy, you can get it at


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