Elaine's Reviews > Beach Music

Beach Music by Pat Conroy
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May 28, 2012

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Read in May, 2012

Well, I do think Pat Conroy can really spin a tale. However, this book (which I'll confess to devouring in one weekend), didn't feel very effective to me a novel.

There was so much I loved about this book -- the brothers, Conroy's evocation of Rome and lowland SC. But especially the stories that make up the book: the giant ray and being lost at sea; the Holocaust stories; Jack's mom's story of her childhood; and lots more.

And structurally, there is a narrative arc.

However, I found that structure really pained: Ledare and Jack are pressured into writing the story of their youth (really? I don't think Jack would ever have agreed); the artifice of the staged reunion by boyhood friend-now Hollywood producer. And really, does anyone really think the reconciliation between Jordan and his father is believable? And (ugh)the suicide letter from his beloved wife giving Jack permission to marry again but affirming that he will be hers again in the afterlife? Sorry, but that's definitely Nicholas Sparks territory.

Because I enjoyed so many of Conroy's stories within the book, I'm hoping to find another novel of his that holds together better.
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