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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » The Prince of Tides: A Novel » User review

Simply magnificent

  • Mar 3, 1999
Rating:
+5
This is a rich and complex novel which pulls you in to the lives of the characters in a way which so few other novels do. I have read it several times but somehow I have never made it through the last chapter without tears in my eyes - but they are tears almost of relief and happiness for the character Tom, who is healed as the book progresses. It is a beautiful book, and one you should embrace whole heartedly.

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Lesley West ()
Ranked #406
Bibliomanic, Beatlemaniac
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Wiki

For sheer storytelling finesse, Conroy will have few rivals this season. His fourth novel is a seductive narrative, told with bravado flourishes, portentous foreshadowing, sardonic humor and eloquent turns of phrase. Like The Great Santini, it is the story of a destructive family relationship wherein a violent father abuses his wife and children. Henry Wingo is a shrimper who fishes the seas off the South Carolina coast and regularly squanders what little money he amasses in farcical business schemes; his beautiful wife, Lila, is both his victim and a manipulative and guilt-inflicting mother. The story is narrated by one of the children, Tom Wingo, a former high school teacher and coach, now out of work after a nervous breakdown. Tom alternately recalls his growing-up years on isolated Melrose Island, then switches to the present in Manhattan, where his twin sister and renowned poet, Savannah, is recovering from a suicide attempt. One secret at the heart of this tale is the fate of their older brother Luke; we know he is dead, but the circumstances are slowly revealed. Also kept veiled is "what happened on the island that day"a grisly scene of horror, rape and carnage that eventually explains much of the sorrow, pain and emotional alienation endured by the Wingo siblings. Conroy deftly manages a large cast of characters and a convoluted plot, although he dangerously undermines credibility through a device by which Tom tells the Wingo family saga to Savannah's ...
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Details

ISBN-10: 0553268880
ISBN-13: 978-0553268881
Author: Pat Conroy
Genre: Fiction, Domestic Fiction
Publisher: Bantam
Date Published: 1986
First to Review

"Simply magnificent"
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