review ó The Prince of Tides 109

characters The Prince of Tides

review ó The Prince of Tides 109 ✓ PAT CONROY has created a huge brash thunderstorm of a novel stinging with honesty and resounding with drama Spanning forty years this is the story of turbulent Tom Wingo his gifted and troubled twin sister Savannah and their struggle to triumph over the dark and tragic legacy of the extraordinary family into whiRnFilled with the vanishing beauty of the South Carolina low country as well as the dusty glitter of New York City The Prince of Tides is PAT CONROY at his very bes. I can't remember the last time I felt this torn; I hated the characters for being so selfish with their affections so cowardly in their confrontations the cruelty shown when the moment was theirs for the taking What I hated was when the victim on the receiving end and to be fair it always rotates would rise up in anger but then crumble to their knees in love and forgiveness And that's also why I loved them In one moment they felt so betrayed so dishonored by blood and by love Then would wait five minutes and forgive them because of who they werefamily The parents who brutalized but also showed beauty the siblings that both threw each under the bus and saved them from it and the hometown that treated them like nothing than low rent scrubs And all those in betweens the hits the tragedies the shining moments the crimes so unspeakable it leaves the reader wondering if there really is Godthey stream in and out of life the yellow red threads in life's tapestry I've read other reviews on this book and I think 75% of them got it wrong While the location is in South Carolina and the southern culture itself becomes a character in it that town feeling that family feeling that can be anywhere And finally even had I not been utterly entranced by Conroy's writing style I never would have wished for one page less

Pat Conroy ´ 9 Summary

PAT CONROY has created a huge brash thunderstorm of a novel stinging with honesty and resounding with drama Spanning forty years this is the story of turbulent Tom. My wound is geography  It is also my anchorage my port of callSo begins the story of the Wingo family of Melrose Island in Colleton County South Carolina As told by Tom Wingo   To describe our growing up in the lowcountry of South Carolina I would have to take you to the marsh on a spring day flush the great blue heron from its silent occupation scatter marsh hens as we sink to our knees in mud open you an oyster with a pocketknife and feed it to you from the shell and say “There  That taste  That’s the taste of my childhood”  I would say “Breathe deeply” and you would breathe and remember that smell for the rest of your life the bold fecund aroma of tidal marsh exuisite and sensual the smell of the South in heat a smell like new milk semen and spilled wine all perfumed with seawater  My soul grazes like a lamb on the beauty of indrawn tides  Tom has a twin sister Savannah and as the story opens Savannah a successful poet who lives in New York City has just attempted to end her life by slashing her wrists with a razor blade  This is not the first time  He also has an older brother Luke who he idolizes but Luke is not there as this story opens and to understand why why his sister is barely clinging with frightening frailty to life why his big brother is not present; well then we have to go back  Back to when they were children Back to when Lila and Henry their parents controlled the great tides of their life  It is not a pretty picture The Wingos of Melrose island were an intensely disturbing dysfunctional family  Their three children survived a brutal upbringing one that they were not allowed ever to discuss or even acknowledge; isolated from the neighbouring community of Colleton with only each other to turn to for strength support and comfort  Their bond seemed unbreakableStill there is beauty here It was growing dark on this long southern evening and suddenly at the exact point her finger had indicated the moon lifted a forehead of stunning gold above the horizon lifted straight out of filigreed light intoxicated clouds that lay on the skyline in attendant veils  Behind us the sun was setting in a simultaneous congruent withdrawal and the river turned to flame in a uiet duel of goldThe new gold of moon astonishing and ascendant the depleted gold of sunset extinguishing itself in the long westward slide it was the old dance of days in the Carolina marshes the breathtaking death of days before the eyes of children until the sun vanished its final signature a ribbon of bullion strung across the tops of water oaks  The moon then rose uickly rose like a bird from the water from the trees from the islands and climbed straight up gold then yellow then pale yellow pale silver silver bright then something miraculous immaculate and beyond silver a color native only to southern nightsThese days Tom Wingo is a family man himself with a beautiful wife and three beautiful daughters but he can feel it all slipping away  He used to be a teacher and a coach work that he loved but that was before Luke  Now he cannot seem to bring himself to give his wife the intimacy she craves he wants to but it is like he is frozen unable to get himself in motion  He knows even before his wife confirms it that he is losing her  Perhaps their time apart while he is in New York City trying to help his sister will give them both an opportunity to reflect and come to terms with what they really want   It is in New York that Tom meets Susan Lowenstein Savannah’s psychiatrist and at her urging turns back the hands of time as he relates the events of their childhood in a last ditch effort to help Lowenstein understand the trauma that may go a long way in explaining Savannah’s suicide attempts and her current mental state It is the beginning of a long and uncanny season in the house of Wingo  There will be honor and decency and the testing of the ualities of our humanity or the lack of them  There will be a single hour of horror that will change our lives forever  There will be carnage and murder and ruin  When it is over we will all think that we have survived the worst day of our lives endured the most grisly scenario the world could have prepared for us  We will be wrong Violence sends deep roots into the heart; it has no seasons; it is always ripe evergreenThere will also be Luke our Prince of Tides Luke’s story however is one you would be well advised to read for yourselvesBut there is also a Bengal tiger and whales and a rare white porpoise and the South Carolina low country  There is sadness and brutality yes but also adventure and mirth and heart swelling love; all wrapped up in Conroy’s luscious lyrical haunting prose Later when we spoke of our childhood it seemed part elegy part nightmareI am sure a great many of you have likely already seen the movie with Barbra Streisand and Nick Nolte which was great  I loved it   You may be thinking why should I read the book when I already know the story   Why Because there is so much story here and because it is so beautifully written that it brings tears to my eyes and my chest feels oddly swollen just remembering some of Conroy’s passages  The movie cannot even begin to compare or compete  All The Stars in The Sky

review ´ E-book, or Kindle E-pub ´ Pat Conroy

The Prince of TidesWingo his gifted and troubled twin sister Savannah and their struggle to triumph over the dark and tragic legacy of the extraordinary family into which they were bo. Passion swells for this epic The Prince of Tides and so I swim in murky waters here careful in my criticism not to become The Princess of Against the TidesAh hell Who am I kidding This princess often swims against the tide and her upper body is strongSo let me not mince words Let's get right to itPat Conroy has almost as many devotees as Jesus I'm not sure about the source of the appeal but he looks like a jolly gnome in the pictures I've seen of him and I take him for a man who shook hands vigorously at book signingsOkay so he was affable I'm not entirely sure; you'd need to ask Wife #1 Wife #2 or Wife #3 how she felt about him and I enjoy affable types but I'm not sure why attention hasn't been placed on some of the damnable mistakes in his writingFirst off Mr Conroy is incredibly inconsistent He'll write something lovely and memorable like “when we spoke of our childhood it seemed part elegy part nightmare” Or “I was the son of a beautiful word struck mother and I longed for her touch many years after she had no obligation to touch me”And then he'll carry on for eons with some overly wordy barely readable prose I would struggle page after page reading these “rants” which felt almost like the long winded stories my children tell me as I drive them home from school You know the stories that feel as though they have no punctuation no beginning or ending and reuire the storyteller to say them all in one breathAlso um ahem anyone else made uncomfortable by Tom's mother wanting to make out with him and both brothers wanting to hook up with their sister Who is this guy John Irving And last but not least the dialogue For the love of God come on now Even if you love this book I ask you to return to it and read about 20 pages of the dialogue Truly do me this favor before you deem me “harsh” Clearly this was not Mr Conroy's strength as a writer and luckily he is prone to descriptive narrative than passages of dialogue but whenever it occurred it pulled me right out of the story uick example“Where ya going Tom”“Nowhere Savannah I'm going nowhere Savannah”“But did ya want to Tom Did you want to go somewheres Tom”“Nah Savannah But ya know what Savannah I'm hungry Savannah”I'm telling you I've read better dialogue produced in short stories by high school freshmenSo what made this story all the rage Was it the occasionally beautiful prose The imagery I experienced some of that Was it the focus that was placed on the need for men to pursue mentalemotional support I liked that too Men need mental health outlets as much as women do and I hate that our society has long made it taboo for them to seek it Was this book instrumental in shifting mindsets I don't knowI do know that the movie did nothing to help my reading experience I thought almost relentlessly of Barbra Streisand's acrylic nails and Nick Nolte's hair in his famous mugshot as I was reading it And worse than that I pictured Nick Nolte's mouth slack from overdosing whispering to Streisand's lacuered nails Lowenstein Lowenstein Hard to get past that though it's not the book's faultSo back to the book Most Conroy diehards tell me that Tides isn't their favorite; it's typically The Great Santini when I ask I'd be happy to receive Conroy suggestions and I'd be open minded toward another readThis was just surprisingly disappointing to meThree stars says the Princess Against the Tides three stars for some great one liners a fantastic title and the book's long lasting cultural impact