It’s been quite a while since I’ve read a Pat Conroy novel, and I was happy to see that he has lost none of the ability to capture my imagination with his vividly drawn characters. In South of Broad, the city of Charleston is as much or more of a character than any of the people who inhabit it. I have never been to Charleston, but I can’t imagine visiting without taking this book along to put me in the scene. I had somewhat of a hard time understanding how this particular group of friends managed to remain friends for more than 20 years given their internal frictions with each other, but Conroy’s masterful writing and plotting managed to overcome this flaw. The denouement was satisfying, if not quite as shocking as Conroy may have hoped (I had guessed the big twist early on). I’m looking forward to backtracking and picking up the Conroy books I missed between Beach Music and this one.