“A big, sprawling saga of a novel” (San Francisco Chronicle), this epic family drama is a masterwork by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Great Santini.
Set in New York City and the low country of South Carolina, The Prince of Tides opens when Tom, a high school football coach whose marriage and career are crumbling, flies from South Carolina to New York after learning of his twin sister’s suicide attempt. Savannah is one of the most gifted poets of her generation, and both the cadenced beauty of her art and the jumbled cries of her illness are clues to the too-long-hidden story of her wounded family. In the paneled offices and luxurious restaurants of New York City, Tom and Susan Lowenstein, Savannah’s psychiatrist, unravel a history of violence, abandonment, commitment, and love. And Tom realizes that trying to save his sister is perhaps his last chance to save himself.
With passion and a rare gift of language, Pat Conroy moves from present to past, tracing the amazing history of the Wingos from World War II through the final days of the war in Vietnam and into the 1980s, drawing a rich range of characters: the lovable, crazy Mr. Fruit, who for decades has wordlessly directed traffic at the same intersection in the southern town of Colleton; Reese Newbury, the ruthless, patrician land speculator who threatens the Wingos’ only secure worldly possession, Melrose Island; Herbert Woodruff, Susan Lowenstein’s husband, a world-famous violinist; Tolitha Wingo, Savannah’s mentor and eccentric grandmother, the first real feminist in the Wingo family.
Pat Conroy reveals the lives of his characters with surpassing depth and power, capturing the vanishing beauty of the South Carolina low country and a lost way of life.
Pat Conroy (1945–2016) was the author of The Boo, The Water Is Wide, The Great Santini, The Lords of Discipline, The Prince of Tides, Beach Music, The Pat Conroy Cookbook: Recipes of My Life, My Losing Season, South of Broad, My Reading Life, and The Death of Santini.
“A brilliant novel that ultimately affirms life, hope and the belief that one’s future need not be contaminated by a monstrous past.” — Chicago Tribune
“A masterpiece that can compare with Steinbeck’s East of Eden. … Some books make you laugh; some make you cry; some make you think. The Prince of Tides is a rarity: It does all three.” — Detroit Free Press
“This is a powerful book. ... Conroy is a master of language.” — Atlanta Journal
“A big, sprawling saga of a novel. …The kind you hole up with and spend some days with and put down feeling you have emerged from a terrible, wonderful spell.” — San Francisco Chronicle
“Teeming with the blows and victories of three generations…The Prince of Tides is Southern to the bone, in its generational saga, as well as its primeval geography of the heart.” — Boston Globe Sunday Magazine
“A literary gem. …The Prince of Tides is in the best tradition of novel writing. It is an engrossing story of unforgettable characters. …. Its description of rural South Carolina and the effect of that ambiance on those who live there is masterful. Pat Conroy writes from the heart.” — Pittsburgh Press
“A seductive narrative, told with bravado, flourishes, portentous foreshadowing, sardonic humor and eloquent turns of phrase. … For sheer storytelling finesse, Conroy will have few rivals.” — Publishers Weekly
“With The Prince of Tides, it is Pat Conroy who has made the language sing and bleed at the same time. The pleasure is ours, but the triumph is his.” — Houston Post