Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience. The next guest in the series has shared post on the blog before, but of course this time I get to do the choosing. The first post by L.T. Garvin is a book review, for The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy, which is in my top 50 book list.
Revisiting The Prince of Tides (2015) by L. T. Garvin
I was thinking the other day about books and summer and books to read in summer. I was thinking about books mainly that I have read before, since I never seem to do as much reading anymore, and one particular book came back to me. The Prince of Tides is an amazing piece of fiction by Pat Conroy. I say this because it is an intricately complicated story about a southern family written it in the most beautiful language. It was also a movie, of course, and it is quiet possible to cheat, but I must recommend the book for fiction aficionados.
Tom Wingo, the narrator of the story, makes the reader feel his southern childhood. He loves the land, it is very much a part of him and this is given in the prologue of the book:
“My wound is geography. It is also my anchorage, my port of call.”
As the reader travels along with Tom in the story, the vivid descriptions of that South Carolina landscape color the tale and draw people right into it:
“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 quiet duel of gold…”
The family dynamics are much less than perfect, there is heartbreak, there are secrets, death and mourning, and relationships that form but cannot be sustained.
“The Wingos were a family that fate tested a thousand times and left defenseless, humiliated, and dishonored. But my family also carried some strengths into the fray, and these strengths let almost all of us survive the descent of the Furies….”
This is an old book that was first published in 1986, and the movie was released in 1991 with Nick Nolte in the starring role as Tom Wingo and Barbra Streisand as the psychiatrist that he falls in love with while attempting to help his sister suffering from depression.
There are a lot of good books out there, but every now and then I like to come back to one that I feel is special as I believe this one fits the criteria. I would have to say that my current book (both in terms of reading and publication date) which happens to be, The Storied Life Of A.J. Fikry, well… I would have to say that I could easily be lured away from it. The Prince of Tides may be the book that lures me. A truly compelling piece of fiction; Pat Conroy is not only a master of storytelling but also a master of lyrical language.
©L.T. Garvin 2015
About L.T. Garvin
L.T. Garvin is a huge fiction fan and literature lover. She enjoys writing fiction, short stories, and attempts at poetry. L.T. has a particular fondness for Southern literature possibly because they have such good food and bigger than life stories in the South.
She currently has three books available, Confessions of a 4th Grade Athlete, a humorous children’s book about a boy named Nathan and his exuberant experiences in school and sports. Another children’s book, Animals Galore explores unique animals and their antics. A novel, Dancing with the Sandman, is suitable for all age groups and takes readers on time travel journey back to the 1960s. L.T. Garvin maintains a WordPress site where she shares fiction, poetry, and humorous essays
Books by L.T. Garvin
About Dancing with the Sandman
The Sandman cometh dancing to the beat of rock ‘n’ roll, blasting the turmoil of the Sixties. And where are you? West Texas, of course. Billie Jo Dunstan confronts her past, traveling back to the 1960s through a decade of turbulence and swirling color memories, contemplating life growing up in rural Texas. Tragedy and comedy come alive, preserving the past and a portion of small town life that will survive beyond super highways and the ratcheting progress of time.
Garvin’s (And They Came, 2017, etc.) latest novel offers a reflection of one girl’s coming-of-age in small-town Texas in the 1960s. … Garvin is at her best when offering these cheeky nods to the past, never getting bogged down in nostalgia.
A winning narrator enlivens a charming tale of a town facing modernity.–Kirkus Reviews
One of the reviews for the book
The story starts and ends in west Texas as Billie Jo revisits the small town she grew up in, a town left behind years ago when progress, in the form of a new highway, raced ahead. It’s a place that holds memories so tangible they feel like ghosts rising out of the sand, and they create the substance of the story.
Garvin calls the book a fictional journey, but it reads like a memoir. If you were a kid in the 60’s, this book will feel something like a trip into childhood, a time before helicopter parents and iphones, a time when kids had to create their own fun while learning the painful lessons of life.
Though the book takes place in Texas, there is so much about Billie Jo’s experiences that felt familiar to me, a child of rural Connecticut. In a way, the qualities that make up a childhood – the way adults are perceived, the family quirks, sibling teasing, unexpected kindnesses and losses, how kids think and fill their leisure time – seemed universal. This is a thoroughly relatable book.
And told as a “look back at the ghosts of the past,” the book has a nostalgic aura that lingered beyond the last page, calling forth my own ghosts and eliciting memories that I’d forgotten. Dancing with the Sandman is a lovely, poignant, rich read for all ages, but especially for those who enjoy memoirs and those who were children in the 60’s.
Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DP2VJ8S
Also by L.T. Garvin
Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/L.-T.-Garvin/e/B00HC0TRY6
And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/L.-T.-Garvin/e/B00HC0TRY6
Read other reviews and follow L.T. Garvin on Goodreads:
Connect to L.T. Garvin
My thanks to Lana for allowing me to share from her archives and I hope you will head over to enjoy exploring more. Sally.