I am usually up when the Piazza Farnese awakens. In darkness I brew my coffee and take a cup up to the terrace where I watch first light come over the deer-colored city...While it is still dark beneath the annealed stars and low-seated moon a nun opens the small steel gate in front of the Church of Santa Bridgida, an act signifying that Mass is about to start. There is solitude in the fatigue of watching such beginnings and I then ritually count the thirteen churches I can see from my terrace. I was still counting them when I spotted a man who had been following us for the last few days enter the piazza from the Campo dei Fiori.

-- From the novel

Description

In BEACH MUSIC, Pat Conroy writes of the dark memories that haunt generations, in a story that spans South Carolina and Rome and reaches back into the unutterable terrors of the Holocaust.

Jack McCall is an American living in Rome with his young daughter, trying to find peace after the recent trauma of his wife's suicide. But his solitude is disturbed by the appearance of his sister-in-law, who begs him to return home, and of two school friends asking for his help in tracking down another classmate who went underground as a Vietnam protester and never resurfaced. These requests launch Jack on a journey that encompasses the past and the present in both Europe and the American South, and that leads him to shocking — and ultimately liberating — truths. In BEACH MUSIC, Conroy tells of the dark memories that haunt generations, in a story that spans South Carolina and Rome and reaches back into the unutterable terrors of the Holocaust.

Told with deep feeling and trademark Conroy humor, BEACH MUSIC is a powerful and compulsively readable novel.

Praise

"Magnificent…Beach Music is clearly Conroy's best."

San Francisco Chronicle

"Astonishing...stunning...the range of passions and subjects that brings life to every page is almost endless."

The Washington Post Book World

"Blockbuster writing at its best."

Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Pat Conroy's writing contains a virtue now rare in most contemporary fiction: passion."

The Denver Post

"Incandescent."

The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

"Conroy has not lost his touch…[Beach Music] sings with the familiar elegiac Southern cadences, his prose is sweepingly lyrical."

Publishers Weekly

"Grand."

The Boston Globe

"Lyrical…evocative…Beach Music is one from the heart, and it beats with a vibrancy that cannot be denied."

The Hartford Courant

"A powerful, heartfelt tale."

Houston Chronicle

"Breathtaking…perhaps the most eagerly awaited book of the year…a knockout."

The Charlotte Observer

"Beach Music attains an almost ethereal beauty."

Miami Herald