Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. For sheer storytelling finesse, Conroy will have few site Store · site eBooks · Literature & Fiction. Read "The Prince of Tides A Novel" by Pat Conroy available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get $5 off your first download. New York. New York Times bestseller: A "powerful" Southern drama about the destructive repercussions of keeping an unspeakable family secret (The Atlanta Journal).
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The Prince of Tides: A Novel. XM US/Data/Literature-Fiction. /5 From Reviews. Pat Conroy audiobook | *ebooks | Download PDF | ePub | DOC. In his most brilliant and powerful novel, Pat Conroy tells the story of Tom Wingo, his twin sister, Savannah, and the dark and violent past of the family into which. Read The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy for free with a 30 day free trial. I grew up slowly beside the tides and marshes of Colleton; my arms were tawny and.
Because Mama and I are screwing you up. I do not. Do you understand? Good, I said, taking a sip of my drink. Sallie returned to the porch, wearing an off-white sundress and sandals to match.
Her long legs were tanned and pretty. We learned that at school. Because I hate the way she looks at my house when she comes over. She always looks like she wants to inoculate the children for typhus when she sees the mess in the kitchen. You just need to burn the furniture and spray with disinfectant when she leaves. It would work great except that your mother always betrays me.
Because then I have to talk to her. And when I talk to her it reminds me of being a child and I hated my childhood. Of course, I said with more vehemence than I intended.
Dad thinks he knows everything, Lucy said to Sallie, and two cooler heads nodded in agreement. Criticism from my own children? My own flesh and blood noticing flaws in my character? I can stand anything but criticism, Lucy. All our friends think Dad is crazy, Mama, Jennifer added. You act like a mom is supposed to act. Here it is. That dreaded moment when my children turn on me and rip my guts out.
At this very moment my mother is crossing the Shem Creek bridge. No birds sing on the planet when my mother is on her way. Just try to be nice, Tom, Sallie said in her maddening professional voice. I groaned, drinking deeply. My God, I wonder what she wants. She only comes here when she can ruin my life in some small way. She could give seminars on the subject. She said she has some bad news.
I admit it. She is trying, I said wearily. Sallie asked, changing the subject. Something smells wonderful. I caught flounder off the rocks early this morning, so I stuffed them with crabmeat and shrimp. Why do you cook anyway, Dad?
Jennifer asked suddenly. Brighton laughs when he talks about your cooking dinner for Mama. I do it because Mama makes four or five times more money than I do.
Remember, girls, it was Daddy who put me through medical school. Brighton says. Your father and I try to share the household chores. Except you. If you raise children in the South, you produce southerners. Because it makes her feel old. Run along now, Sallie said, moving the girls inside the house. When she returned, Sallie leaned down and brushed her lips on my forehead.
You know I adore the role of martyrdom—how I blossom in an atmosphere of self-pity. Poor nutless Tom Wingo, polishing the silver while his wife discovers a cure for cancer. We knew this would happen, Sallie.
We talked about it. Was, Sallie. Past tense. I was fired, remember? May I have three Valiums, Doctor? I needed them for myself, Tom. Why does liquor fail to numb my senses when I need it most? Should I invite Mom for dinner? Be nice to your mother, Tom, Sallie said.
She seems so sad and so desperate to be your friend again. No, our kids will only hate their father. I like your routines, Tom. Bless you, Doctor. Could you tie some garlic around my throat and bring me a crucifix? My mother appeared in the doorway, immaculately dressed and groomed, and her perfume walked out on the porch several moments before she did.
My mother always carried herself as if she were approaching the inner chamber of a queen. She was as finely made as a yacht—clean lines, efficient, expensive. She was always far too pretty to be my mother and there was a time in my life when I was mistaken for her husband. I cannot tell you how much my mother loved that time. I certainly do, Mother. And so do you, I answered, suppressing a groan. My mother could bring inanities tumbling out of me in a loose, ceaseless cascade.
My old mother has the best figure in the state of South Carolina, I replied, counting my second rapid-fire inanity. Well, I work hard at it, I can tell you. The extra weight is very becoming to you. You always look better when your face is filled out. May I sit down? A gin and tonic, darling. With a squeeze of lime if you have it. Where are the children, Tom? Last week, evidently. She was in a coma when they found her. In a psychiatric hospital in New York City. Bellevue or someplace like that.
I have it written down at home. A doctor called. A woman doctor like you, Sallie, only a psychiatrist. Well, it certainly affords a lot of pleasure to see young women doing so well in the professions.
Anyway, this woman called to tell me the tragic news. How did she try to do it, Mom? I said, attempting to retain control. I was slipping; I could feel it. She slit her wrists again, Tom, my mother said, starting to cry. Why does she want to do those things to me?
My mother dried her tears on a handkerchief she pulled out of her purse. She has one of those impossible names. Maybe Aaron knows her. How do you think I feel? How do you think I feel when my children do these terrible things to themselves? It makes me feel like such a failure. This is a real hard time for me.
And the expense. I think you should have taken that job selling insurance. We all are, Tom. You need to start afresh, work your way up from the bottom, prove yourself to some employer willing to give you a chance.
Why should I be expected to understand it? He wants to do this to help Sallie and the girls, not to help you. I felt like tossing out the drink and eating the glass.
I merely said, under great provocation, that I hate your husband. You brought the subject up. I brought up the subject of your joblessness. Oh yes you are. You loved it when I was miserable and living with your father. We had a hideous childhood, which launched us prettily into a hideous adulthood. I actually experienced a minute or two of happiness before you arrived. Sallie commanded, I want this to stop and I want it to stop now. We need to think about how we can help Savannah.
My mother brightened at this, shifted the drink to her left hand, and leaned forward to talk to Sallie. I cried out. If you want to make fun of your mother, feel free, Tom. Call me, please, after you see Savannah. You can reverse the charges. I want to take the kids up to Pawleys Island for a couple of weeks. After dinner, Sallie and I helped the girls get ready for bed.
Then we went for a walk on the beach. We headed toward the lighthouse, walking barefooted in the surf past Fort Moultrie. Sallie took my hand, and I, distracted and troubled, realized how long it had been since I had touched Sallie, since I had approached her as lover or friend or equal. My body had not felt like an instrument of love or passion for such a long time; it had been a winter of deadening seriousness, when all the illusions and bright dreams of my early twenties had withered and died.
I did not yet have the interior resources to dream new dreams; I was far too busy mourning the death of the old ones and wondering how I was to survive without them. I was sure I could replace them somehow, but was not sure I could restore their brassy luster or dazzling impress.
So, for months, I had not attended to the needs of my wife, had not stroked or touched her until she glowed and moved like a cat beneath my hands; I had not responded when she moved her bare leg against mine or put her hand against my thigh when we lay in solitude through sleepless nights.
My body always betrayed me when the mind was restless and suffering. Sallie moved toward me and together we leaned into the summer wind as the waves broke around our feet. Orion the Hunter walked the skies above us, belted and armed, in the star-struck, moonless night. Sallie said to me, squeezing my hand, Tom. Talk to me. I want to know the exact moment it was preordained that I would lead a perfectly miserable life and drag everyone I love down with me.
You seem to be giving up, Tom.
Your past is hurting us. Why does everything my mother says, every single syllable, every single insincere phoneme, piss me off? I know she loves me with all her heart. But we sit there and say things that wound and damage and destroy. She leaves and we both have blood on our hands. She cries and I drink; then she drinks. You try to intercede and we both ignore you and resent you for even trying. I want that, too. I want it desperately.
All very polite. All saying the same thing.
All unbearably humiliating. Yes, I could have.
Sallie squeezed my hand and said, It would have been a start at something, Tom. It would have been better than sitting around the house clipping recipes. Every time you use that memorable phrase, Sallie, I interrupted, you mean it as a bone-crushing criticism, but go ahead.
After Mom, I could endure a cavalry charge of Huns and elephants. No, this is not critical. I want it to sound loving. One part of your life is. For several minutes we walked in silence, in the disturbing solitude that sometimes visits couples at the most incongruous times. It was not a new feeling for me; I had a limitless gift for turning even those sweet souls who loved me best into strangers.
I tried to fight my way back toward Sallie, tried to regain contact. Even if Mom and Dad were monsters, I should have come out of it with some kind of respect for myself as a survivor, if nothing else. I never know exactly how I feel about something. No one does. You only need to know enough to get along. No, Sallie, I said, stopping in the water suddenly and turning her toward me, my hands on her shoulders.
I got along with my part of the truth and it caught up with me. Sallie lowered her eyes and tucked my hands into hers. I have a wonderful job and I love our house and our friends. Why do you want to throw even the good things away? And you make the money, I said, embarrassed at how bitter I sounded, how preening, how male. Truly I am. I envy her craziness. But I know she expects me to be there when she starts slicing herself.
I have to go. You know that. The hero of the hour. The gallant knight. The jobless Galahad. Except Mom. When does it start becoming your own responsibility? This action might not be possible to undo.
Are you sure you want to continue? Upload Sign In Join. Save For Later. Create a List. The Prince of Tides: A Novel by Pat Conroy. Summary New York Times bestseller: Read on the Scribd mobile app Download the free Scribd mobile app to read anytime, anywhere.
Open Road Media Released: Aug 10, ISBN: It is also my anchorage, my port of call. Hiroshima, she whispered. Nagasaki, she said, a bitter smile on her face. Compare your family to a ship. I said, holding her hand, I love Tom the best too. Hold me tight, Tom. Hold me tight. Such were the passwords of our lives. I will tell you my story.
Nothing is missing. I promise you. Please speak to her. Just listen to Sallie and be very nice.
Since when did our family produce anything else, Mom? This is very bad news. Tragic news. May I come over? If you want to. I want to only if you want me to come. You said you wanted to come. Why do you want to hurt me at a time like this? I hung up the phone and screamed out at the top of my lungs, Divorce! We found a conch, Dad, Chandler, the youngest, squealed. It is alive, I said, turning the shell over.
We can have it for dinner tonight. Oh, gross, Dad, Lucy said. Great meal. Oh, Chandler, said Jennifer. Yeah, I agreed. I wish I had two brothers, Jennifer said. And we wish we had an older brother, Lucy answered in the lovely fury of the blonde.
Jennifer asked. Chandler will be mad. Call me Daddy. Only babies call their fathers Daddy. Jennifer rolled her eyes and said, Oh, Dad, not this game again.
Mama, Lucy answered quickly, grinning at her father. Chandler shouted. Kill the conch! Like whom? That gum-snapping, pimple-popping, slack-jawed little cretin? You were a little boy once, Lucy said. Can you imagine Dad as a little boy? Jennifer said. What a laugh. How are you screwing us up? He embarrasses us in front of our friends, Lucy suggested. No, they agreed in a simultaneous chorus. Did I interrupt the complete lectures of Dr.
I cleaned up some for your mother, Sallie said, lighting a cigarette. No more school for you, Sallie said, exhaling. I asked. Chandler asked. He said a bad word, Mama, Lucy said. Yes, dear. I heard. Grass, I said quickly. The grass needs cutting. The grass always needs cutting when he says that word, Jennifer explained. Wonderful, she said. That rotten bastard, Sallie whispered between clenched teeth.
Aberrations, dear. It happens once or twice every generation. Girls, go on upstairs and wash up. Lila is going to be here soon. Lucy asked. Friendship and motherhood are not compatible. Do you think our kids will think that? There you are, my mother said. How are you, dears? She kissed both of us, was cheerful, but the bad news lay heavy in her eyes. You get more beautiful every time I see you, Sallie.
Well, thank you, Tom. Of course, Lila. Let me fix you a drink, said Sallie.
The Prince of Tides
Upstairs, I said, looking toward the sunset, waiting. Savannah tried to kill herself again. Oh my God, Sallie said, stopping outside the door.
I murmured. Before I could answer, Sallie jumped in with a question. Where is she, Lila? I almost went into psychiatry, Sallie said. She did it to herself, Mom. Sallie spoke as she moved inside the house. Are you going to New York? Being there is doing something, Mom. I told the psychiatrist you might go, my mother said, tentative and hopeful. My job is looking for a job.
How did you know about that? Sallie told me. She did? Did she tell you that, too? My husband can get you a job. You, at least, understand that. Tom was just telling me how much he hates me and everything I stand for. Not like that. Not ever like that. I have to go to New York tomorrow, Sallie, I said.
Of course you do, she answered. Of course, Mom. Please stop, Sallie pleaded. Please stop hurting each other. You know that, Lila. That would be lovely. Goodbye, son, my mother said. Take good care of your sister. Goodbye, Mother, I answered, and I rose to kiss her on the cheek. I always have. She just wants you to find a job and be happy, Sallie said. You could have taken the insurance job.
But I believe in mine.
The Prince of Tides: A Novel
You said that, not me, Tom. Start your free 30 days. Page 1 of 1. This was incredible. I'm surprised at the negative reviews. Millions of people who have been abused suffer in silence, bury their feelings out of shame, and most don't ever get the help they need. The point at which the main character finally opens up and admits what happens is heart-wrenching. And, the relationship between the main character's parents is so believable. Pat Conroy is a master at lyrical prose that digs deep without letting go.
At times it takes him awhile to get around and about but the path along the way is the reward. Its to be savored - and passages read again. This book was beautiful and horrifying at the same time. Tragic and yet there is hope. Conroy creates characters of such depth - that we totally understand and can empathize with even the most wretched of characters such as the father. And then there is the hardened mother, a survivor, who believed she was protecting her children and herself but truly wasn't - and we come to see that her "southern strength" is really her weakness.
This book will haunt you. I think it speaks to the dark secrets many families carry and that no matter how tormented we are, we can forgive and overcome evils done to us to create a full life of love and contentment.
I mostly hated this book. I hated the language and all the histrionics. At one point, I threw the book across the room. Why I finished it I'll never know - mainly I was trying to see what so many people liked about it, but I never figured that out. There are some books that claim to be big family saga-type stories but just.. Then there are books like East of Eden by Steinbeck and The Colour by Rose Tremain that blow the socks off the reader and remind us what sagas really are.
The Prince of Tides is yet another to add to the list of mind-blowing, toe-curling sagas. From the very start of this book, where smart-mouthed Tom begins to tease his children, put down himself and attempt to flee from his own mother's phone call, this book had me hooked. The smart, wise-cracking mouth of Tom, his self-loathing, his pain was made evident in just a few short pages.
And then, with the introduction of Lowenstein, the psychiatrist treating Tom's suicidal sister, Savannah, a story begins to emerge that's filled with so much heart-twisting drama, I couldn't tear myself away from the book because I had to know what happened, I had to know why a boy who adored his mother couldn't stand her any longer and why a twin sister wanted nothing to do with her twin brother.
This story tore my heart out. I sat on my sofa and wept as key elements of the story were finally revealed, but it never got to be too much, because of Conroy's masterful storytelling. Just when the tension and the drama would reach that uppermost limit, just when I felt I needed to step back and compose myself, he would switch from the past, from Tom's story, to the present-day and remind me of just who Tom was again. Each time I would see a little more of the character who developed due to his past.
The characters in The Prince of Tides are so incredibly dynamic and real, I hated to leave them behind. It was like leaving behind a friend, someone I'd journeyed with through amazing tension and drama and then had to say goodbye just when things were starting to look good again.
I was so impressed with this novel and laugh when I think about how naive I was when I began it - thinking that it was just another hyped up book and hoping it would move quickly so I could put it down and say that I'd read it. I'll be revisiting this story again though, and I'm sure again and again.
It's too powerful not to read through it more slowly the next time and savor the beauty of the writing and the exquisiteness of the story development. No one can quite tell a story like Pat Conroy. After reading this book, I got several of my friends to read it also. One friend stated, "That many bad things could not happen to one family.
I had seen the movie first, and was blown away by the book. While the movie focuses on the relationship between the main character and the psychiatrist treating his suicidal sister, the book focuses on the lives of the three siblings. Particularly the unusual and difficult raising those siblings endured.
Conroy's writing is like poetry. An enthralling and terrific read! Twins, brother and sister, are at the center of this family saga. I read it with enjoyment and not a little admiration at the imagination that created this family. The more I learn about the author I find that some of his inspiration for this fiction was based in real-life experience. August 10, Sold by: English ASIN: Enabled X-Ray: Not Enabled. Literary Fiction. Book Series. Is this feature helpful?
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There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. It is a challenging read. Hardcover Verified download. There is graphic violence and sexual content. However, none of it is gratuitous. It is well-used in telling the story. It is a challenging read, in that it is extremely evocative of deep emotion. Pat Conroy's writing is so lovely. I visited the southern part of NC Coast and northern part of SC coast almost every summer as a child.
He makes you taste the salty air, feel the thickness of the humidity and cry for all the wronged people. This book made me confront some of my own repressed past. This is a harsh and extremely beautiful book. It will put you through the wringer and you will love every minute of the exquisite torture. Paperback Verified download. It is this essence, this transcendence into the very culture of rural ss lower, indigent South Carolina upbringing that Conroy so overwhelmingly succeeds in here and that has helped characterize this work as a veritable leader of its genre.
Leaving his wife who is knowingly having an affair with a local doctor and his three daughters, Tom is himself a rather sad case. site Edition Verified download. It really took me by surprise how much I got into the story and enjoyed reading the tumultuous, horrible, quirky and loving lives of the Wingo family. Conroy managed to eloquently convey the complicated relationships and feelings of the family at the heart of this story without having to make you work for it.
Imagine my surprise when a couple of paragraphs into my reading when Tom busts out some one liners and having some cheeky conversations with his 3 young daughters who all seem to share the same brand of humor as their dad. Through his voice, you come to see that he uses his humor to hide, express and deflect his issues stemming from his childhood. It makes Tom a character that is likeable and sympathetic but never one that you pity in spite of discovering the kind of the life he had growing up in Colleton.
Conroy created an interesting family that is at the heart of the story. Each member of the Wingo family from the parents Henry and Lila to their children, Luke, Savannah and Tom, have their own distinct personalities that oftentimes cause clashes amongst themselves but enables them to understand each other in a way that no one else in their small town can.
Their household is a battlefield in of itself and also their haven. As you read through the story, you find yourself often appalled at the behavior of the adults but then something will happen which you begrudgingly feel for them and get a small understanding of what drives them which you end up being like one of their children.
It was a pleasant surprise to have found a book that went beyond my expectations. Conroy wrote a story full of charismatic characters with a complex family dynamic that was filled with both heartache and love.
This is the sort of book that gradually pulls you in and quietly goes about its job of engaging you. I bought this as a gift after I reread my own copy. This is one of my top ten favorite books -- of all times. I read roughly a book a week and this one has stayed in my heart for decades. I haven't seen the movie, don't want to. I want to remember these characters as written. RIP Pat Conroy. You were a master! See all 1, reviews.
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The Hidden Flower: Pearl S. Customers who viewed this item also viewed. Beach Music: Fish in a Tree. Lynda Mullaly Hunt. A Room Full of Night. TR Kenneth. The Man Who Fell to Earth. Walter Tevis. There's a problem loading this menu right now.Julia Bridges typed the book with gusto. The 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.
Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. That said, I didn't believe any of the characters: Jun 10, Maureen Brunner rated it liked it Shelves: The protagonist experiences all matter of tragedy in his youth, both quotidian and bizarre an abusive wretch of a father, a venal socially climbing mother, a horrific yet nonsensical assault and then grows up to have a mentally ill sister and a cheating wife.
Set in New York City and the lowcountry of South Carolina, the novel 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.