"After reading The Prince of Tides, my first and only Conroy novel, I had great hopes for this one. It disappointed me. There were some serious problems-- shallow character development, contrived scenes, many things alluded to but never explored like the brother's suicide and the evil stalker guy's drowning. How do you take a villain and solve the problem by having him drown off scene in a hurricane? So much better in The Prince of Tides where the heroic brother lets the tiger into the house and thus destroys the stalker/villain. My recommendation is to read the prologue and forget the rest. The prologue is pure brilliance, the rest of the book is a weak follow up."
An interesting note about Goodreads reviews: Many of the reviews on this book had similar complaints as mine (and much more thorough and cleverly written)-- written by ordinary readers, not professional reviewers. In fact, the professionals gave South of Broad glowing reviews. Sometimes you wonder if these media people even read the books they review? Or do they just look at the author and say, "Oh yeah, he's good, here's my canned bit of praise for the back of the book"?
Have you ever read an acclaimed, bestselling book that got stellar reviews only to say "HUH?"