There's a passage that particularly struck me; it's on page 172.
- "We were the girls of Charleston," Molly says. "They raised us to be the most charming of idiots. We're the sweet confections, the sugar dumplings who are the pride and joy of a dying society. I don't think my parents even know they were coconspirators in the scheme to erase my brain."
But then Conroy comes right back at you with something magnificent and life-affirming, something beautiful that warms you through your body and makes you feel like he's injected you with some sort of life-giving potion. This appears on page 510:
- We have been touched by the fury of storms and the wrath of an angry, implacable God. But that is what it means to be human, born to nakedness and tenderness and nightmare in the eggshell fragility of mortality and flesh. The immensity of the Milky Way settles over the city, and the earthworms rule beneath the teeming gardens in their eyeless world. I am standing with my best friends in the world in complete awe at the loveliness of the South.
To live is to choose to be vulnerable, but life is the greatest gift we have. Sometimes I don't remember that. Thank you, Conroy, for reminding me. And thank you, my friend-in his and every sense of the word-, for first showing me the power vested in his evocative, dark, sarcastic, hilarious and tragic works.