If you are a Pat Conroy fan, you will definitely want to read “Tell Me a Story,” written by his wife, award-winning and best-selling author Cassandra King Conroy and released in October. If you are not a fan, you will be after you read his books.
Conroy had a special gift and shared it with millions through his writing. Now his widow shares stories of their life together.
Cassandra King was a college writing professor and big fan of Pat Conroy’s work when she was first introduced to him in 1995 at a literary event. This was just a few years after the success of the film adaptation of his novel “The Prince of Tides.”
King and Conroy hit it off immediately, although their friendship evolved ever so slowly, as finding time to be together was difficult at first. She was in northern Alabama while he lived on the South Carolina coast.
They eventually married, in 1998 in Charleston, just north of Pat’s beloved Lowcountry home on Fripp Island.
Beginning with the prologue, an intimate, gut-wrenching account of the day her husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in early 2016, “Tell Me A Story” is a lovingly penned tale of a great love “stumbled upon” midway through life.
In sharing with us about her 18 years of being married to Conroy, the author has opened a window, bringing fresh insight and a deeper connection to the man, the writer and his rich legacy as all-embracing as his earthly presence.
Sadly, on March 4, 2016, Conroy succumbed to pancreatic cancer at home, overlooking the sun-drenched marshes and tidal creeks of his beloved Lowcountry.
Cassandra King Conroy now lives in Beaufort and serves as honorary chair of the Pat Conroy Literary Center. Her five novels include “The Same Sweet Girls” and “The Sunday Wife,” both excellent reads and even more appreciated after reading this memoir, in which she talks about the inspiration for those novels.
The author’s writing style is straightforward and humorous. The book flows as comfortably as conversation with a girlfriend over a cup of coffee. You want to reach over, give her a hug and then get back to reading the rest of the story.
Cassandra Conroy is currently in the midst of a 6-month Southern book tour celebrating “Tell Me A Story.” See her full schedule at cassandrakingconroy.com/tell-me-a-story-events.
Glenda Harris of Bluffton is a freelance writer and editor, nature lover and aspiring novelist.