I picked a great first choice. I fell in love with Charleston a couple years ago on vacation. And reading about the gorgeous city made me want to visit again soon.
The book is in five parts. Divided between the memories of Leo starting with the summer before his senior year of high school and current events 20 years later. Leo is an awkward kid who makes friends with a set of twins who move in across the street, a set of orphans, three kids from south of broad and the new black coaches son. This unusual group comes out of senior year the best of friends and are there for each other through out their lives.
The twins are the only ones to leave Charleston for California where Sheba becomes an actress and Trevor heads to San Francisco. They are also the only two not to marry within the group. Sheba comes home with a problem in 1989 because she has not heard from her brother Trevor in months but has heard rumors that he is dying of AIDS. She convinces the group minus Chad to go out to San Francisco to find him. They spend two weeks hunting and serving meals to other men dying of AIDS in run down hotels in the Tenderloin. They finally run into a bum trying to rob Sheba who states he knows where he is.
They bring Trevor home and start nursing him to health. Not to mention surviving hurricane Hugo and the rebuilding of the city.
I love how Pat Conroy makes the city a character and additional character in the book. I will read more his books.