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I am very grateful for the outpouring of praise for my latest book my memoir about my life with Pat Conroy TELL ME A STORY. I’d like you all to know that I read everyone of them and the private messages. Until recently (about beginning of March 2020) I was on an extensive book tour where I tried to meet as many of you, my wonderful readers, as I could… Sadly, the world has taken a scary turn; my prayers are with all of you…
As we started to leave, I picked it up again and told my husband, I'm getting this. That night, I started reading and was gripped. I was pleasantly surprised to find out you taught at our Alma Mater, Montevallo! My husband, Drew, actually had you for a class! As you moved to Gadsden, I knew it well too. As my dad retired from Goodyear and Gadsden was our weekend stomping ground. All that to say, wow, when I finished the book and had a good cry, I felt like I knew Pat Conroy, and I'm sorry to say, I didn't know him before I read this book. Sure, I'd heard of "The Prince of Tides", but never saw the movie or read the book.
What an amazing story and so well told. I laughed, I cried, I related. I had a clear mental picture in my mind of what was happening. This was such a wonderful read and I enjoyed it so much. Thank you and God bless.
Two weeks ago, I saw a poster in our Venice, FL, library promoting a talk you were giving the next day in North Port. There was no way we could make it, but I ordered “Tell Me A Story” thinking my husband would love it. Instead, I started turning the pages and never stopped. The hours I spent with you and Pat through the pages of the book were so wonderful. I feel like a know you and that if I really did, we could be friends.
I watch a Blue Heron look for his breakfast every morning on the waterway in front of my condo. Birds are my thing. I love your sense of humor. My granddaughter goes to Samford and ironically, we have been planning a trip for spring to Beaufort.
But, one of the things I really enjoyed were the stories about the Siddons. Many years ago, I went to a Tri Delta Convention. I had never heard of Anne, but she was the key speaker. I loved her line about being afraid to show up for fear the officers would take her DDD pin away after reading her book. I started reading every book of Anne’s and I knew she and Pat were friends. But, I Also enjoyed your friendship with her... A bonus for me in reading your book.
Now I need to start reading all of your books. I am so lucky to have stumbled on the poster so that I could find another favorite author. “Tell Me A Story” is so special!!!
I took both, even though I was alone. I waited until after everyone had gone to speak to him and we talked for about 15 Min. A year or so later I was headed to Hilton Head for a golf outing (I'd gone to Charleston a few days early to enjoy the food) when I stopped in Beaufort on Saturday for lunch.
He's sitting at the table close to where I'm being put, looks at me, and says, "Knoxville, you're from Knoxville" and invited me to join him. Perhaps the best hour I ever spent, or so I thought, until I ran into him in Highlands, "Knoxville, come here..." Pat Conroy is my favorite American author, dethroning Steinbeck.
Tell Me A Story is like reading someone's diary about a friend. Damned Fine Job!
As I began a job at the Lexington, S. C. library years ago (I am retired now) one of the first books I read was "The Sunday Wife." I LOVED that book and would always recommend it to all of my friends! After that, I read others by you but sadly I have never read any by Pat. I knew you were going to be at the Lexington library about two weeks ago, so I couldn't wait to come to hear you tell about your latest book "Tell Me A Story". Unfortunately, I didn't get to talk with you that day... others were crowded around you and so I didn't wait but I enjoyed hearing and seeing you in person. I just finished Tell Me A Story and it was amazing!
Now, I have been inspired to read the ones that he wrote. What a wonderful story of your lives together.
I know it must be very enjoyable to write and that is truly a gift! We, the readers of the world, feel as much joy reading the books that you and others write and I, for one, am so grateful to read the stories that are written. They take me to places that I could never actually go and give me glimpses of the lives of people that I admire and aspire to. Thank you for taking the time and effort to write the books that engage and inspire us!! Keep writing! We'll be waiting for the next... and the next!
Happy New Year and safe travels as you continue your book tour!!
While reading the many wonderful books your husband wrote, I always felt that I was getting to know him, intimately. After reading your books, I have the same feeling. Your characters and story lines are so real and thought-provoking. I could never stop reading Mr. Conroy's books until I finished them in one sitting and the same is true for your novels. They are beautiful and leave me wanting them to never end. Please keep writing so that we can share the joy of reading truly great works of art.
Thank you for your much appreciated talent,
Not only have I read everything he wrote, but through his "My Reading Life" he has lead me to a scan few of the books that influenced him. He has opened my eyes to how great books can be so influential and allowing me to experience the world and feel what the writers are feeling.
Mr. Conroy has given me such pleasure, allowed me to feel his pain and to live the life of his characters. I always hoped one day to meet him and to try to tell him his impact on me. He was only a few years older than me, but I was hooked from the first page of his that I ever read.
"Tell me a Story" was at least a way for me to try and close a chapter with his loss. I cannot express to you my gratitude in allowing me to share in your loss.
For me to feel is to live and Pat helped with that. In Cassandra’s book, TELL ME A STORY, she shares an intimate portrait of the man.
I wish I could have been his friend.
Pat was quite a character, but met his love in Cassandra. Just a special book and story that I never wanted to end and could read over and over. Thank you Cassandra for telling us your story.
I just finished reading Tell Me a Story. Loved it and learning more stories.
Having read almost all of Pat Conroys books and at least half of Cassadra's, I am a huge fan.
Twice I was able to attend events where Pat spoke in Birmingham and tasted his shrimp and grits at one of the receptions. Such a blessing.
As I read this book I kept interrupting my husband's reading to share something with him. The beauty sickness is so spot on with several people, including me. Ants and grasshoppers are in my family and marriage......
Prayers to you Cassandra and all of Pat Conroys family, friends and fans.
I’ll muddle through somehow. I have a feeling one of your other books will be next on my to-read list. -Peggy J (SSG wanna-be)
Over a period of 40 years I have read all of his books but feel that I never really got to know him up front and personal until I read TELL ME A STORY by Cassandra King Conroy. When we moved to Hilton Head Island from Asheville 40 years ago, I found myself living 30 miles from his adopted Beaufort home. Still Pat Conroy was a very private person and even had I not gone to his book signings I would have never gotten to know him—until I read the book by Cassandra and the book by Pat Conroy’s other best friend Bernie Schein.
I believe I have found someone in Cassandra who appears to hold the proverbial Thomas Wolfe key to the “unfound door” and “Remembering speechlessly we seek the great forgotten language, the lost lane-end into heaven.” She writes about the golden bridge that magically appears as the sun sets as Pat Conroy makes his last voyage—the longest, the best.
“What bridge?” Thomas Wolfe writes. “Great God, the only bridge, the bridge of power, life and joy,
the bridge that was a span, a cry, an ecstasy—that was America. What bridge? The bridge whose wing-like sweep like space and joy and ecstasy was mixed like music in his blood, would beat like flight and joy and triumph through the conduits of his life forever.”
As you look across this bridge to the west as it sets over Manhattan, the Hudson and lands beyond as its golden glow touches the heart of America, you then again ask: What bridge? “The bridge whereon at night he had walked and stood and watched, a thousand times until every fabric of its soaring web was inwrought in his memory, and every living sinew of its million cabled nerves had throbbed and pulsed in his own spirit like his soul’s anatomy.
“The—the Brooklyn Bridge he mumbled. “ All who have read Thomas Wolfe and Pat Conroy would know that this bridge alone was the one that “throbbed and pulsed in his own spirit like his soul’s anatomy.” And was his “lost lane-end into heaven.”TELL ME A STORY and all of Sandra’s books are must reading for those who want to get to know who the real Pat Conroy was and who the real Cassandra King Conroy is. King Ray Conroy has opened up the LOST LANE—END INTO HEAVEN.
(I placed this on Amazon reviews as well..)
I just finished Tell Me A Story. It was nice to spend a little more time with Pat Conroy and to discover your sassy little writer's voice. 🙂
Thank you for sharing your personal stories and intimate memories with us. It does a heart good to know that Pat was happy and well-loved for so many years. I hope that writing this book brought you peace and joy. I look forward to reading your work next.
Keep writing and looking up for the birds and signs... HUG
I found your description of your relationship so similar to my own marriage and created a new thankfulness for it. While driving to work Friday morning I was thinking about you Ms. Conroy, (I had never read your books and had no idea how much I would love you) and how much I admire some of your quirks and then I realized that I think we have a lot of the quirks/habits/issues and it was a nice experience to realize that I do like myself.
I do wish I could be more of a grasshopper instead of an ant, but old habits are hard to break. Dale calls me secret squirrel for the same reasons you were called Helen Keller. Honestly, I paced myself the last 72 hours to not consume the book in one setting, and as I finished I was in awe when I thought a few pictures would have been nice, and there on the next page was the instructions to see the pictures very nice touch. I am unsure if I will read The Girls or the Preachers Wife first, but I am so thankful that I didn't let my fear keep me from enjoying this treasure. Thank you so much for sharing your self and your life with him.
My heart was broken a few years ago when I heard of Pat's passing.
My first thought was selfish: I will never again know the feeling of pure intoxication while reading one of Mr. Conroy's books, I will never feel as if I’m saying goodbye to a beloved friend when finishing a story he wrote, (even his cookbook, whose recipes I use time and again. While reading the cookbook in which he constantly referenced you, I immediately wondered about the woman who was lucky enough to be married to PAT CONROY!
Indeed, I now know how lucky he was to be married to you). I’ve laughed and cried at his beautiful prose and I’m still just so sad I will never again get to stay up late savoring his lyrical way with a word or phrase. When I finished reading about the life you shared, I knew this time I was indeed saying goodbye for real to a man who forever changed the way I looked at the world.
Oh, you did him so so proud.
Thank you, Cassandra, for sharing your life with him with us. I can’t wait to get started on my first Cassandra King Conroy novel, and my second, third and so on. They will be lining my bookshelves very soon.
With love and much admiration
A FLOOZY FROM NEW JOOZIE
I did not know at the time that you had been married to a preacher. It was quite the fish bowl life wasn’t it? My husband was also a preacher. We had two sons and lived in parsonages for 18 years. In our case my husband died of a heart attack when he was 44 and I was 37.
My boys were 17 and 12. When we moved out of the parsonage into a home I bought in my hometown we had a piano, a stereo, and a lawnmower. I had to furnish our new home through my friends generosity and from my parents attic.
I had the money to buy a few necessities like refrigerator, washer and dryer. It was the first home my boys and I had ever owned. The day I moved into that house I sank down into the soft couch that my father bought for me and took the longest nap of my life. I did not realize until that day the heavy burden of stress that I was carrying. So I identified with that book and have read it more than once. I am getting ready to read it again.
Thank you for Tell Me a Story. I cried and cried at the end. My marriage was a good one and I was devastated when my husband died. I do not, however miss living in the fish bowl that our life had become. No one really knows what a lonely existence that is.
I am now happily remarried as a retired teacher and elementary school counselor. I have a lot of stories in me, both from my previous life and the life as a teacher/counselor.