Composed of blog posts, speeches, interviews and eulogies for the author, the book is posthumous grab bag. The best pieces are two long essays, one about his long friendship with musician Tim Belk, a gay man whom Conroy helped battle AIDS, and a memoir on his time in Paris and Rome writing the book "The Lords of Discipline."
Various familiar themes are recycled - his reconciliation with the Citadel, his alma mater, and fellow members of its basketball team, his family, and the happiness of his late marriage to the writer Cassandra King, who helped compile the book.
His blogs = Conroy expressed an aversion to technology and wrote his books longhand on yellow legal pads - consist of literary gossip and stories about life on the road during book tours. Don't expect deep literary analysis; he mainly gives other authors fulsome praise and gushes sophomorically about women's beauty.
Conroy's weakness for purple prose is on full display - he rejected the writer's workshop advice about limiting the use of adjectives His warm, Falstaffian personality shines through, and fans will treasure the outpouring of his affection.
Particularly poignant is a blog piece looking forward to his 70th birthday. He died soon after, before writing three other novels he'd planned. The piece sends a heartfelt message to live life to the fullest.
The base of the book is his love for Beaufort, S.C. and the South Carolina Lowcountry. The Lowcountry, with its beautiful marshes, genteel manners, cultural richness and bountiful food, is as defining for Conroy as Mississippi was for Faulkner. Conroy's love for Beaufort and the lowcountry illuminates the book.