Why did I love this book?
Edisto was the first coming-of-age novel I fell in love with as an adult reader and the book that showed me the tremendous literary potential of the genre. Padgett Powell endows his protagonist, twelve-year-old Simons, with what comes across as precociousness, but in fact reflects the depth of thinking that many young tweens and teens have. Simons wrestles with his narcissistic parents’ competing visions of his future—although neither bothers to ask him what he wants—while hanging out on the sultry island of Edisto off the coast of South Carolina with an enigmatic older acquaintance, Taurus, who offers him tastes of adult life and the kind of attention his parents are incapable of providing. Powell’s deft prose and realistic dialogue make it all fully believable, and at times riotously funny. Edisto is nothing short of brilliant.