Kristy Woodson Harvey
File Size: 4819 KB
Print Length: 400 pages
Publisher: Gallery Books (April 25, 2017)
Publication Date: April 25, 2017
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
BOOK BLURB – From the next “major voice in Southern fiction” (New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand) comes the first in an all-new series chronicling the journeys of three sisters and their mother—and a secret from their past that has the potential to tear them apart and reshape their very definition of what it means to be a family.
Caroline Murphy swore she’d never set foot back in the small Southern town of Peachtree Bluff; she was a New York girl born and bred and the worst day of her life was when, in the wake of her father’s death, her mother selfishly forced her to move—during her senior year of high school, no less—back to that hick-infested rat trap where she’d spent her childhood summers. But now that her marriage to a New York high society heir has fallen apart in a very public, very embarrassing fashion, a pregnant Caroline decides to escape the gossipmongers with her nine-year-old daughter and head home to her mother, Ansley.
Ansley has always put her three daughters first, especially when she found out that her late husband, despite what he had always promised, left her with next to nothing. Now the proud owner of a charming waterfront design business and finally standing on her own two feet, Ansley welcomes Caroline and her brood back with open arms. But when her second daughter Sloane, whose military husband is overseas, and youngest daughter and successful actress Emerson join the fray, Ansley begins to feel like the piece of herself she had finally found might be slipping from her grasp. Even more discomfiting, when someone from her past reappears in Ansley’s life, the secret she’s harbored from her daughters their entire lives might finally be forced into the open.
REVIEW – This is a wonderful story of mothers and daughters and the things that hold them together, and sometimes threaten to push them apart. Like my family, they deal with the challenges of life with a good deal of humor, and that is one reason I enjoyed the story so much.
All of the characters make tough choices as they sort through the ramifications of those challenges, and the push-pull between choosing for oneself, or the greater good of the relationship, keeps the tension in the story high.
As a mother, I could relate to Ansley’s desire to fix things for her girls that warred with her understanding that she could not do that. They are adults who need to be the ones doing the fixing. “That feeling in the pit of yhour stomach never goes away, that dread when you are worried about one of your children. Right now, it was almost consuming. Betweeb Sloan’s husband being deployed and Caroline’s life erupting and Emerson’s all-juice starvation plan, there were a lot of Tums and Tylenol PM consumed.”
This passage about love and marriage also resonated with me. “That was the moment I realized that what you read about in books, that isn’t the good part. Not at all. The butterflies make you feel giddy and alive, and that’s sweet. But it’s what happens after that really matters. It’s the time you realize that your love has grown exponentially since that first day, when you discover that being someone’s wife, being in it for the long haul, having someone there beside you day in and day out, is so much better than any roses on Valentine’s Day or any first-date jitters you could ever have.”
There were so many other places I highlighted throughout the book – bits of wisdom and bits of humor that I wanted to read again. And hang on for the wonderful April Fool’s joke. It was so good, it had me believing.
This is a perfect summer beach read, and I just may reread it again in July when I go to the lake.
BUY LINKS – Slightly South of Simple will be available April 25 from your independent bookstore, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Target and everywhere books are sold. It’s available for preorder now!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Kristy Woodson Harvey is a born-and-bred North Carolina girl who loves all four seasons—especially fall in Chapel Hill, where she attended college, and summer in Beaufort, where she and her family spend every free moment. The author of Dear Carolina and Lies and Other Acts of Love, Kristy is also the founder of the popular interior design blog Design Chic. You can follow Kristy on her website – Facebook – Twitter and Pinterest She can also be found on Instragram as @kristywharvey