Friday, May 03, 2019

Review: The Southern Side of Paradise by Kristy Woodsen Harvey

Title: The Southern Side of Paradise
Author: Kristy Woodsen Harvey
Series: Peachtree Bluff, #3
Published: May 2019, Gallery Books
Format: ARC Paperback, 400 pages
Source: Publisher

From internationally bestselling author and “rising star of Southern fiction” (Mary Alice Monroe, New York Times bestselling author) Kristy Woodson Harvey comes the third novel in her Peachtree Bluff series, in which a secret threatens the tight-knit bond between a trio of sisters and their mother.

With the man of her dreams back in her life and all three of her daughters happy, Ansley Murphy should be content. But she can’t help but feel like it’s all a little too good to be true.

Meanwhile, youngest daughter and actress Emerson, who is recently engaged and has just landed the role of a lifetime, seemingly has the world by the tail. Only, something she can’t quite put her finger on is worrying her—and it has nothing to do with her recent health scare.

When two new women arrive in Peachtree Bluff—one who has the potential to wreck Ansley’s happiness and one who could tear Emerson’s world apart—everything is put in perspective. And after secrets that were never meant to be told come to light, the powerful bond between the Murphy sisters and their mother comes crumbling down, testing their devotion to each other and forcing them to evaluate the meaning of family.

With Kristy Woodson Harvey’s signature charm, wit, and heart, The Southern Side of Paradise is another masterful Peachtree Bluff novel that proves she is a “Southern writer with staying power” (Booklist).

My thoughts: You know that author that you just love to tell people about because not only do you love their books, but you also adore them as a person? Well, for me that's Kristy Woodson Harvey!  She is just as cute and charming as you can imagine and if you've had a chance to read her books yet, you can definitely see her personality dripping off the pages. This is why I adore her books...this is why I jump at the opportunity to read and support her - she is good people, folks and she is truly a talented author. She will make you laugh and she will make you cry and by the time you finish one of her books, you will feel hope and compassion like no one else has made you feel.

I have to say I approached this book, this final book in the Peachtree Bluff trilogy, with mixed feelings. I was definitely delighted that we were finally going to get Emerson's story - as much as I have loved these three Murphy sisters, I think I loved Emerson the most! - and I wanted to see what was in store next for Ansley and Jack. But that all being said, I also approached this book with some is the last book and I didn't want this series to end. But I do love how Kristy ended it.

While this book can certainly be read as a stand-alone, I highly recommend reading the trilogy as a whole. These three books are meant to be read in order as there are threads that start in the first book and carry over until the final book. And the character development that happens throughout the series is top notch - Kristy really takes the time to develop her characters, allowing them to grow throughout the series. 

The main theme in this latest installment is love - first loves, everlasting love, sibling love, parental love. We see each of these loves explored deftly in the relationships that Kristy has built. Relationships have always been at the heart of this series, and once again this is where the book shines. Not every relationship is perfect and we get to see the good, the bad, and sometimes the ugly come to light, but we also see the love that is there. 
This book has all the feels - it will have you laughing one minute and then crying the next. It certainly takes you on an emotional roller coaster but I wouldn't have it any other way. I loved that even though this looks like a fluffy summer read, it takes on some deeper thinking issues without beating them over your head. It's definitely a story about love, but it's also a story about finding yourself in this world and learning to deal with the ups and downs in this thing called life! 

I loved this series as a whole and I loved this latest installment - I think this one might even be my favorite. I definitely recommend picking these books up for some enjoyable summer reading and I cannot wait to see what comes next from my friend Kristy Woodson Harvey!!!

Books in this series:  
  1. Slightly South of Simple
  2. The Secret to Southern Charm
  3. The Southern Side of Paradise



  1. Looking forward to the audio version of this. Yes you introduced me to her books and I am very happy you did.

  2. Yay! Thank you so, so much for this wonderful review. I appreciate it so much! xoxo Kristy

  3. Kristin,
    This book, and trilogy, sound outstanding. I enjoyed reading your enthusiastic review, and will keep this series in mind.

  4. Thank you for the introduction.


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