Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Review: Slightly South of Simple by Kristy Woodson Harvey

Title: Slightly South of Simple
Author: Kristy Woodson Harvey
Series: Peachtree Bluff, #1
Published: April 2017, Gallery Books
Format: ARC E-book, 400 pages
Source: Netgalley via Publisher

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.

Exploring the powerful bonds between sisters and mothers and daughters, this engaging novel is filled with Southern charm, emotional drama, and plenty of heart.

My thoughts: Kristy Woodson Harvey is one of my favorite southern authors and this is the first book in her first-ever series! I adored her previous two books, Dear Carolina and Lies and Other Acts of Love, which were both stand-alones, so when I heard she was writing a series, I was psyched! I love the characters she creates and the voice she gives to them and love that we get to stay with them for more than one book!!!

This first entry into the Peachtree Bluff series is off to a great start. I loved getting to know Ansley and her daughters and loved how the story was told. While we do get to meet all three girls and Ansley, Kristy has decided to tell the story from Ansley and older daughter Caroline's perspectives, having the chapters alternate back and forth. I loved this! 

This story is filled with emotion and the bonds that exist between mothers and daughters,  and that of sisters. It appears that Ansley and all three of her daughters are all at crossroads in their lives and while they all had been living separately, each of the daughters decide to come home to Peachtree Bluff at the same time. Of course, they don't come right out with what is really going on - that will take some digging and that is where the secrets come into play! And we all know that the secrets is what really drives a good book!

Even though the story is told from Ansley and Caroline's view points, we do learn quite a bit about the other two sisters, Sloan and Emerson. And each is not without their own story and secrets. Having two sisters myself, I loved seeing the three girls in action - both when they were younger through flashbacks, and in the present. I loved the bond between them - through good and bad and could definitely relate!

This book is so fun to read. It's filled with humorous situations as well as poignant ones, love and loss, happiness and sadness. The characters are so richly developed it felt like they had become real people to me and I cannot wait to read the next book in this series - I have a guess as to who it might focus on and how it might be told, but I can only surmise and will find out only when I have my hands on that book!

 Books in this series:
  1. Slightly South of Simple
  2. The Secret to Southern Charm - due out ???


  1. I love women's fiction set on the coast. I'll definitely have to be checking this one out.

  2. Like the sound of this one. Like the cover too

  3. Thank you so much for reviewing Slightly South of Simple- and all your support!


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