I received a free copy of Slightly South of Simple from the author for my honest review.
About the Book:
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.
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.
Slightly South of Simple is the first book in a series about three sisters and their widowed mother. The matriarch is Ansley and she moved her brood to the house she had inherited from her grandmother in Peachtree Bluff. It’s a place full of memories – both happy and sad. Ansley retreated to the house after her husband was killed on 9/11. Most of the family was happy to settle into Southern life but her eldest daughter Caroline couldn’t wait to get back to the city. Each daughter has left her comfortable nest and Ansley has been living a happy albeit lonely life in her small town.
Then she gets a call from Caroline who needs to get out of the city for a bit as her husband has taken up with a reality TV star and has left Caroline who just happens to be 7 months pregnant. Coincidentally her youngest daughter, an actress, is filming a movie locally and also wants to come for a visit. And her third daughter decided to bring her two children so that the whole family can be together to help Caroline through this difficult time.
This is a book all about relationships and family. It’s full of love and laughter and drama. I don’t have a sister so I can’t write to that bond – I have brothers. In this tale the bond is unbreakable and the girls are always there for one another no matter what – even if there are a couple of bumps in the road.
Each character in the book is well drawn – even the quirky inhabitants on Peachtree Bluff. As this is one part of the overall story I am still left with quite a few questions which I have to presume are going to be answered in the forthcoming books. For example – Ansley’s relationship with her mother is not as well defined as her relationships with her daughters and her presence in the story while not a major driver of the plot of this story, does lead the reader to wonder why she acted how she did at a pivotal point in the story. I will have to be patient and await the next book.
All in all a perfect beach read that will introduce you to a great cast of characters and a town I’d like to visit