Review: Slightly South of Simple: A Novel (Peachtree Bluff #1) by Kristy Woodson Harvey

Peachtree’s motto is “A place to call home” and oh what a home it is! There is something about Southern literature that is so homey and comforting. I loved Kristy Woodson Harvey’s book, Lies and Other Acts of Love…..her books kind of have that sweet tea and a soft summer breeze feel to them. I can almost smell the magnolias from here!

In her latest book, we return to the South, this time to the town of Peachtree Bluff where, as I said it’s a ‘place to call home’ and that’s where we find Caroline Murphy.

Caroline 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 (summary from Goodreads).

Let’s just talk about the setting for a second….I think that the South really worked for this story. For some reason, when I think family dramas, I almost always think of books set in New York or Georgia. In this book, Woodson Harvey married the two. I loved the small coastal town of Peachtree Bluff. To me added so much charm to this novel and made it the perfect summer read. A beach setting in a small town, with an intriguing family dynamics and family secrets…..I just felt it was perfect!

One of the things I liked most about this novel (aside from the setting) was the alternating POVs between mom and daughter. I felt like I was getting the whole picture and understanding how the relationships between the characters worked and evolved. I personally related to Caroline more and enjoyed her POV the most, maybe because I am closer in age and maybe could relate to her situation a little more than Ansley’s, but Ansley’s POV was intriguing in it’s own way. Each character felt like a real and true person

This story had a lot of tongue and cheek moments and some great little lines that were funny but yet meaningful. I also loved some of circumstances that the characters found themselves in…without giving away too much, for example, Caroline’s husband is dating a supermodel on a reality TV show. I loved the absurdity of it all and it made me feel for Caroline more because it was so over the top and I just loved it!

For me, this was another winner! I loved the setting and the characters and Woodson Harvey’s has a way of creating a story with a hint of a Southern breeze to warm readers and hold their interest. I am excited to see that this is going to be a series, in this book Woodson Harvey built a lot of the foundations for the upcoming series which I am excited to read in the coming months! I wouldn’t call this novel just chick lit or just women’s fiction….it’s so much more than that. It’s a family drama, chick lit, women’s fiction, and contemporary literature all wrapped up into one!

And as a side note….I didn’t realize that Woodson Harvey is also an interior designer. I don’t know how I missed this but somehow I did. I checked out her design sight, Design Chic, that she runs with her mom and can I just say, her designs are on point! Their Instagram is like house goals for me right now! Fantastic work ladies!

I’ve been continually impressed with Woodson Harvey’s novels and I am so glad that I’ve been able to read them! This is one of the reasons I book blog, I wouldn’t normally pick up a novel like this since I read a lot of mysteries and historical fiction, but I was so glad that I said yes to Lies and Other Acts of Love and discovered what a talented writer she is. Now I look forward to her upcoming books!

Book blogging for the win!

Challenge/Book Summary:

Book: Slightly South of Simple (Peachtree Bluff #1) by Kristy Woodson Harvey

  • Kindle, 400 pages
    Expected publication: April 25th 2017 by Gallery Books
    ISBN 1501158058 (ISBN13: 9781501158056)
  • Review copy provided by: Publisher/Author in exchange for an honest review

This book counts toward: NA

  • Hosted by: NA
  • Books for Challenge Completed: NA

Recommendation: 5 out of 5

Genre: Chick lit, contempo lit, family saga/drama, women’s fiction

Memorable lines/quotes: 

3 thoughts on “Review: Slightly South of Simple: A Novel (Peachtree Bluff #1) by Kristy Woodson Harvey

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