When I finished the last Peachtree Bluff novel, I thought it was indeed the last novel but then Kristy Woodson Harvey came in clutch with a Christmas installment and I couldn’t be more excited to read more about the ladies of Peachtree Bluff! I have adored all of Kristy Woodson Harvey’s books and obviously this was going to be a welcome read this holiday season!
I read it over the long holiday weekend and I was so happy to return to Peachtree Bluff and reconnect with the characters—I read this one super fast and enjoyed every single minute of it! And seriously check out that cover, doesn’t it scream CHRISTMAS!? I love it and it’s probably one of my favorite holiday book covers of the season!
Woodson Harvey writes such great small Southern town novels that are more contemporary with relatable characters that have real struggles but end up growing and thriving. I relate to many of her characters and having this lovely Christmas installment with some of my favorite characters was just what I needed this holiday season! If you haven’t discovered Kristy Woodson Harvey yet, you absolutely need to! She’s a fantastic writer and this book was a welcome treat for the holiday season!
In the newest installment of New York Times bestselling author Kristy Woodson Harvey’s Peachtree Bluff series, three generations of the Murphy women must come together when a hurricane threatens to destroy their hometown—and the holiday season in the process.
When the Murphy women are in trouble, they always know they can turn to their mother, Ansley. So when eldest daughter Caroline and her husband, James, announce they are divorcing—and fifteen-year-old daughter Vivi acts out in response—Caroline, at her wits end, can’t think of anything to do besides leave her with Ansley in Peachtree Bluff for the holidays. After all, how much trouble can one teenager get into on a tiny island?
Quite a lot, as it turns out.
As the “storm of the century” heads toward Peachtree Bluff, Ansley and her husband, Jack, with Vivi in tow, are grateful they’re planning to leave for the trip of a lifetime. But Vivi’s recklessness forces the trio to shelter in place during the worst hurricane Peachtree has ever seen. With no power, no provisions, and the water rising, the circumstances become dire very quickly…and the Murphy sisters, who evacuated to New York, soon realize it’s up to them to conduct a rescue mission. With the bridges closed and no way to access Peachtree Bluff by land or air, they set sail on Caroline’s boat, The Starlite Sisters, determined to rebuild their beloved town—as well as their family.
In “pitch perfect tones” (Publishers Weekly) and written with her signature Southern charm, New York Times bestselling author Kristy Woodson Harvey explores the magic of Christmas, the power of forgiveness, and the importance of family in a tale that reminds us that, no matter the circumstances, home is always where we belong—especially during the holidays. (summary from Goodreads)
Some holiday books are really really heavy on the holiday cheer. There’s a fine line between festive and corny—this book is firmly in the festive category. It doesn’t cross over into corny territory and for that I am so appreciative! It made me happy and full of Christmas cheer without being nauseating! If you are a big reader of holiday romances/stories then you will know exactly what I am talking about here! Since I have read the other books in this series, I felt orientated and familiar with the story and characters but I think new readers of the series will be fine without going back and reading the other books. The author does a great job setting the stage and getting readers mostly up to speed on things in the larger narrative so if you are thinking of picking this one up but aren’t sure since it’s part of a series, I would say don’t worry—you will be fine! BUT—why would you want to miss out on the Murphy women? Do yourself a favor, read this one for the holidays but then add the other books to your Christmas list. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
The thing I love about the Peachtree Bluff series is how real the women are. They all deal with real issues just like every other woman out there— marriage, careers, friendships, love, and complicated parental issues. I feel like I could actually be friends with the Peachtree Bluff women, like I could be meeting any one of them for wine and a good old fashion girl talk/venting session! I think that’s why this series resonates with so many women and fans. And now with this Christmas book not only do we get to revisit and catch up with them all but we also get to be part of their holiday traditions! This book is just such a treat and I am so happy that we got this little surprise book for the season!
While this book captures the cozy, cheeriness of the holiday season and the magic of a small town, having the storm ,making a bee line for shore really added a lot of drama and tension to the novel and I thought it was a fun element to the plot. This book was easily 5 stars for me. I just adore how relatable the characters are and as a woman reader there is so much I can relate to with each of the Murphy women and I see myself in them in many different ways. Readers will find connections with the characters not only in this series but in all of Woodson Harvey’s novels. She is a master at writing honest, believable female characters and I am so here for it!
Book Info and Rating
Format: 368 pages, paperback
Published: October 26 2021 by Galley Books
Free review copy provided by publisher, Gallery Books in partnership with Tall Poppy Writers/Bloggers, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 5 stars
Genre: holiday, contempo lit