Author: Kristy Woodson Harvey
Part of a Series: Peach Bluff Series
Type of book: Georgia, secrets, marriage, hope, faith, mother/children relationships, friendship, south, summer, being for one another, MIA, tragedy, finding self, talent
Year it was published: 2018
A 2018 Spring Okra Pick
One of Southern Living’s Best Spring Break Reads
Leaving fans “practically [begging] for a sequel” (Bookpage), critically acclaimed author Kristy Woodson Harvey returns with the second novel in her beloved Peachtree Bluff series, featuring a trio of sisters and their mother who discover a truth that will change not only the way they see themselves, but also how they fit together as a family.
After finding out her military husband is missing in action, middle sister Sloane’s world crumbles as her worst nightmare comes true. She can barely climb out of bed, much less summon the strength to be the parent her children deserve.
Her mother, Ansley, provides a much-needed respite as she puts her personal life on hold to help Sloane and her grandchildren wade through their new grief-stricken lives. But between caring for her own aging mother, her daughters, and her grandchildren, Ansley’s private worry is that secrets from her past will come to light.
But when Sloane’s sisters, Caroline and Emerson, remind Sloane that no matter what, she promised her husband she would carry on for their young sons, Sloane finds the support and courage she needs to chase her biggest dreams—and face her deepest fears. Taking a cue from her middle daughter, Ansley takes her own leap of faith and realizes that, after all this time, she might finally be able to have it all.
Harvey’s signature warmth and wit make this a charming and poignant story of first loves, missed opportunities, and second chances and proves that she is "the next major voice in Southern fiction” (Elin Hilderbrand, New York Times bestselling author).
Main characters include the three sisters: Caroline, Sloane and Emerson as well as their mother and grandmother and Sloanes husband Adam. Other characters such as Carolines former husband and Emerson's first love also make appearances and also add more depth to the story as well as Ansleys love and the sisters' children. Like in previous book, Caroline is best described as extremsly status conscious, but while in Slightly South of Simple I rarely if ever saw her positive qualities, in this book her positive qualities are seen, which makes her a more rounded character. In previous book Sloane seemed to inhabit the role of being a mother with little to no dreams or ambitions of her own. However in this story, she is also complex, well rounded, fascinating, and is more than just a mom. Ansley has revealed some shocking secrets to the reader, which will cause others to see her differently, but she also seemed to pale a bit, especially when compare her to Sloane. Male characters were her, but it often felt as if hey were more in the background than anything else.
Mother's and sister's mean everything
The story is in first person narrative from Ansleys and Sloanes point of view, and it does immediately pick up after the cliffhanger from the previous book is revealed. The story is focused on Sloane, the middle sister who becomes afraid of traveling to New York due to a personal tragedy that happened in her life. I will be honest that when comparing Sloane to either Emerson or Caroline, Sloane is like the everyday average woman that I imagine many women can relate to because she is warmhearted, generous and very devoted to those around her. Ansley goes into more detail about her goals and ambitions as well as about her true love, and more stunning information about Ansley's relationship with her husband becomes revealed. There are cliffhangers and I am eager to see them resolved.
(From the book)
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 Slightly South of Simple, Dear Carolina, and Lies and Other Acts of Love, Kristy is also the founder of hte popular interior design blog Design Chic.
While I really enjoyed Slightly South of Simple, the previous book that was written by the author, i also often got a sense that the book had a lot of untapped potential, especially when comparing it to her latest Peach Bluff addition. In The Secret to Southern Charm, Kristy Woodson Harvey is definitely in her element and isn't afraid to woo and seduce her readers to eagerly follow the heartwarming narrative of mothers and their children as well as grandparents, lost loves and true ones as well as the importance of sisterhood and family. I really loved every minute I spent reading the story and getting a deeper look at our favorite trio of sister's and their mother as well as the sister's own children. New secrets and problems are revealed in this intricate web of south, sisterhood and the roles we play.
This was given for an honest review
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)