Slightly South of Simple by Kristy Woodson Harvey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The perfect summer read!
I was looking for a little lighthearted relief from the string of dark and twisty mystery/thrillers I’ve been reading lately, and Slightly South of Simple was just what I needed. As a Southern Fiction novel, it had the right amount of Southern charm, but also contained some very real and emotional content.
I instantly related to one of the book’s main characters, Caroline, the Northern, urban, New York City gal who finds herself back in her mother’s hometown of Peachtree Bluff, Georgia after being utterly humiliated when her marriage falls apart in a very public fashion. Not the Southern type, she finds it hard to leave NYC but needs to escape her life for a while. As a born and bred Michigander turned Tennessean, I could totally relate to the culture shock Caroline experienced when she wound up living in a small Georgia town (although, let’s be real, I live in Nashville so it’s a tad different).
Meanwhile, Caroline’s two sisters, one whose military husband is deployed for the millionth time leaving her to tend to the kids, and another whose Hollywood dreams have led to the filming of a new movie just outside of Peachtree Bluff, both end up temporarily making the journey to Georgia as well. Suddenly their mother Ansley finds her house full of children and grandchildren, and the secrets held within Peachtree Bluff begin to reveal themselves.
To be completely honest, I had no idea this was part of a series when I began reading it (luckily I picked book #1 in the series, huh?). And now I can’t wait to read the rest. This book was narrated primarily by Caroline and her mother Ansley. However, I opened book #2, The Secret to Southern Charm, immediately after finishing and it appeared as if it was narrated by Sloane, one of the other sisters. I am assuming that perhaps each book is written from a different sister’s perspective which is pretty interesting.
This was an extremely quick and easy read, and would make the perfect companion for a day at the beach, or for sitting on the front porch on a sunny day. Kudos to Kristy Woodson Harvey on this charming Southern gem.