Cover Image: Under the Southern Sky

Under the Southern Sky

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Member Reviews

Under the Southern Sky By Kristy Woodson Harvey.  An enjoyable story of sadness, family, friends and trying to move on.  Kristy Woodson Harvey has given you a powerful story from start to finish.
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I LOVED this book! It held my interest from the first page to the last. It combined a Southern beach with romance, friendship, family, and love along with some very unique topics. I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading other books by Kristy Woodson Harvey.
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I enjoyed Under the Southern Sky very much. I was expecting to get a beach-y romance but it was not that. It has romance but deals with some heavier issues. I enjoyed the long running relationship between two southern families and the secrets they kept for and from each other.
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Really, really liked this book.

I went into this book not knowing what to expect, having never previously read anything by the author.  The story caught my attention fast and continued to roll on quickly and engagingly.  Amelia, fresh off a surprising breakup with her husband, and Parker, still very much in love with, and mourning, his wife 3 years after her death, way too early.  Amelia and Parker are life-long friends, and while this is a friends to lovers story, it is deeply rooted in emotion.

I don't do spoilers, so not sure how much else I can write in this review that doesn't give away an important piece of the story.  Honestly, I'd rather that other readers discover the surprises and plot changes on their own rather than have me give them away, they are part of the wonder that is this story.  Enjoy!

Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book, but my opinions are my own.
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This is the first book byKristi Woodson Harvey that I have read and it won’t be the last.  It is a heartwarming story of lives entwined, hearts broken and family secrets.  Amelia Buxton, a recently divorced journalist, is following a story about in vitro fertilization, when she discovers “abandoned embryos” belonging to Parker, a childhood friend, whose wife Greer had died three years ago. When she tells Parker about her discovery, both of their lives are changed and challenged.  
It is a perfect summer book and the lovely Cape Carolina coastal home of both Amelia and Parker is a beautiful setting for much of the story.  It is well plotted and I couldn’t put it down.  Readers will love this book!  My thanks to #Netgalley#Gallery Books#Kristi WoodsonHarbey for the arc.
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Engaging tale of next door neighbors. Many family secrets are revealed. Love and loss, laughter and disappointments. The story is told from the viewpoints of the various characters. This added to the depth and interest.
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Under the Southern Sky by Kristy Woodson Harvey is an excellent read that comes packed full of every emotion possible. Kristy Woodson Harvey is one of my favorite authors, I love her writing style and the southern settings in each of her books. She has a way with words that puts me smack-dab in the middle of the places she writes about, making me feel like I could endure the humidity of the south to be a part of the communities the characters live in.  Under the Southern Sky is a story of great loss, betrayal, lifelong friendship, a close-knit community, and deep true love. The book is written in the first-person narrative and offers the viewpoints of the main characters in alternating chapters. I highly recommend this book, it is one that I thoroughly enjoyed. I wish I was more of a slow reader so that I had more time with Parker and Amelia.
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Under the Southern Sky is a story of loss, love, family, friendship, forgiveness, and redemption.  Although this is not a genre I would typically gravitate to and the happy ending was predictable, this was truly an enjoyable read.  I found myself drawn into the lives of Parker, Greer, and Amelia from the start and was anxious to continue reading to see how their story developed.  There were some twists thrown in along the way in this well-written southern fiction novel. 

This was the first book I have read by author, Kristy Woodson Harvey, but will not be my last.  She created relatable characters, told through multiple perspectives, in Palm Beach, New York City, and Cape Carolina. 

Under the Southern Sky is the perfect beach read for the summer months!

Thank you NetGalley, Gallery Books, and Kristy Woodson, Harvey for the ARC.  The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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This story proves to be much more than a chick lit type of story that I was expecting. I loved the tight knit community and the way the characters seemingly went with the flow. The first person narrative showed the deep feelings within each character speaking. Amelia's compassion for the abandoned embryos was admirable. Emotionally charged at times, surprising secrets and a zany aunt makes this a very enjoyable read.
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Most anticipated book of the year for many!

Kristy Woodson Harvey is sure to win the hearts of many with this book. It deals with some topics that are hard to handle at times, but the story overall is so amazing that you'll enjoy the journey. Harvey has included cheating, dying and the emotional turmoil for those left behind, infertility and secrets kept.
I loved the friendship between Amelia and Parker. It is such a strong foundation for more to grow. They really are so good together having grown up together from day one and supporting each other throughout the years. I also loved the friendship of their mothers. It would be awesome to have a friend for decades who lives right next door and that you love enough to want your child to marry theirs. (Sigh!).
Amelia and Parker have both had their hearts broken. In some ways, their heartaches are very different (cheating and death), but it is still basically having their dreams dashed and their planned futures bashed against the wall until they crumbled to dust. Watching them slowly recover was a treat. I ❤ this book!
For more book recommendations, join me @tlcbooktalk.

I was given a complimentary copy of this book via NetGalley. All thoughts are my own.
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I felt every single emotion possible. Kristy Woodson Harvey always hits me where it hurts with stories that hit so close to home both in location and with a plot I can relate to on many levels. This beautiful story really teaches you what love is and how family is family regardless of genetic makeup. This book just hits different and I'm here for it.
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I honestly have no words...well, of course I do, but this story truly blew me away and is now one of  my favorite books of all times. I may even have shed a tear or two, or paused and pondered the words on the page as I read. I loved every word of it and saved a number of quotes from it. Under the Southern Sky felt unlike her other stories, more akin to a Katherine Center novel with southern charm. It is far more emotional than her past plots; it felt personal and poignant. It is remarkably moving, yet utterly genuine. The reader is immediately drawn into the narrative by the very real presence of the characters and the authenticity of the writing.

This story is both humorous and heartbreaking, candid and profound. It reaches down deep and grips your heart, but also gives you a new, hopeful perspective.

Through the narrative we get glimpses into the characters’ childhood memories and the whimsical, but solid bonds of friendship, mishaps and all. This is a story of loss and heartbreak, of lifelong friendship, family bonds and the gift of love. It illustrates the potential, often hard-earned lessons that can be gleamed from living and it magnifies the fragility of this precious thing we call life. This story will stay with me forever.
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KWH is such a talented author - she writes wonderful but real characters who will live in our hearts forever. Another smash hit from one of my favorite author!
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Under the Southern Sky by Kristy Woodson Harvey is a wonderful standalone novel.  We meet our heroine, Amelia, who is a well know journalist, who discovers a story of abandoned embryos; to her shock, one of those embryos belongs to her childhood friend and his late wife. Amelia makes the decision to visit Parker, our hero, whom she has not seen in a few years, especially after the tragic death of his wife, Greer.   Under the Southern Sky focuses on three POV’s; Amelia, Parker and Greer.

Parker lost his beloved wife to cancer three years ago, and has not been able to move forward; just working and being by himself.  When someone knocks on his door, to his surprise, it’s a friend from the past, Amelia. She explains why she has come, and he realizes he has totally forgotten about the frozen embryos, and Parker asks Amelia to help him find a surrogate, so that in a small way he will have some semblance of Greer back in his life.

Amelia is also having a hard time recently, as she discovered her husband was having an affair with another man; unable to accept this, she files for divorce. Slowly the friendship between Parker and Amelia rekindles, as each helps one another move forward in their lives; especially after Amelia reviews the names on the surrogate list, and insists to Parker, that she will step up to be the surrogate, and go back to her normal life, leaving him with the child(s).  They return to Cape Carolina, the hometown they both grew up in and where both families still reside.  This was a wonderful part of the story, where the parents of Parker and Amelia, who are best friends and privately hope they one day they can their children maybe can be more than just friends.
Though the story line centers on Parker, Amelia and their family, we get to see the POV of Greer; when she met and fell in love with Parker, her wonderful happy life, her successful book career, the tragic news of her cancer, and planning to help Parker move on after her death.  The was a very emotional part, which was not only heartbreaking and very sad closer to her end.   When the embryos are not successful, both will go back to their own lives, keeping in touch, with their friendship and family.   This is a love story of Parker with two women he loved along the way, and Amelia knowing she had fallen for Parker again, but did not want to be second to his dead wife.   

What follows is a sweet slow build second chance romance and finding hope.  There is so much that happens pulling on our emotions along the way; with heartbreak, love, tragedy and anguish.  To say too much more would be spoilers, which would ruin the over all experience.  Under the Southern Sky was a fabulous heartwarming and heartbreaking emotional story of love, heartache, family, friendship and sadness.  I did love all the characters in this book that Kristy Woodson Harvey created, especially Amelia, Parker, Greer, and both families Thank you, Kristy Woodson Harvey for a wonderful story that I enjoyed thoroughly.  You should be reading Under the Southern Sky.
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I am such a huge fan of Kristy Woodson Harvey. So far, I haven't read a single word the woman has written that I haven't loved! I feel each of her novels, apart from the South of Simple series, have been so unique and different from the rest. She is such a talented writer. I only wish she already had more books out to devour! Five stars. Thank you, Netgalley, for this ARC.
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"Masterful! Kristy Woodson Harvey has a trademark ability to capture the complexities of human emotions and women, especially when it comes to life, love, and family while spinning a mesmerizing tale. "

A favorite author, the talented southern storyteller, Kristy Woodson Harvey returns with the irresistible new novel and #1 Beach Read of 2021.  Her best yet —UNDER THE SOUTHERN SKY. Harvey is known for her rich, heartfelt stories—and her new book is no exception. 

“And look at this stunning cover!”

Emotionally resonant, a perfect beach read.  A poignant story for the modern woman with a little romance, mystery, suspense, and drama with relatable characters and realistic complexities. 

The author's writing is lyrical and rich, and the journal entries are spellbinding.  Strong in character, this beautifully written tender novel explores the boundaries of friendship, marriage, family, parenthood, and so much more.

The settings are vivid and of course, I adored the Palm Beach setting (my city) and coastal Carolina area. Great job Kristy!!! 

UNDER THE SOUTHERN SKY is so much more than a beach read and fans of Jennifer Weiner, Emily Giffin, Kristin Hannah, Jodi Picoult, and Mary Kay Andrews are assured to devour this one!  Please, this would make for a great TV series or movie! 

We meet Journalist, Amelia Paxton a talented young woman, married, and living in Palm Beach. However, at the beginning of the novel, her marriage is not quite what she thought it was, and gets a wake-up surprise call, after she just finished writing a column about the perfect marriage, right?

She leaves and returns to coastal NC, for the support of her close-knit family. Then she begins researching a story that leads her to frozen embryos.  

She is shocked that this has to do with her dear childhood friend, Parker (loved him), and his late wife Greer who died of cancer at an early age of thirty-two. What happens to the embryos left in storage and forgotten?  

Amelia herself was diagnosed with primary ovarian insufficiency when she was a teen; however, she never really thought much about being a mother and was interested in her career.  She gets lost in her writing and she loves her job.  

She begins to help him try to find a surrogate to help salvage the eggs and have a little Greer.  Could she possibly be a surrogate for Parker, or would it be too weird, since he has never really moved on from the death of his wife?  Greer had it all and everything that Amelia would like to be.  From a successful career and marriage, but her life was cut short due to cancer.  

She adores Parker, but she would not want to always live in Greer’s shadow.  How will they make this all work out? 

“And I finally realized that, this love?  It wasn’t as modern as I once believed.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  This was a love as old as time.” —Amelia Under The Southern Sky  

Life can be messy, busy, happy, exhausting.  Kristy takes readers on an intricate journey from the fears, loss, grief, love, complicated relationships, and all the emotions that go along with delicate and intimate details of these two families.  

To make it more complex the parents are best friends (mothers). However, there are secrets that come out and some things are not as they seem.  I loved these characters. You will root for them and hoping for a second chance.  

"Deeply moving, a gripping, thought-provoking journey. A page-turner that unfolds in the voices of three superbly distinct characters and one that will tug at your heartstrings. The author showcases her winning signature style and dazzles the reader, both avid fans and readers new to the author’s work. "

This author just keeps getting better and better and one of the top Southern fiction writers out there today.  I have read every book Kristy has written and anxiously await the next.  Move this to the top of your list!  

Stay tuned for my Elevator Ride with the Author Q&A coming April 20th!  She is always so much fun. 


A special thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy.
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I have reviewed this book for New York Journal of Books where it will be posted the evening prior to the release date.

"Under the Southern Sky" by Kristy Woodson Harvey
Gallery Books
April 20, 2021
400 pages
Women's Contemporary Fiction

Thirty-five-year-old Amelia Paxton working at Clematis, a Southern magazine, is accomplishing her life's goals. She resides in Palm Beach, is now a top journalist, becomes an executive editor, and is married to her soul mate, Thad. Excited to discover her prized article "Modern Love" is appearing in the New York Times she excitedly rushes home to show Thad. When she arrives hoping to surprise Thad, who allegedly spends the day penning his first novel, she is the one who is surprised. Instead of writing, Thad is in fact playing house with her hairdresser, Chase. Isn't it a farce her biggest article is about love and now it all blows up in her face?

Lost and humiliated, she heads to Cape Carolina and the welcoming arms of her parents and her precious Aunt Tilley, whom she loves. The rambling childhood beachfront home named "Dogwood" always brings solace, though now Amelia notices it is falling into disrepair. The upkeep is prohibitive, and the property should have been sold years ago, but how can you sell your family's heritage, especially when it holds so many happy memories? Being back is hard and how is she going to explain she and Thad are getting divorced?

Naturally, her mom is upset, but her dad and Aunt Tilley pull no punches as to how they feel. Tilley, who is Amelia's mother's sister, lives in the west wing of the house and is somewhat deranged. Before Amelia was born Tilley had "gotten the vapors" as the Southerners describe it for tragedy hit her from which she never recovered. Because Amelia's mom will not put her in a facility, she's always lived at Dogwood. Her eccentricities provide humor as she speaks her mind with no filter, but isn't there an "odd" relation in every family? 

Still living in the past, Tilley likes to dress in corset dresses with matching parasols, embracing the gentry of the South, and she believes Amelia and Parker Thaysden, their neighbor and Amelia's childhood friend, should be married to each other, not the spouses they chose.

Amelia with Parker always her biggest confidant, grew up with feelings for him, but dated his older brother and believed they would have a future until he faced a major life change and basically dumped her. Now when she sees Parker is also back home, she tells him of her current situation.

Parker understands her plight only too well for he lost his beloved wife Greer to cancer three years prior, and he still holds her in his heart swearing he will never love another, though he always had a childhood crush on Amelia.

Amelia who is not able to conceive, is working on an article about freezing embryos. She goes to a clinic to get information about the process and talks to the nurse:

"I was writing about what happens to frozen embryos once they are no longer needed.

"I wanted to talk to the parents about these fertilized eggs. Did they destroy them? Adopt them out? Donate them to science? Did they have more children because they couldn't stand the idea of do any of the above?

"'So, you only call them when it's time to make a decision?'

"She shrugged. And then she made a tiny, simple gesture that would end up thrusting my life so far off its axis that my divorce would seem like a blip on the radar. She pointed to a thick stack of paper on Dr. Wright's desk. "Yeah, once they've been in there for three years with no activity, we start calling the parents. They pay a bundle to keep them frozen, and our freezer space is always at a premium, so we try to keep on top of them.' She paused. 'But that list is the ones we can't get in touch with. After a few years of being unable to reach a contact, of not being paid for storage, we consider them abandoned.'

"I nodded. 'Then what?'

"She shrugged. 'That's the hard part. We don't want to destroy them or donate them for research without the parents' consent, but eventually, we're going to have to make some hard decisions.'"

As soon as the nurse left the office Amelia pounces on the list where she spotted the names—Thaysden, Greer, and Parker. With Greer deceased dead three years, what will happen to her embryos now? Amelia grapples with whether she should let Parker know about this or mind her business. She knows how much he is grieving over losing Greer, but what if he could have a part of her with her child?

Emotionally charged with despair and loss, two childhood friends unite in their pain. As time passes, they confront the binds that tie them to their families and each other accepting what is and what can be.
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UNDER THE SOUTHERN SKY by Kristy Woodson Harvey is a beautifully-written and moving story of love, friendship and family that held me captive from beginning to end. Palm Beach journalist Amelia Buxton has just discovered that her marriage is based on lies and she is in danger of losing the job she loves if she doesn’t break a blockbuster story and soon. While researching for a story on abandoned embryos at a fertility clinic, Amelia makes a surprising discovery – her good friend, Parker and his late wife, Greer have frozen embryos on the list. She feels she has to tell Parker so he can decide what to do with them. Parker is completely grief-stricken over Greer’s death three years prior. He simply can’t move on after losing the love of his life. When he learns from Amelia about the forgotten embryos, he knows he must find a surrogate to have a child that will be a lasting piece of Greer. Both facing their own heartbreaks, Amelia and Parker return to their childhood home on Cape Carolina where they come together to comfort each other. Soon their lives become intertwined in ways they never could have imagined. Their emotional journey reveals secrets from the past, but also hope for the future. I truly enjoyed this heartfelt story of loss, love and finding family in unexpected places and I highly recommend it. Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the chance to read an early copy.
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This was my first book by Kristy Woodson Harvey but it won't be my last. Under the Southern Sky walks the fine line of being a good beach book but also has enough depth to keep you caring about the characters and the storyline. Add in some twists and turns and you have a fine read for a lazy day in the sun. I especially enjoyed Parker's journey through grief to choosing a new life and the push and pull he felt. Thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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This is my first book by Kristy Woodson Harvey. I can’t say I loved it but I did enjoy the read. It is basically a story of two women whose lived are uniquely intertwined and the man they both loved at different times. There are secrets, second chances, friendships, fertility issues, love, loss and the reality of ‘what family really is’. 
I did have some trouble with the current morals of casual sex in this book. There were no sex scenes but the lifestyle choices seemed to always think marriage was not necessary.
I also felt like everything was tied up in the end almost too tidy, which did not seem realistic to me.
Thank you to Net Galley for allowing me to read this book. The opinions are entirely my own.
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