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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Under The Southern Sky

Under the Southern Sky

ISBN: 1982117729

Publisher: Gallery Books

Publication Date: 04/20/21

Format: Paperback

My Rating: 5 Stars + Cover Reveal

Two childhood friends discover that love—and family—can be found in unconventional ways in this timely, moving novel from the USA TODAY bestselling author of the “beautifully Southern, evocative Peachtree Bluff series” (Kristin Harmel, internationally bestselling author of The Winemaker’s Wife). Recently separated Amelia Buxton, a dedicated journalist, never expected that uncovering the biggest story of her career would become deeply personal.

But when she discovers that a cluster of embryos belonging to her childhood friend Parker and his late wife Greer have been deemed “abandoned,” she’s put in the unenviable position of telling Parker—and dredging up old wounds in the process.

Parker has been unable to move forward since the loss of his beloved wife three years ago. He has all but forgotten about the frozen embryos, but once Amelia reveals her discovery, he knows that if he ever wants to get a part of Greer back, he’ll need to accept his fate as a single father and find a surrogate.

Each dealing with their own private griefs, Parker and Amelia slowly begin to find solace in one another as they navigate an uncertain future against the backdrop of the pristine waters of their childhood home, Buxton Beach. The journey of self-discovery leads them to an unforgettable and life-changing lesson: Family—the one you’re born into and the one you choose—is always closer than you think.

From “the next major voice in Southern fiction” (Elin Hilderbrand, #1 New York Times bestselling author), Under the Southern Sky is a fresh and unforgettable exploration of love, friendship, and the unbreakable ties that bind.

My Review

"Masterful! Kristy Woodson Harvey has a trademark ability of capturing 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 which 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 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.

On a side note:

Kristy mentioned years ago she was writing a book set in my “neck of the woods” meaning Palm Beach, FL and I was delighted when I started reading and saw The Breakers, HMF, The Colony, Worth Avenue, Palm Beach, and the intracoastal waterway, and all the places I see daily out my window and have visited many times.

I could envision Amelia going into the old Palm Beach Hotel Condominium, or the PB Biltmore Condos (because they are very dated) there on Sunrise (across from my Bank of America/Merrill Lynch-which is still closed due to the pandemic and cannot get in my safe deposit box) and next to the Bike shop I used to visit before they moved— when she dropped in on Thad and Chase (ouch), there at the Publix Palm Beach where I grocery shop, and the Patrick Lézé Palm Beach little coffee shop/bakery, and then driving down S. County Road past the Breakers and onto the Colony Hotel and Worth Avenue. I adore books set in my area making the characters seem real, vivid, and alive. When my sons visit, they love the Breakers.

In that same area I adore the new renovated White Elephant Palm Beach around the corner, Echo, PB Catch, LoLa 41 PB, and the new Trevini Ristorante—if we ever get to dine out again! Plus, I was in the media and publishing industry for 25 years from NY, Chicago, NC, Atlanta, to FL (Associate Publisher and then Publisher), and all this was so familiar to me. It was like going back in time. Plus, I am a native of NC, and of course I loved the dual setting and the Carolina coastal area that Kristy knows so well.

I was in heaven! Did I mention, I loved this book?

A special thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy.

Be sure and check out my reviews of each of Kristy's books.

She is always on the Top Books of the Year!

PS. I cannot wait for October. The (Murphy women) —gals of Peachtree Bluff are back for CHRISTMAS IN PEACHTREE BLUFF! October 26, 2021.


"Harvey (Feels Like Falling) delivers a heart-wrenching tale of love and loss in this tearjerker...Harvey brings her characters to life, including Greer, whose heartbreaking journal entries imagine the family she and Parker would have. These passages are particularly wrenching, making the book’s happy ending all the more moving. Fans of women’s fiction will devour this.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Pack your beach bag, Harvey’s back with another delightful story of the magic of southern coastal towns… As with Mary Kay Andrews or Patti Callahan Henry, Harvey spins romance around well-drawn characters, complete with strengths and weaknesses, and always mindful of the beauty that comes from living in the modern South.” —Booklist

“Perfect for: fans of beach reads, P.S. I Love You, and anything by authors Jennifer Weiner and Elin Hilderbrand. A perfect pick for book clubs or a weekend read, Under the Southern Sky follows journalist Amelia as she makes a heart-wrenching discovery that changes everything.”

—Country Living

  • One of Country Living’s 20 New Books You Don’t Want to Miss This Spring

  • One of Bookstr’s 8 Most Anticipated Reads of 2021

  • One of Frolic’s 12 Most Anticipated Books of 2021

  • One of BookTrib’s Most-Anticipated Reads of 2021

“Sometimes the key to new love lies hidden in old friendships. In Under the Southern Sky, Kristy Woodson Harvey stirs up a warm-hearted mix of hometown charm and the sort of thoroughly modern problems that bring us back to the people who know us best and the places that remind us of who we really are.” —Lisa Wingate, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours and The Book of Lost Friends

"I've always been a Kristy Woodson Harvey fan, but she has taken things to a whole new level with Under the Southern Sky, her best novel yet. I laughed, sobbed, and gasped at the story's clever twists and turns; I couldn't flip the pages fast enough to see how Amelia's and Parker's story turned out. You'll need plenty of tissues—and maybe some of Cape Carolina's beloved bourbon-spiked sweet tea—to make it to the end. Deliciously plotted, intricately constructed, gorgeously written, and brimming with hope, Under the Southern Sky will steal your heart and make you think about first loves, second chances, and the unforeseeable twists of fate that guide us all." —Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Lost Names

"Harvey delivers a fresh and unforgettable portrait of modern parenthood and the thoroughly traditional ways that love continues to conquer all." —Booktrib

“This is a character-driven (…) romance with a lot of introspection. Recommend to readers of Mary Kay Andrews and Susan Mallery.” —Library Journal

Q&A with Kristy Woodson Harvey

Kristy April 2021!

About the Author

Kristy Woodson Harvey is the USA TODAY bestselling author of six novels, including Feels Like Falling, The Peachtree Bluff series, and Under the Southern Sky.

A Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s school of journalism, her writing has appeared in numerous online and print publications including Southern Living, Traditional Home, USA TODAY, Domino, and O. Henry. Kristy is the winner of the Lucy Bramlette Patterson Award for Excellence in Creative Writing and a finalist for the Southern Book Prize. Her work has been optioned for film and television, and her books have received numerous accolades including Southern Living’s Most Anticipated Beach Reads, Parade’s Big Fiction Reads, and Entertainment Weekly’s Spring Reading Picks.

Kristy is the co-creator and co-host of the weekly web show and podcast Friends & Fiction.

She blogs with her mom Beth Woodson on Design Chic, and loves connecting with fans on She lives on the North Carolina coast with her husband and son where she is (always!) working on her next novel. Read More






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