Published by Berkley on May 5, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Women's Fiction
A moving debut novel about two mothers—one biological and one adoptive—from a compelling new voice in Southern women’s fiction.
One baby girl.
Two strong Southern women.
And the most difficult decision they’ll ever make.
Frances “Khaki” Mason has it all: a thriving interior design career, a loving husband and son, homes in North Carolina and Manhattan—everything except the second child she has always wanted. Jodi, her husband’s nineteen-year-old cousin, is fresh out of rehab, pregnant, and alone. Although the two women couldn’t seem more different, they forge a lifelong connection as Khaki reaches out to Jodi, encouraging her to have her baby. But as Jodi struggles to be the mother she knows her daughter deserves, she will ask Khaki the ultimate favor…
Written to baby Carolina, by both her birth mother and her adoptive one, this is a story that proves that life circumstances shape us but don’t define us—and that families aren’t born, they’re made…
“Characters with rich, complicated lives…beautifully shows how a family comes to be.”—New York Times bestselling author Jodi Thomas"Dear Carolina is Southern fiction at its best. Lovely and lyrical, with the strong voices of the two female narrators taking us deep into the heart of what being a mother is about. It shows us that love is not without sacrifice, and there’s little in life that doesn’t go down easier with a spoonful of jam. Beautifully written."—New York Times bestselling author Eileen Goudge"Dear Carolina is like the Southern women within its pages and those who will love this book, sweet as sweet tea on the outside and strong as steel on the inside. The dialect of the south is so entwined in these pages the reader is transported to a place where women and children are treasured and family rules all. Kristy Harvey is a natural."—Ann Garvin, Author of On Maggie’s Watch and The Dog Year
My sincerest thanks to the author, Kristy Woodson Harvey, for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Dear Carolina is a powerful story that I will forever treasure.
It wasn’t until two years ago, maybe, that I discovered a love for southern fiction. Being a North Carolina girl, born and raised, I love when books surround me with familiar places, feelings, smells, and sounds. It’s comforting & makes me feel as if I am reading a book about friends and family.
Dear Carolina is by-far one of the best women’s fiction books I’ve ever read. Sure, it’s true that I haven’t dabbled too much in this specific genre, but I’ve read enough to know when a book has something special and this one certainly does.
Dear Carolina is a special kind of love story told by a birth mother & an adoptive mother to an infant named Carolina. Jodi, the birth mother, is young and struggling to find her place in the world. Khaki is a hardworking, loving, & longs to add another child to her growing family. This book tells their story & Carolina’s in a heartwarming way that will bring tears to your eyes & fill you with all kinds of warm fuzzies.
Both Jodi and Khaki illicit a special kind of strength. These are two strong southern women that fill you with a sense of pride as you are reading their story and sharing in their journeys. Jodi has had a rough life. She’s grown up with an alcoholic mother who cared more about the booze than her own husband and daughter. Jodi’s father did his best to care for her, but eventually lost a battle with cancer, leaving Jodi to fend for herself. Now at the age of nineteen, Jodi herself struggles with alcohol and when she gets pregnant by her no good boyfriend, Ricky, she turned to Graham, her cousin, and his wife, Khaki.
Khaki, who has lived a very different life than Jodi, has also experienced trying times in her own way. After losing her first husband tragically and before the birth of her first child, she knows what it’s like to pick up the pieces & make the most out of a bad situation. Now happily married to Graham, who considers Alex his own son, Khaki can’t help but want to add a second child to their family. Lord knows Khaki & Graham have a lot of love to share and will make some of the most spectacular parents to another little one.
Both mother’s have an abundant amount of love for little Carolina & the story these two woman share is incredible. Kristy Woodson Harvey has written a beautiful love story surrounding the love of a child. She has taken us on a journey of motherhood, friendship, and family, that will forever be engrained in my heart & soul. I truly cannot express just how much I love this book, Dear Carolina. It is one I will be reading all over again & will gladly welcome the way in which each page welcomes me as if it’s a story of my own family & friends.
I certainly hope this won’t be the last book from Kristy Woodson Harvey, as I will gladly support her work from here on out.
Five out of five stars.
Kristy Woodson Harvey is the author of Dear Carolina. She blogs at Design Chic about how creating a beautiful home can be the catalyst for creating a beautiful life and loves connecting with readers at kristywoodsonharvey.com. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s school of journalism and holds a Master’s in English from East Carolina University. She is a regular contributor for The Salisbury Post, Domino magazine and Houzz. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and three-year-old son.