Monday, June 8, 2015
#REVIEW - Dear Carolina by Kristy Woodson Harvey
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…
If I can recommend one book in which you become so emotionally invested in, THIS IS IT! Why? I actually became so invested in the lives of these characters that I had a feeling one of the characters who was pregnant was going to have a girl, I just had this feeling, when later I realized I was only reading a BOOK, and this was NOT real life! Well, this IS that book I am recommending to read! I realized how amazing the writing is in this book, that this author is pretty darned amazing that these characters felt like ‘real life’ people! Koodles to this author, Kristy Woodson Harvey!
This book is told in alternating chapters between Khaki and Jodi as they write to baby Carolina, and as you are reading each chapter, you look forward to the next, yet sometimes you don’t want the one you are reading to end. You want that character to keep talking. The chapters in which Jodi talks, you can really hear that southern accent the way it is written. This grows on you, too, and you definitely knew who was talking in which chapter!
This book is about Khaki and Graham who could not get pregnant with a second child they wanted so terribly. They had Alex, from Khaki’s first husband, Ben, who passed away. She met and married Graham, who happened to be a cousin to nineteen year old Jodi.
Jodi ended up getting pregnant by her abusive boyfriend, Ricky, but she had no possible way in this world to be able to raise this child, and she knew it, too. Despite Jodi thinking she wasn’t very smart, she was much smarter and wiser when it came to ‘life’ than what she would even give herself credit for. Jodi is a realist. Rose colored glasses were not in her vocabulary, nor did she know what they were. She faced life head-on, bravely, and with a vengeance.
Jodi was an alcoholic, living with her mother and her mother’s new boyfriends every time the wind blew a different way, in a trailer park, drinking like fishes, including Jodi, that Jodi didn’t know how she even grew up safely if it wasn’t for her Grandma. The saddest part was Jodi did not want to raise her child like that, or even near it, but how could she possibly change that fact? She couldn’t, so she was going to have an abortion.
Khaki and Graham tried everything known to man to try to get pregnant. Khaki was a little sad when someone like Jodi got pregnant, yet she could not. She had no problem getting pregnant with Alex, so this sure did baffle her to no end as to why she could not get pregnant with Graham. Khaki is an Interior Designer, and every one of her chapters starts out talking about design as it relates to the story she is telling to Carolina. She has an apartment in expensive Manhattan that she flies to every every other week, and in-between her home is with Graham and Alex in North Carolina. Graham and Khaki decided they would help Jodi with Carolina, and Jodi was all for it.
Later they approached Jodi about adopting Carolina, and she could still be a part of her life with them. It seemed simple, but it was still hard for both of them, issues popped up with Carolina’s father. but there was one thing they both agreed on completely, and that was, ‘you can never have enough people who love you’.
Again, I HIGHLY recommend this book! You will get lost inside of it, and maybe you’ll do what I did and mix up reality with fiction!
Some of my favorite quotes from this book are:
“I was scarder than a weed in a field a’ Roundup.’
“Having somebody love you so much they caint’ even leave you for vacation is the best feelin’.”
And so many more! Read this one!
I received this book for review purposes from the publisher, Berkley, in exchange for an honest review.
Posted by Laurie Carlson at 8:59 PM