Slightly South of Simple

A Novel

Slightly South of Simple

*Glitter Guide’s “Must Reads for April”
*PopSugar’s “Ultimate Summer Reading”
*Bustle’s Books to Read and Discuss With Your Mom and Grandma
*New York Live’s “Ashley’s A-List” Pick

“One of the hottest new Southern writers.” —Parade

From the next “major voice in Southern fiction” (Elin Hilderbrand, New York Times bestselling author) comes the first in an all-new series chronicling the journeys of three sisters and their mother—and a secret from their past that has the potential to tear them apart and reshape their very definition of what it means to be a family.

Caroline Murphy swore she’d never set foot back in the small Southern town of Peachtree Bluff; she was a New York girl born and bred and the worst day of her life was when, in the wake of her father’s death, her mother selfishly forced her to move—during her senior year of high school, no less—back to that hick-infested rat trap where she'd spent her childhood summers. But now that her marriage to a New York high society heir has fallen apart in a very public, very embarrassing fashion, a pregnant Caroline decides to escape the gossipmongers with her nine-year-old daughter and head home to her mother, Ansley.

Ansley has always put her three daughters first, especially when she found out that her late husband, despite what he had always promised, left her with next to nothing. Now the proud owner of a charming waterfront design business and finally standing on her own two feet, Ansley welcomes Caroline and her brood back with open arms. But when her second daughter Sloane, whose military husband is overseas, and youngest daughter and successful actress Emerson join the fray, Ansley begins to feel like the piece of herself she had finally found might be slipping from her grasp. Even more discomfiting, when someone from her past reappears in Ansley's life, the secret she’s harbored from her daughters their entire lives might finally be forced into the open.

Exploring the powerful bonds between sisters and mothers and daughters, this engaging novel is filled with Southern charm, emotional drama, and plenty of heart.
  • Gallery Books | 
  • 400 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781501158063 | 
  • April 2017
List Price $11.99 (price may vary by retailer)


Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Slightly South of Simple includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Kristy Woodson Harvey. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


The last thing Caroline Murphy expects to hear when she’s seven months pregnant is that her marriage is falling apart. In the wake of this news, she packs up her bags and flies south with her eleven-year-old daughter to her mother’s home in Peachtree Bluff, Georgia. But Caroline isn’t the only Murphy girl who’s returning home: both of her younger sisters, Emerson and Sloane, find themselves right back in their mother’s arms for one reason or another. Slightly South of Simple is a chronicle of sisterhood, motherhood, marriage, and all the ways secrets weave themselves in and out of one’s life, filled with Southern charm and plenty of heart.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. Discuss the title of both the book and the series. By the novel’s end, do you think the title fits the work? Is there another title you would select?

2. Discuss Caroline as the novel goes on. Do you think she comes to any sort of epiphany before the end of the novel? D see more

Articles About This Book

Resort 2

Posted on XOXO After Dark

Posted by Mackenzie Hickey

Setting aside the first snowfall and the magic of the holiday season, we think we can all agree that winter is the worst. It's cold, it's dark, and everything is either icy or wet (and not in the good way). Yes, it does give us an excuse to sit...

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About the Author

Kristy Woodson Harvey
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Kristy Woodson Harvey

Kristy Woodson Harvey is a born-and-bred North Carolina girl who loves all four seasons—especially fall in Chapel Hill, where she attended college, and summer in Beaufort, where she and her family spend every free moment. The author of Slightly South of Simple, Dear Carolina, and Lies and Other Acts of Love, Kristy is also the founder of the popular interior design blog Design Chic.