Review: The Southern Side of Paradise by Kristy Woodson Harvey


Release date: May 7, 2019

Publisher: Gallery

Genre: Women’s Fiction


With the man of her dreams back in her life and all three of her daughters happy, Ansley Murphy should be content. But she can’t help but feel like it’s all a little too good to be true.

Meanwhile, youngest daughter and actress Emerson, who is recently engaged and has just landed the role of a lifetime, seemingly has the world by the tail. Only, something she can’t quite put her finger on is worrying her—and it has nothing to do with her recent health scare.

When two new women arrive in Peachtree Bluff—one who has the potential to wreck Ansley’s happiness and one who could tear Emerson’s world apart—everything is put in perspective. And after secrets that were never meant to be told come to light, the powerful bond between the Murphy sisters and their mother comes crumbling down, testing their devotion to each other and forcing them to evaluate the meaning of family.

With Kristy Woodson Harvey’s signature charm, wit, and heart, The Southern Side of Paradise is another masterful Peachtree Bluff novel that proves she is a “Southern writer with staying power” (Booklist). 


Ahh what a bittersweet review this is for me, I’ve been a fan of this series since the beginning and have been both anxiously awaiting the third and final book but also dreading it, simply because I’m not ready to say goodbye to these characters that I have come to adore. In case you want to see me gush over the other books in this series here’s my reviews for Slightly South of Simple and The Secret to Southern Charm, all highly recommended by me!

Three books in and it’s finally Emerson’s time to shine! Each book focuses on one of the Murphy sisters and you also hear from their mom, Ansley in alternating chapters, so by this point these characters feel like family. I’ve loved watching their family dynamics shift over the course of the series, so much has changed for all of them since the first book and I feel like things have come full circle for each of the Murphy women as well.

There have been some family secrets lurking in the background all along and all the unanswered issues and questions are resolved here, and for me, everything came to a totally satisfying conclusion. These women have messy, complicated relationships, both with each other and also in their romantic relationships and things were handled in a way that felt true and genuine. As much as this whole series feels heartfelt this one took that to a whole new level, I teared up a few times, I laughed, I was surprised and most of all I closed this one feeling completely content and ready to say goodbye to Peachtree Bluff, even though it was with a tinge of sadness.

The Southern Side of Paradise in three words: Charming, Sincere and Entrancing.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

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