Friday, June 28, 2024

Book Review for A Happier Life by Kristy Woodson Harvey

 A Happier Life by Kristy Woodson Harvey

Published June 25, 2024 by Gallery Books

Genre:  Southern Fiction


Taken from Goodreads:
  A tender and touching novel about a young woman who discovers the family she has always longed for when she spends a life-changing summer in North Carolina.

Present Keaton Smith is desperate for a fresh start. So when her mother needs someone to put her childhood home in Beaufort, North Carolina, on the market—the home that Keaton didn’t know existed until now—she jumps at the chance to head south. Keaton’s grandparents died in a tragic car accident before she was born, so she’s eager to learn more about the family she never met. But even though she has help from her charming next-door-neighbor, his precocious ten-year-old son, and a flock of endearingly feisty town busybodies, Keaton soon finds that she has more questions than answers.

1976: After meeting her adoring husband Townsend, Rebecca “Becks” Saint James abandoned the life she knew and never looked back. Forty years later, she’s made a name for herself as the best hostess North Carolina has ever seen. Her annual summer suppers have become the stuff of legend, and locals and out-of-towners alike clamor for an invitation to her stunning historic home. But she’s struggling behind the façade. Becks strives to make the lives of those around her as easy as possible, but this summer she is facing a dilemma that even she can’t solve. And as the end of the season looms, she is brought to a decision she never wanted to make.

As both Keaton and Becks face new challenges and chapters, they are connected through time by the house on Sunset Lane, which has protected the secrets, hopes, and dreams of the women in their family for generations. For fans of Summer of ‘69 and The Notebook , Last Summer on Sunset Lane explores the power of family, the bonds of friendship, and the boundless nature of love.


My Thoughts:   Southern Historical Fiction at its absolute best is how I would describe this book in one sentence. 

A Happier Life is a dual timeline book that tells of a life-long Beaufort, North Carolina family and the home they lived in.  I love that the history of the town plays such a huge part in this story.   The family is a big part of the history, and they are well respected.   Everyone who enters the story plays a part and has a story to tell to enrich the family’s story. 

 I love that there is a mystery of what happens to the grandparents in this book.   Along with all the family history that was revealed, there is a romance, an adorable neighbor boy, and so many wonderful friendships formed.   The setting

 This book is a great addition to my collection of KWH books and I love that I can add it to my book shelves.  

Thank you Kristy Woodson Harvey and Gallery Books for a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.


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Meet Kristy WoodsonHarvey (taken from her website):  Kristy Woodson Harvey is the New York TimesUSA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of eleven novels including A Happier Life, The Summer of Songbirds, and The Peachtree Bluff Series. Many of her books have been optioned or are in development for television and film and have received numerous accolades, including Good Morning America’s Buzz Pick, Southern Living’s Most Anticipated Reads, Katie Couric’s Featured Books, and Joanna Garcia Swisher’s The Happy Place Read. Kristy is the winner of the Lucy Bramlette Patterson Award for Excellence in Creative Writing and a finalist for the Southern Book Prize.

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 publications, including Southern Living, Parade, Traditional Home, USA TODAY, and many more. She also holds a master’s in English, with a concentration in multicultural and transnational literature.

Kristy is the cocreator and cohost of the weekly web show and podcast Friends & Fiction with fellow New York Times Bestselling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Kristin Harmel, and Patti Callahan Henry. She is also the co-founder of the interiors site Design Chic, with her mom, Beth Woodson.

She lives on the North Carolina coast with her husband, son, and dog, Salt, where she is (always!) working on her next novel.





1 comment:

  1. This is so amazing! Thank you, Charlotte!