Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Book Review: Christmas in Peachtree Bluff by Kristy Woodson Harvey

Pages: 368
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: October 26, 2021
Publisher: Gallery
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: Slightly South of Simple,
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "When the Murphy women are in trouble, they always know they can turn to their mother, Ansley. So when eldest daughter Caroline and her husband, James, announce they are divorcing—and fifteen-year-old daughter Vivi acts out in response—Caroline, at her wits end, can’t think of anything to do besides leave her with Ansley in Peachtree Bluff for the holidays. After all, how much trouble can one teenager get into on a tiny island?  Quite a lot, as it turns out.  As the “storm of the century” heads toward Peachtree Bluff, Ansley and her husband, Jack, with Vivi in tow, are grateful they’re planning to leave for the trip of a lifetime. But Vivi’s recklessness forces the trio to shelter in place during the worst hurricane Peachtree has ever seen. With no power, no provisions, and the water rising, the circumstances become dire very quickly…and the Murphy sisters, who evacuated to New York, soon realize it’s up to them to conduct a rescue mission. With the bridges closed and no way to access Peachtree Bluff by land or air, they set sail on Caroline’s boat, The Starlite Sisters, determined to rebuild their beloved town—as well as their family.  In “pitch perfect tones” (Publishers Weekly) and written with her signature Southern charm, New York Times bestselling author Kristy Woodson Harvey explores the magic of Christmas, the power of forgiveness, and the importance of family in a tale that reminds us that, no matter the circumstances, home is always where we belong—especially during the holidays."


It's the holiday season on the idyllic island of Peachtree Bluff.  Ansley and Jack finally have plans to take that trip they always wanted.  They should be back in time for the holidays, but it appears it won't be the trip they initially imagined.  Caroline has returned home with her children.  She is divorcing her cheating husband, James, but things are very complicated. Her teenage daughter, Vivi, is acting out as a result of the divorce. Caroline has enlisted her mother's help, because how much trouble can Vivi get into at Peachtree Bluff compared to New York City?  Well, it appears Vivi can make some trouble anywhere she is and combine that with a hurricane and you have a recipe for a disaster. All of their plans come crashing down when a hurricane is coming to their island (much to Ansley's disbelief) and things start to get serious.  The Murphy sisters will have to ban together to help their mother, Jack, and Vivi left behind on the island, not to mention their beloved Peachtree Bluff.  Kristy Woodson Harvey's holiday tale, Christmas in Peachtree Bluff, is a delightful visit with the Murphy women whom many readers have come to enjoy through the Peachtree Bluff series.

I especially felt for Caroline in Christmas in Peachtree Bluff. It's not easy dealing with a divorce and  a rebellious teenage daughter who blames you.  She returns home for some support from her mother and Jack, but things get confusing.  Caroline hopes that a return home to quiet Peachtree Bluff might save things between her and Vivi.

The Murphy women are so heartwarming in Christmas in Peachtree Bluff.  I enjoyed re-visiting each of them and falling right back into their stories and relationships.  This holiday tale is an unexpected gift as I thought the Peachtree Bluff series had come to an end, so ultimately, it was nice to be back in the beautiful coastal town with its charming residents.

There's so much holiday charm in Christmas in Peachtree Bluff.  I always adored the setting of Peachtree Bluff, but at Christmas it was even more special.  The tree lighting, the holiday traditions, and the coastal Southern beach town vibe were all well done. 

The looming hurricane definitely balanced the story from becoming overly sweet, so that was definitely a suspenseful part of the story, but have no fear's a holiday tale, after all! Readers can count on the holiday themes running strong throughout Christmas in Peachtree Bluff. There's a focus on the power of forgiveness and the power of community, which make it pitch perfect for a holiday read.  

So, are you a fan of the Peachtree Bluff series? Do you plan on reading Christmas in Peachtree Bluff? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.


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