In Kristy Woodson Harvey's debut novel, Dear Carolina, we read about two distinctly different young women. There is Khaki, an accomplished designer married to Graham. And then there is Graham's teenaged cousin Jodi, a less than perfect young woman.
This book is about motherhood. And all that it means. Does motherhood mean birthing a child? Or does it mean nurturing a child? Does it have to be both? I think we all know the answer to that. But just because the birth mother is somewhat flawed, and not quite able to rise above her very humble beginnings, that doesn't mean she doesn't have a good heart. Or that she doesn't know what is the best solution for her unplanned pregnancy.
Khaki, wants another child so badly, yet getting pregnant with her love just isn't happening. Jodi accidentally gets pregnant and the father doesn't stick around. Just as well, as he wasn't much to begin with. A puzzle with many intricate pieces. That is put together with the voices of two mothers in writing to one child. A child can't have too many people who love them. And two mothers? Why not?
This is a southern story about family and love and trying to right wrongs. Second chances and trying to get them right. It is about wanting what you can't have. Not having what someone else seems to have so effortlessly. It is about finding a way to make everyone happy. It is a journal by two mothers who dearly love one child. A child they share. One by birth. One by love. Harvey's plot is rich with great characters. I believe that is her strongest talent. And the fact that she can interweave a story with those well fleshed out characters is merely icing on the cake. Harvey is also co-author of the blog Design Chic along with her mother, Beth Woodson. They live in North Carolina.
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