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Dear Carolina

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3.84  ·  Rating details ·  927 Ratings  ·  157 Reviews
A moving debut novel about two mothers—one biological and one adoptive—from a compelling new voice in Southern women’s fiction.

One baby girl.
Two strong Southern women.
And the most difficult decision they’ll ever make.

Frances “Khaki” Mason has it all: a thriving interior design career, a loving husband and son, homes in North Carolina and Manhattan—everything except the sec
...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by Berkley
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Sonja Yoerg
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As a cynical Northerner, I typically resist having my heartstrings yanked. I confess, however, that Dear Carolina did a job on me.

The chapters alternate between the voices of the birth mother, Jodi (young, naïve and short on self-worth), and the adoptive mother, Khaki (bold, loving and lucky), telling Carolina her story, and theirs. The structure is ambitious because we know the outcome at the start, yet Harvey expertly weaves tension into each chapter, finding angles to the storyline that glue
...more
Melissa
Apr 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It's not often I go into a story knowing the outcome, but it worked well with Dear Carolina. It was well-told with lots of anticipation along the way, as well as some situations that I didn't expect. Kristy Woodson Harvey had great use of description that made it easy to visualize characters and settings, without taking away from the story. I enjoyed reading both Khaki and Jodi's perspectives, but felt I could relate more to Khaki, as we are similar in a lot of ways.

I know a lot of readers would
...more
Andrea
May 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
3.5 Stars ✨

I found a new feel-good author!
These characters were wonderful, albeit full of sugary sweetness. It doesn’t matter though, they were precisely what I needed. And....the awful thing I desperately didn’t want to happen, DIDN’T. Oh, the relief!
Tammy
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: release-2015
A beautifully written southern novel with humor, compassion, devotion, heartbreak and love. Dear Carolina is a very sweet story about the importance of family and close friendships that touches your soul. If you're looking for a heart-warming summer read this is it.
Judy Collins
4.5 Stars. DEAR CAROLINA, a stunning southern. witty, and compelling debut of love and sacrifice by Kristy Woodson Harvey, of two mothers, one biological, one adoptive—with plenty of love to go around for one little girl, “You can never have too many people to love you.”

Frances “Khaki” Mason had it all with homes in both North Carolina and Manhattan. A successful interior designer, a loving husband, Graham and a son, Alex. She has the Best of two worlds (city and country). However, she has been
...more
Sue
Apr 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: southern-fiction
Dear Carolina is a love story of two mothers to their infant daughter. One mother is the biological mother, Jodi, who has made some bad decisions in her life and is poor in money but so rich in spirit and hope for the future. The other mother is the mother who adopts Carolina, Khaki. She is ambitious, nurturing, caring and loving. Both of the mothers love their daughter and Khaki realizes very early that 'you can never have too many people to love you'. I live in North Carolina and these charact ...more
Laura McNeill
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing

I've added Kristy Woodson Harvey to my list of favorite Southern authors! Her delightful debut is an inspiring story of friendship, love, humor, and personal growth, centering on two mothers--one birth and one adoptive. Khaki (Frances Mason), who has a son, a loving husband, Graham, and a bourgeoning career, longs for another child. When Jodi, Graham's young cousin, comes to terms that she cannot raise her baby alone, Khaki and Graham step in to raise Carolina.

Khaki truly embodies one of the boo
...more
Janis Skoczylas
May 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
You know, I really wanted to like this book. I am Lenoir Co. born and raised, and I have recently moved back to Lenoir County after venturing out to other parts of the world for college and whatnot. So I know Kinston. And I know the Kinston "elite," and I know Kinston PWT (poor white trash for those not in the know). So I was excited to read a book about my people, and my home, and to read a book by a fellow ECU English MA person... but this book was just meh. I think the author has talent, and ...more
Tamara
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Review Originally Posted:Traveling With T

**Strong debut. Heart-tugging. Good read.**

This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration.

Dear Carolina

Khaki Mason. Southern. Interior Designer. Does not take “no” for an answer. Besides the death of her first husband, Khaki is the personification of the words “charmed life”.

Jodi, Khaki’s husband’s cousin, is not living the charmed life. She’s the daughter of an alcoholic. Her father has recently died. She’s in love with a man who is cont
...more
Kathryn
4.5 stars. I first noticed this book when I read a review by Kristin at Always With a Book, I made a note of it to read sometime in the future. When I was browsing our local library shelves there sitting facing me was a pristine copy of the book, so I felt the time had come to read it. The library rose a few more degrees in my esteem, for already having it on its shelves here in New Zealand!

Jodi Thomas says on the cover - "Characters with rich, complicated lives.... Beautifully shows how a famil
...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader & Traveling Sister
Jun 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader & Traveling Sister by: http://www.kristywoodsonharvey.com/kr...
I wish I could give this more than 5 stars! When I saw the title of this book, I secretly hoped the author was a North Carolina native like me, and even more, that she went to UNC-CH (aka Carolina) like I did. And both are true! I savored every word of this book as I highlighted local places that I know and love. The Oceanana reference with the playground took me back to a time when I was a child on that somehow mystical, but very dated, playground. The local references were really just icing on ...more
Jenny Belk
Mar 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Dear Carolina is the debut book by up and coming Kristy Woodson Harvey. She's a Carolina girl so she knows what she writes. This is the story of two mothers-one birth and one adoptive. The two women bond after the birth mother becomes pregnant. Being nearly destitute and from an abusive family, Jodi worries about how her new baby will be raised, all the things she wants for her that she is certain she can't provide properly. Khaki who already has a child, longs for another. The decision is made ...more
Laura Rash
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved that this was written to Carolina! Totally unique to think of her reading her story. A true testament that family is what you make it. Whether you're blood related or not. A wonderfully written book!
Adria Cimino
May 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A touching story, told with simplicity, elegance and emotion. I really enjoyed this novel, the stories of two very different women who are brought together through the birth of a baby. Kristy Woodson Harvey is new voice in Southern Fiction and Women’s Fiction absolutely worth discovering!
Laurie Carlson
What a BEAUTIFUL story, beautifully written! One of my FAVORITE books of ALL time! This is a KEEPER! A book I WILL read a second time! I took my sweet time savoring every word I read in this book!
My Take:
5+++ Stars!!!
If I can recommend one book in which you become so emotionally invested in, THIS IS IT! Why? I actually became so invested in the lives of these characters that I had a feeling one of the characters who was pregnant was going to have a girl, I just had this feeling, when later I re
...more
Heather Anne
Apr 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It wasn't until two years ago, maybe, that I discovered a love for southern fiction. Being a North Carolina girl, born and raised, I love when books surround me with familiar places, feelings, smells, and sounds. It's comforting & makes me feel as if I am reading a book about friends and family.

Dear Carolina is by-far one of the best women's fiction books I've ever read. Sure, it's true that I haven't dabbled too much in this specific genre, but I've read enough to know when a book has somet
...more
Laura
Apr 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is one of those books that called to me from the first moment I heard about it. I was not disappointed. Dear Carolina is a beautiful book and a fabulous example of fantastic Southern Fiction. What makes a great Southern story is that when I read it (having grown up in the South)I feel like I have known any one of the characters at some point in my life. I felt that in this book all of the characters were familiar to me. People I had at some point in my life have either met or known of throu ...more
Tara - Running 'n' Reading
Apr 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Since I'm not a mother, I often wonder how my experience of books differs from readers who have children; I don't have a strong emotional connection to most books where the main subject is children or some topic around that subject. Dear Carolina was no exception in that regard; I did, however, find a connection with the main characters, Jodi and Khaki, who are the two narrators.

Jodi is uneducated, yet very bright and intelligent; the author writes Jodi in her "true" voice - grammatical errors a
...more
Becky
Apr 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Kristy Woodson Harvey had me hooked from the get-go. Seriously, reading the acknowledgments alone had me excited! She wrote with such sincerity and when she mentioned her grandmother being the voice in her head that said, "This too shall pass", I gasped in surprise because that is a phrase my own father spoke often and like Kristy, I often hear his voice in my head saying those words..
As I said, I was excited to read this book and it did not disappoint! The author did an excellent job with chara
...more
Terry
Apr 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Dear Carolina is a very uniquely written book. It is written as letter's to a little girl who ended up with two mom's due to circumstances around her birth. Carolina is the little one they are writing too. Jodi the birth mom is a 19 year old girl struggling with addiction, an abusive boyfriend and all that comes with being a young girl who finds herself becoming a mom before she is ready. Khaki is married to Jodi's cousin and finds herself struggling to become pregnant and expand the family she ...more
Carmen Blankenship
As I stated in my review for Slightly South of Simple, I purchased ever book published by Kristen Woodson Harvey after being given an advanced copy of the aforementioned title.

So, was I too quick to hit the Amazon buy now button? No way. Dear Carolina was perfect. I don't say that lightly. Only three other authors have got me to go on an author binge reading frenzy. Those are Cathy Lamb,Jodi Picoult, and Dorothea Benton Frank.

Dear Carolina is told from two points of view and both views read li
...more
Bethany Clark
Apr 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I can't say enough good things about this author! Kristy did an amazing job when writing this book and portraying the true south in all it's glory - the good and not so good.
I couldn't put it down!

A little girl was born, and two mothers loved her from day one - one had to make the ultimate decision.
Khaki is an amazing, strong southern woman with it all - the perfect family, the perfect job, but she is missing one thing - a second baby to complete their family.
Jodi is a single mother with only a
...more
Sharon
Sep 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
"My belly might've reached dern near to Tennessee when I faced west, but that didn't mean that I couldn't think a boy was cute."

"Pauline came in carrying Alex, and I could tell by the way her lips were moving that she was praying harder than a sinner on his deathbed."

I rate this book 4 stars based on the fact that I was highly amused through the whole book. I thought this feel-good story was predictable which is why I couldn't give it 5 - everyone knows I don't like predictable - but I did like
...more
Nicole Waggoner
Nov 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I recommend this book to anyone who loves the multi-perspective narrative. I particularly enjoyed the juxtaposition of the two mothers-both of whom are rich in their own ways. Francis "Khaki"'s character is well developed and will resonate with readers. Dear Carolina is a delightful debut that will hold its own among fans of Steel Magnolias and the strong Southern women narrative.
Lauren
Mar 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Fast, easy, sweet read. While somewhat predictable and simplified the characters were great and the storyline flowed well.
Amy Reichert
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding book. This book is as sweet and southern as a pecan pie -- wonderful use of alternating viewpoints!
Brandi Scollins-Mantha
I love the way the stories of the two mothers is woven together to both show the contrasts in their lives and the love they share for Carolina. Heartwarming and moving!
LemonLinda
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one started slowly but I became much more invested as I read. Part of that was because it is partially set in eastern NC which is quite close to my home. Part was that the subject matter - motherhood, fertility, adoption - was of interest to me. But then I also became quite involved with the characters so much so it called me back to it even in the face of needing to spend time doing other things. I was pleasantly surprised by this one which was chosen as my next local book club selection. ...more
Tricia Dillon Thomas
Good read

I started with the author’s 3rd book, read the 4th because the 3rd was so good. While waiting for the next in that series, I decided to read her two other books. This is probably my least favorite of the four, but it’s still really good. Each of her books has me searching if there was a book before or is after because she develops the characters so well, you want to know each of their stories better (what IS the story about Graham’s called off marriage?). Can’t wait for more!
Darlene
Apr 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Originally posted on Peeking Between the Pages: http://www.peekingbetweenthepages.com...

Dear Carolina by Kristy Woodson Harvey is a sweet Southern story that will warm your heart. It is the story of two mothers – one adoptive and the other biological and a beautiful little girl named Carolina. At its heart Dear Carolina is a love story – the love that we have for our children and the sacrifices we will make for that love.

This story is told in alternating points of view as both mothers write thei
...more
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Kristy Woodson Harvey is the author of Dear Carolina. She blogs at Design Chic about how creating a beautiful home can be the catalyst for creating a beautiful life and loves connecting with readers at kristywoodonsharvey.com. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's school of journalism and holds a Master's in English from East Carolina University. She is a regular c ...more
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“You can never have too many people who love you.” 10 likes
“And so, I lost everything. I had already lost my daddy, which is how I got this whole drinkin’ thing started anyhow. Now I was losing my momma. My friends. My job. But I would have rather lived on the street than give up the destroyer that felt like it was the only thing sacrificing itself for me. I” 1 likes
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