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Dear Carolina

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,660 ratings  ·  219 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
Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by Berkley
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Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,660 ratings  ·  219 reviews

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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 glu
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
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!
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.
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
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
Judy D 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
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
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Jun 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader by:
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 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
Jul 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Talk about a book that will pull at your heart strings. For me, this was the right book at the right time. With all that’s going on in this world, this was the perfect read.

This is a story of family, love, loss and hope. Kristy Woodson Harvey does an excellent job in telling the story with a southern accent that you literally hear in your head as your reading. Her writing transports you to the south and you can’t help but be captivated and invested in the lives of the characters she’s created.
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
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!
Melanie Cannon
Jun 03, 2020 rated it liked it
My favorite part of this book, which was an examination of how two mothers, a birth mother and adoptive mother, can both feel and show their love to a little girl named Carolina — was hands down the canning tips and advice.

I love a southern writer and hope to read more from Kristy Woodson Harvey.
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
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 something
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
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
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
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
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
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
Penny Dawson
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
The reason I gave this 2 stars was it is set in my hometown so I did enjoy the references, but...
Best wishes to this author but several things I want to tell her:
1. WAY too many similes and most were just plain silly
2. I did not connect with Jodi, didn't think you did a good job developing her realistically as someone from her background and location
3. Switching back and forth between Kinston and New York, really? Kinston and Raleigh maybe.
I'm going to read her next one b/c it has been recommend
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.
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!
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!
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Kristy Woodson Harvey is the bestselling author of DEAR CAROLINA, LIES AND OTHER ACTS OF LOVE, SLIGHTLY SOUTH OF SIMPLE, THE SECRET TO SOUTHERN CHARM and THE SOUTHERN SIDE OF PARADISE. Kristy is the winner of the Lucy Bramlette Patterson Award for Excellence in Creative Writing, a finalist for the Southern Book Prize, her work has been optioned for film and her books have received numerous accolad

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