Also by this author: Feels Like Falling, The Wedding Veil
Published by Gallery Books on April 20, 2021
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Women's Fiction
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FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
Under the Southern Sky is the fifth novel I’ve read from Kristy Woodson Harvey and it’s my favorite yet. It’s a story about love, family and childhood friendships rekindled, and it’s also a story about loss and grief and how to move forward when you think your life has fallen apart.
The story follows journalist Amelia Saxton. Amelia is recently separated from her husband after catching him cheating on her and while licking her wounds, she is also researching the biggest story of her writing career, a story about what couples who have gone through IVF choose to do with any leftover embryos. Amelia discovers that her childhood friend, Parker, and his late wife, Greer, are on the list of those who have abandoned their embryos. After much consideration, Amelia decides she is obligated to reach out to Parker and make sure he is aware of the abandoned embryos and it is then that Amelia’s hunt for a story takes her on a far more personal journey than she ever anticipated.
I loved both Parker and Amelia and enjoyed watching them reconnect. They both have some tough choices to make, particularly Parker with respect to those embryos, and they are both dealing with loss and how to move on. So much of what they go through is heavy and heartbreaking but there are some lighter and more hopeful moments as well. I found myself rooting for them to build a future together almost right away because they just seemed so well suited to one another.
I don’t want to give anything else about the plot away as the story packs an emotional punch and it’s best to let it unfold as spoiler free as possible, but I will say that as someone who has gone through IVF, everything about this story spoke to me and I thought the author handled this sensitive topic with respect and grace. Even though Greer is deceased, we still get some chapters from her perspective so we get a feel for what her and Parker’s dreams for a family were before she got sick.
Filled with wonderfully complex characters and poignant moments, and all framed by gorgeous writing, Under the Southern Sky is a story that is sure to tug at your heartstrings and keep you invested from the first to the very last page. It’s not a light read but it’s one of the most beautiful stories I’ve read this year.