THE BOOK THAT GOT ME THROUGH A WEEK IN THE HOSPITAL
If you saw my last post, you already know that my youngest son Austin broke his back in a recent skiing accident. If you missed it you can read all about it and learn why I’ve been M.I.A on this blog lately by clicking here. When we got the call that Austin was in the Trauma Unit of the University of Utah Medical Center we rushed to his side and then spent an agonizing week with him in the hospital. I’m really glad that as I quickly packed to catch the first flight out of LA to Salt Lake City, I remembered to bring along my advance copy of “Lies and Other Acts of Love” by Kristy Woodson Harvey. It is the book that got me through a week in the hospital as my son Austin recovered from spinal fusion surgery.
And as I’ve mentioned before, one of the many benefits to blogging is the new and unexpected friends you meet in the blogosphere. Two such valued friends are Kristy Woodson Harvey, the author of “Lies and Other Acts of Love” and her mother, Beth Woodson.
This dynamic mother-daughter duo are the voices behind one of my favorite blogs called DesignChic.com. Hailing from North Carolina, I knew I loved these women when I read the “About” page on their blog. They touched my soul when they said…
“We believe that home is one of the very foundations of life, that creating a space surrounded by things you love is one of the best ways to express yourself and find meaning in life. We believe in candles and flowers, moldings and music and using your fine china everyday. We believe that beauty for the sake of beauty adds pleasure and fullness to life and that those small moments surrounded by people you love add up to something really big.”
Another reason I knew I liked these gals is because they are true Southern Belles, a quality I genuinely admire. I think I must have been Southern in another life because I just love everything Southern. I think this passion began when I met my daughter-in-law Louisa and her charming mother Julia, another couple of lovely Southern Belles.
Then, my son Taylor went off to college at Duke University and it gave me an excuse to spend a lot of time down south in places like Palmetto Bluff where I would love to have a home one day. So when Kristy Woodson Harvey announced on her blog that she had written a Southern novel called “Dear Carolina” I immediately ordered the book. It was one of those page-turners that I couldn’t put down until I had absorbed every word. Set in the south, it’s a book about the love only a mother feels for her children, which is particularly poignant for me at this time as I go through this rough spot with my son Austin.
So naturally when Kristy wrote asking if I’d accept an advance copy of her second novel, “Lies and Other Acts of Love”, I gave her a resounding YES!!
And this was the book that got me through a week in the hospital with Austin. Yet another page-turner, this novel transported me to a far off place, away from the doctors and the nurses and the constant buzz of the medevac helicopters, and the worry, the sadness and the tears shed at my son’s bedside. It took me to a place I have learned to love, North Carolina, where Kristy weaves a poignant, intergenerational family tale of two intriguing women, Annabelle and her patriarchal Grandmother, Lovey.
As I read both of Kristy’s books of Southern fiction I kept thinking to myself, how does this young woman write so convincingly about things you would imagine could only be coming from a very old soul. The insightful wisdom of her words made me wonder if some of what she writes wasn’t coming from experience, and I’m dying to ask her if any part of her “fictional” novels are in any small way a bit autobiographical. If not, she has certainly lived 9 lives to be able to write so knowingly about life and relationships and love.
While Kristy looks very young, she lives with her husband and young son in North Carolina and is a Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude 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. UNC is Duke’s biggest cross-town rival and my son Taylor “tented” for 6 weeks every year just to get into the Duke/UNC basketball game.
UNC, Kristy’s alma mater, is the school our family loves to hate, but if truth be told, I secretly hold a soft spot for Carolina. Don’t tell my Villanova loving friends, but I was rooting for UNC when they won the NCAA National Championship last week. And I’m rooting for my Carolina friend Kristy to have a fantastic launch of her latest book. In fact, the book came out on April 4th and is now available for purchase. You can order your own copy by clicking here.
Here’s a synopsis of the book as found on the cover. I hope you’ll get yourself a copy soon. It truly is a great read. Thank you very much indeed Kristy Woodson Harvey for writing the book that got me through a week in the hospital!
After sixty years of marriage and five daughters, Lynn “ Lovey” White knows that all of us, from time to time, need to use our little white lies. Her granddaughter, Annabelle, on the other hand, is as truthful as they come. She always does the right thing—that is, until she dumps her hedge fund manager fiancé and marries a musician she has known for three days. After all, her grandparents, who fell in love at first sight, have shared a lifetime of happiness, even through her grandfather’s declining health. But when Annabelle’s world starts to collapse around her, she discovers that nothing about her picture-perfect family is as it seems. And Lovey has to decide whether one more lie will make or break the ones she loves.
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All opinions expressed in this post are my own. Unless otherwise credited, all photos are the original property of Celia Becker @ www.AfterOrangeCounty.com and may not be reproduced without specific permission.