The Peach Keeperby Sarah Addison Allen Published 22 Mar 2011
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The New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Chased the Moon welcomes you to her newest locale: Walls of Water, North Carolina, where the secrets are thicker than the fog from the town’s famous waterfalls, and the stuff of superstition is just as real as you want it to be.
It’s the dubious distinction of thirty-year-old Willa Jackson to hail from a fine old Southern family of means that met with financial ruin generations ago. The Blue Ridge Madam—built by Willa’s great-great-grandfather during Walls of Water’s heyday, and once the town’s grandest home—has stood for years as a lonely monument to misfortune and scandal. And Willa herself has long strived to build a life beyond the brooding Jackson family shadow. No easy task in a town shaped by years of tradition and the well-marked boundaries of the haves and have-nots.
But Willa has lately learned that an old classmate—socialite do-gooder Paxton Osgood—of the very prominent Osgood family, has restored the Blue Ridge Madam to her former glory, with plans to open a top-flight inn. Maybe, at last, the troubled past can be laid to rest while something new and wonderful rises from its ashes. But what rises instead is a skeleton, found buried beneath the property’s lone peach tree, and certain to drag up dire consequences along with it.
For the bones—those of charismatic traveling salesman Tucker Devlin, who worked his dark charms on Walls of Water seventy-five years ago—are not all that lay hidden out of sight and mind. Long-kept secrets surrounding the troubling remains have also come to light, seemingly heralded by a spate of sudden strange occurrences throughout the town.
Now, thrust together in an unlikely friendship, united by a full-blooded mystery, Willa and Paxton must confront the dangerous passions and tragic betrayals that once bound their families—and uncover truths of the long-dead that have transcended time and defied the grave to touch the hearts and souls of the living.
Resonant with insight into the deep and lasting power of friendship, love, and tradition, The Peach Keeper is a portrait of the unshakable bonds that—in good times and bad, from one generation to the next—endure forever.
"The Peach Keeper" Reviews
Such a sweeping story that captured my heart from the beginning. Highly recommend!
My Rating: 5 stars
Why oh why did I take this long to ever read this author??? I absolutely LOVED this book. I am a fan of chick lit and southern fiction and this was the best of both. This will not be the last I read of Sarah Addison Allen.....
Another lovely read from Sarah Addison Allen, complete with quirky, memorable characters, a touch of magic, and enough whimsy to catch your breath. I really enjoyed this book and (as this was a library loan) at some point I'll buy a copy for my permanent collection.
As well as the two blossoming romances in the book, there was the welcomne inclusion of a character from a previous novel -- Claire from "Garden Spells" -- and it's delightful how the books are weaving together across locations and events not far from each other. At some points haunting, poignant and sad, and at others amusing, hopeful and romantic, this was a delicious and quick read perfect for lazy weekend afternoons or chilled bath times.
3 stars ("I liked the book")
Sweet. Cozy. Optimistic. Charming. These are the words I would use to describe this fluffy, happy read--the first book by Addison Allen I've read (though it won't be my last). I enjoy these family-secrets novels, where everything works out in the end, generations come together, and everyone learns to love and understand each other. I thought the magical realism seemed tacked on and unnecessary (though I do normally enjoy magical realism), but no complaints otherwise. Definitely a "feel-good" book.
I listened to the audiobook and I disliked the reader (she read really slowly and kind of had a sugary voice).
The Peach Keeper tells the story of the people that live in Walls of Water, North Carolina. Focusing on a select few, their friendships, their loves, their struggles, and their secrets. The Blue Ridge Madam is a very old house that is being restored to her former glory. The story is a bit about that restoration, the grand gala that is being thrown for it, the people that it brings together, and the unearthing of stories that have remained buried for years.
I liked this one, but expected a bit more from it. I love Sarah Addison Allen and will read anything that she writes. But I have to say, this is probably my least favorite of her stories. It just seemed to be missing something. I missed the magical realism that is dripping in her other stories, her love of food that she usually weaves into her stories.
I listened to this one via audio and it was OK. Was a quick audio, but at times, I felt my mind wander a bit. Overall, glad I read another of Allen's books, and look forward to the next.
My son told me a story about a spider and a ladybug, and how he squashed the spider because it was icky and it bites, but he let the ladybug crawl across a toy at the toy store instead. That story was ten times more riveting than this one, and the language in it was far more believable than the language in The Peach Keeper. Some of the events are interesting - like when the ladies' club meeting goes horribly wrong because everyone tells the person next to her what she really thinks of her, as if they've all suddenly lost control of their own ability to filter their speach. However, like so many other events in the book, this isn't really a big deal, and it's still a lose end by the end. It's almost as if it started out as kind of a surreal fiction, and ended up a thick mass of character development, with characters that reminded me far too much of the Breakfast Club, one hundred percent stereotype. Two stars.