8 member(s) found this review helpful.
Sarah Addison Allen writes magic: her stories are full of strong Southern women, sweetness and secrets. In The Peach Keeper: A Novel, she once again weaves a wonderful tale of two Southern women, distant in the present but bound together by the past and a powerful secret. Paxton Osgood has spent her life being the girl and then the woman that everyone seemed to expect her to be. Willa Jackson is just the opposite. She defied convention and her grandmother's attempt at a strict upbringing, only to 'lock down' that wild child to become a responsible adult. Neither woman is truly happy, each wanting some part of who the other is, not realizing that what marks them as different, really makes them so much the same.
Paxton is in charge of the restoration of the Blue Ridge Madam, a spectacular home formerly owned by Willa's ancestors, but lost during the financial crisis of the Depression. During the landscaping, a skeleton is dug up from beneath the lone peach tree. The skeleton brings to light secrets from the past, secrets of a Magic Man who held the town captive under his spell. Secrets belonging to Willa's grandmother Georgie and Paxton's grandmother Adele. The secret brings the younger women together, in an attempt to protect the older ones. Their unlikely alliance leads each woman to discover something special and magical about herself, love and the power of friendship.
I am a huge admirer of Sarah Addison Allen's work. The Peach Keeper: A Novel tells a wonderful story of love, loss and regrets. It reminds us that we all need to be who we are, not who we think we should be and that we all need to open some space up in our lives for something good to come in.
7 member(s) found this review helpful.
This book was amazing. Once you pick it up its hard to put down, the book is about true friendship, and what you will do and go through to keep it. It's a touching story. I recommend it to any one who has let life pull them away from the true friendships in their life.
5 member(s) found this review helpful.
There aren't many things in life that can matter more than friendship. It will stand the test of time, old age and silly little arguments, no matter what.
Sarah Addison Allen has once again brought a startlingly sad and sweet tale that combines people, love, and relationships with just a hint of magic that borders on the realm of coincidence. The Peach Keeper is a surprise, bursting with richness set in a curiously eclectic Southern town in North Carolina called Walls of Water that boasts tourist traffic for its famous waterfalls, along with the mystical morning fog that tends to slightly disorient visitors. The famous fog from Walls of Water is also sold in jars. Tourists love that.
Willa runs an outdoor store in her regimented, even boring, life. After all, Friday night happens to be vacuuming night. Quite a difference from her years in high school many moons ago as the known prankster. And Paxton, a high society princess has much more heart underneath all of the precision and planning she so religiously undertakes in every aspect of her life. Working on bringing back the dilapidated manor that once roared with life seventy five years ago so that she can hold a gala, she is consumed with order and makes lists as a hobby. In order to clear out the weeds and to allow for the landscaping to begin, an aging tree out front is removed, which unearths a most unique discovery that brings the past into the present, and ties Willa and Paxton together into an unexpected friendship.
There's no other way to say it except that Sarah Addison Allen has never let me down. She's my comfort read, the type of author who paints a magical world somehow stuck in the midst of reality. I am drawn to her work because it completely removes me from the day-to-day stresses and makes me think for just one blissful moment that perhaps there really is just a little bit of magic still left in the world. I was hooked on when I first read Garden Spells. Then The Sugar Queen, and now, The Peach Keeper. Color me giddy with glee when I realized that there is apparently a book that came out after The Sugar Queen that I didn't know about and I can pick up!
Her mixture of magical realism, friendships, and food, leap out of the pages with its lyrical dance of description so effectively, I can feel each moment, sense the oddness in the scene with what could very well be just coincidence, and taste the sugary sweetness of the food that is fleetingly described.
This is yet another remarkable story from Sarah Addison Allen of friendships, love, and a reminder to never let a chance of true happiness ever slip you by. And as I mentioned the other day, Sarah Addison Allen is the "sucks-you-in-and-keeps-you-reading-until-your-vision-blurs" type of storyteller. I eagerly await anything she writes. Absolutely anything.
Go. Get. This. Book. Now.
If you enjoyed Liz Michalski's Evenfall and of course, Alice Hoffman, then you should pick up The Peach Keeper right away. Oh, and The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff, too. All equally magical, heartwarming, and delectable.