Sunday, October 23, 2011

Book Review - The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

Title: The Peach Keeper
Author: Sarah Addison Allen 
Year: 2011
Page: 273
Genre: Fiction - Magical Realism

FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

Summary (from
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.

First Sentence:
The day Paxton Osgood took the box of heavy-stock, foil-lined envelopes to the post office, the ones she'd had a professional calligrapher address, it began to rain so hard the air turned a white as bleached cotton.

My Thoughts:

  • Since I "discovered" Sarah Addison Allen this year and really enjoyed The Sugar Queen, I just had to read everything else by her! So when I found out her new book was coming out, I promptly reserved it at the library
  • Isn't the cover so pretty and sweet - though I almost wish it didn't have the girl :) I love the falling flowers and the tree in the background. The title fits the story too
  • I must say I was a bit disappointed with the story though - it just was a bit too predictable and the magic wasn't quite as magical. In fact, the magic seemed a little contrived. 
  • The characters seemed a bit stereotypical. They were likable but none really stood out to me. [SPOILER] I also didn't quite understand how Paxton and Sebastian hit it off since they were never friends - I know the author tried to explain a little about that but the reason wasn't quite good enough [/SPOILER]
  • I'd still read the author's next book. I read on her facebook page that she was going through chemo so I felt bad that I don't quite enjoy this book as much - but I admired her that she still has a book published while she is going through a lot in her personal life!

"Superstitions are man's way of trying to control things he has no control over." (p7)

Happiness means taking risks. And if you're not a little scared, you're not doing it right. (p249)

Overall Rating:

2.5 Stars. Not bad, but not her best.

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