Title: The Peach Keeper
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Genre: Women’s Fiction with Magical Realism
Release Date: March 25, 2011
List Price: $25.00
Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers program
Blurb: The discovery of a dead body leads to the uncovering of town secrets kept for generations.
Why I chose this title: I have loved SAA since her debut, Garden Spells, and was very pleased when the LTER algorithm picked me.
Review: The Peach Keeper is classic SAA, for as much as someone with four books under her belt can have “classic” applied to her. It has the magical realism (in fact, she brings back the main character from Garden Spells for a scene) and the journey of two main female characters as they work out how their lives are intersecting as well as their respective romantic relationships. This time the setting is Walls of Water, North Carolina, a town torn between the old guard who built up the town during its logging days and the new guard who have capitalized on the tourism to the nearby national park.Willa Jackson’s family used to be the town scions, but when logging went, so did the family money. Her grandmother, Georgie, then turned up pregnant, and no one knew who the father was. Paxton Osgood is the current doyenne of Walls of Water’s society and the granddaughter of Agatha, Georgie’s best friend. Paxton has taken on the task of restoring the old Jackson family home to its former glory. In the process she stirs up old secrets believed to have been left for dead. The interplay between Willa and Paxton is enlightening as they each are discovering a friendship they never knew they needed. At play in this story is also how high school reputations follow you into adulthood, either just in your own mind or in that of the townspeople you grew up with. I think this would make a perfect book club pick for the myriad of issues you could pick apart. Overall, this is a very enjoyable and light read, with a depth that is not immediately apparent.
Final thought: This is a downright sweet read for Spring Break or summer.