Monday, July 4, 2011

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

Allen juggles small town history and mystical thriller, character development and eerie magical realism in a fine Southern gothic drama. - Publishers Weekly

About the Book
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.
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.
It was like love at first sight!  I waltzed into the bookstore (Yup I waltz into bookstores) without a clue this book was out yet.  I spotted the greenish hue of the cover and it was a slow-motioned run up, skip, pulled book to my chest, fell to my knees, book above my head yelling in undeniable joy and let us not forget the dramatic weeping!
Fans of Garden Spells, Allen’s debut novel, come one come all.  Allen shows off her talent of exquisite storytelling with a smidge of food and a hint of romance (not the smushie kind). 
As natural as it is for me to pick up an Allen book and admire it, so it is with her style of traditions, superstitions and delights on each page.  The Peach Keeper doesn’t disappoint, with a large house, called The Blue Madam – The iconic representation of Walls of Water, a small town in North Carolina – needs restoration. 
Paxton Osgood, twin of Colin Osgood, is the chairman (or woman) of the Women’s Society Club and the brains behind the restoration of the Blue Madam.  The Osgood’s are a well to do family in Walls of Water with hidden secrets that are about to be set free.  When Colin arrives to attend the opening of the Blue Madam, not only does his presence force Paxton to realise the truth about herself, about her family and Sebastian.
Willa Jackson runs a small outdoor wears shop with an attached coffee shop, and Addison doesn’t hold back on the treats spewing out this little cafe!  Rachel, the barista of this attached coffee shop, is determined a person can be sussed out by their coffee order (This means Tarryn and I are read as Coffee addicts who pretend they are on diet with the use of sweetener). Willa has returned to Walls of Water after the death of her father to look after her alzhiemic Grandmother – who used to live in the Blue Madam before her family lost their fortune and were forced out the house.
This story may seem full of fluff and delicious coffee but it is far from it.  Paxton’s Grandmother, Agatha, and Willa’s Grandmother, Georgie were best friends 75 years ago.  75 years ago something happened in Walls of Water that only Agatha and Georgie know and when a body is found under the old Peach tree at the Madam secrets come spilling out.
I really enjoyed this novel from Sarah Addison Allen but I have to describe this book as Chinese Food.  Chinese Food is great when you are sitting around with friends, eating and chatting, but an hour after you have finished the meal you are left starving!  This is how I felt with this novel, I wanted more and even though Allen ended the book with a tear jerker I felt as if it wasn’t as great as Garden Spells.  However, with that said I urge you to read it.  You will discover a friendship and a story that will warm you to the core...

- Review by Kelly Ansara


Molli @ Once Upon a Prologue said...

I keep seeing this book around. I've not read Garden Spells yet so I've gotta start with that one, but this book looks like it might be right up my alley. Good insightful review!

BookGeek said...

I almost bought this and am now kicking myself that I didn't. Sounds lovely!

Marlene Detierro said...

Love the cover and title of this book. Just so pretty. Shame the main characters weren't quite as appealing, but still an intriguing story concept so may have to consider giving it a go.

Marlene Detierro (Eureka Joe's)

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