Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Review: The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

Hardcover, 288 pages

Released: March 22, 2011

Publisher: Bantam

ISBN13: 9780553807226
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.

My Rating: 5 / 5

My Thoughts:

The worlds that Sarah Addison Allen creates are always so beautiful. I love that it's not only the characters but the atmosphere that pulls you in! In The Peach Keeper, Willa & Paxton are brought together when Paxton's project to restore the historic Blue Ridge Madam, once owned by Willa's family, hits a snag and bones are found buried beneath a peach tree. The body is traced back to 1936 when the Woman's Society Club was formed and Willa's family moved out...coincidence?

I adored every character in this novel, from the seeming average Willa (who has more then meets the eye), the socialite Paxton (who has yet to move out and lives in the family guest house, never really done what she wanted to do but rather is living a life that depends on parental approval), the grandmothers (with the key to the mystery) and of course the guys, Colin and Sebastian. The growth in characters is phenomenal. Add in the family secrets, prominent vs average family and love and I was hooked.

The Peach Keeper is one of those books that after turning the last page you let out a sigh of happiness, it's that good. A beautiful story of finding oneself, friendship, sacrifice, secrets and love, this is the perfect summer read.


  1. Read this one last week and loved it too!

  2. I have this sitting next to me right now. I am torn between reading this one next or The Bird Sisters. After reading your great review I may go for The Peach Keeper next.

  3. I absolutely agree with your review. I loved this book: the writing, the characters, and the setting. Addison is brilliant and she never seems to disappoint me with her work. I always close the book with that sigh of happiness. I don't think she is capable of writing a book I won't enjoy.