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Ramblings by Year

The Peach Keeper

The Peach Keeper
by Sarah Addison Allen

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. (snipped for length – goodreads.com)

I am a year behind all Sarah Addison Allen awesomeness because I wait for the trade version of the book to come out. This means I lust after, long for and envy every single book review of her books I see for 12 months before I get to immerse myself into a world only SAA can create.

I don’t just enjoy the stories and characters that SAA imagines, I also take great joy from the title and cover art of each book. The entire package has made Sarah Addison Allen a must-read, all-time favourite author and I am thankful to have given Garden Spells a chance when I did so that I had this author in my life.

The Peach Keeper was full of warm, genuine characters, as all SAA novels are. Though I felt the whimsical magic that always fills the pages was slightly lacking in this particular book, I was still enamoured by the characters and their friendships.

Sarah Addison Allen captures everything that is real and important about relationships. She introduces us to characters that are raw, flawed and utterly charming because of it. There is a softness to the story that comforts you as you read, sort of like snuggling into a fluffy, warm blanket on a cold winter’s day. You want to walk the same streets and taste the same foods and sit in the same diner as these people.

You want to order your coffee and have someone try and figure you out by the way you take it.

You want your ordinary, simple life to feel as enchanting and exciting as the ordinary, simple life of the woman you are reading about.

I sort of figured where the story was going from the start, but that didn’t make the journey any less fulfilling. The friendship that blossoms between Willa and Paxton is something that you enjoy watching. I wanted to know whose bones were burried under that tree and how they got there. As simple as the mystery was, I was still captivated by it and it made the story that much more entertaining.

I might like some SAA books better than others, but I have yet to not fall in love with one. Thank you, Ms. Allen.


7 comments to The Peach Keeper

  • I read The Girl who Chased the Moon for my book club, and I liked it, but I didn’t love it. But I’ve heard Garden Spells and The Peach Keeper are really good, so I think I’ll have to give them a try. Great review!

    Andrea (Newish Follower)

    • Cat

      Hi Andrea! Thanks for reading! Of all her books, Garden Spells is my favourite, followed by The Girl Who Chased the Moon, this one and then Sugar Queen. If you can get Garden Spells from the library, I’d give that one a try. 🙂

  • You are so right. Her characters are flawed and therefore more likable and charming. Her books do feel like warm blankets and I too want my everyday to feel as magical as they do in her books. What an awesome review. I neeed to read this one.

    • Cat

      Juju! I thought you had read this one already. I’m so used to being behind everyone else with her books. 🙂 I truly think that because the characters are flawed they become much more enjoyable and the kinds of people you want to befriend for life!

  • I fall in love with them all, too! I look forward to her next one. 🙂

    In other news, I finished The Girl of Fire and Thorns yesterday and REALLY enjoyed it! Thanks so very much for sending it to me!

  • Cat, I really hate you sometimes! Because I want to drop all of my reading and pick up Garden Spells (one of the SAAs I haven’t already read). Because you have this way of describing her right now that makes me think YES YES I need that in my life again. I want that experience again.

  • I’ve only read two of her books, but I loved them both, so I don’t know why I’m dragging my feet on the rest! I’d better get going. BTW I checked out the first in that Chicagoland vampire series you love so much. I hope to get to it soon!