The Peach Keeper

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The Peach Keeper

A Novel

A little book with a little bit of everything. The Peach Keeper is exactly as its title predicts: a keeper. From mystery and suspense, to romance and old Southern riches, this novel will warm its way into the readers' hearts.

Sarah Addison Allen's newest novel started off slow, in my opinion. I'm not sure if it was me, or if it was the slow pacing, but I found it hard to continue reading until after page 70. Around that mark the story plot picked up its pace and each new development was even better than the last. Once The Peach Keeper got past all of its character introductions the novel's true purpose came to life.

Lead character's Willa and Paxton, former schoolmates, are thrust together when Paxton's socialite curiosities end with the re-opening of The Blue Ridge Madam. It just happens that The Blue Ridge Madam is linked to Willa's great-great grandfather (he built it) and has since landed in the hands of Paxton's family. When the re-opening project is close to completion, strange occurrences start happening around the small town of Walls.

Strange, very odd, and sometimes scary things started happening, which lead me to keep looking at my book sheet to see what genre of book this was. I was slightly confused by The Peach Keeper's play on paranormal and magical aspects. I guesstimated that Allen didn't want The Peach Keeper to takes itself too seriously, yet it didn't want to come off as a cheesy read either. Surprisingly, it works. The magical aspects tie into the rest of the plots beautifully. With every new page a sense of magic and mystery consumed me. I couldn't wait to turn each page and see what was waiting for me. Allen did a remarkable job, and because of her talent, The Peach Keeper stands on its own as one of a kind. The good kind!

One of the sub-plots that dominated was romance. This plot revolves around two couples, and if you hadn't already guessed, Willa and Paxton are two halves of those couples. I really, really enjoyed reading their point-of-view chapters. I felt like their girlfriend rooting for them to get their guys. Laugh if you want, but I was sucked into their romances and smiled at the end of The Peach Keeper.

To conclude, Allen wrote a fabulously good read. I definitely recommend this to anyone who wants mystery, suspense, and a lot of romance. A great summer read, or any-of-the-year read. One last side note, the cover of The Peach Keeper is beautiful and definitely made me want to pick this one up. Go out and buy a copy of this!

Book Blurb for The Peach Keeper

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.

Night Owl Reviews May, 2011 4.00