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The Peach Keeper: A Novel (Random House Reader's Circle) Paperback – January 10, 2012
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
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 Madamâbuilt by Willa’s great-great-grandfather and once the finest home in Walls of Water, North Carolinaâhas stood for years as a monument to misfortune and scandal. Willa has lately learned that an old classmateâsocialite Paxton Osgoodâhas restored the house to its former glory, with plans to turn it into a top-flight inn. But when a skeleton is found buried beneath the property’s lone peach tree, long-kept secrets come to light, accompanied by a spate of strange occurrences throughout the town. Thrust together in an unlikely friendship, united by a full-blooded mystery, Willa and Paxton must confront the passions and betrayals that once bound their familiesâand uncover the truths that have transcended time to touch the hearts of the living.
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I mean … yeah … this was a really good book. It was a captivating story with a little mystery, love, romance, friendship, magic and even a little frustration.
And even though it is a little similar to all of Sarah’s other books, this one was very different. I truly loved the plot of sparking a new friendship, denying one self their true desires, discovering a hearts true desire and the dirty little secret that required some detective work to uncover.
The setting was delicious where two different worlds wove together and out of that weaving, a new garment was created that bonded relationships together for life.
There was a tickling, little surprise where a character from another book made an appearance and all I could do was smile because it surprised me and delighted me. Of course this character would be here! Who else could show up at this event better than her? (I’ll leave that delicious, little, surprise to the reader.)
Do yourself a favor, and set aside any ideas about the way you think things should be … whether it’s realistically accurate or socially acceptable to behave a certain way or believe a certain way. None of Sarah’s books allow a reader to dwell in reality. She rather opens up the door for the reader to create a new inner world where the reader is whisked away to another place and time, only to lose themselves in a fantasy that can quite possibly be reality … if we want it to believe in such a world.
I’m saving this remark till the end of my review for it is the reason I left off a star.
As the book began coming to a close … the chapters were wrapping up and all of the loose pieces were being tied up, I found myself a little disappointed. Perhaps Sarah wrapped up this book a little too quickly. It was almost like she was running out of room so she threw everything together in order to end the story and for me, I felt a little cheated. It was almost like Sarah lost interest in writing the story so this was the quickest way to wrap things up because she was done with it. It felt rushed.
And yet, as I sit here staring at the book as it lays in front of me … speaking to me as I write this review … it beckons the invitation to be shared with all those who want to believe in the good things in life and the things that invite us to dream and invite the magic of precious moments and stories to color our world.
And since I have read all of Sarah’s books, I will bid this one “Good-bye” and wait as patiently as I know how, for the next one. I am hooked on this author. ♥
1. Garden Spells (her first and best)
2. The Peach Keeper (very enjoyable)
3. First Frost (good but not amazing sequel to Garden Spells)
4. The Sugar Queen (pretty good, not memorable)
All of Allen's books take place in the mountains of North Carolina, which makes for an enchanting setting. She does infuse her native Asheville magic into these stories.
The Peach Keeper doesn't have strong fantasy aspects the way her other books do, but there's still some pixie dust sprinkled in here and there, as well as a cameo appearance from Claire Waverley who caters a party.
Recommended if you're a fan of this author or just want a light, sweet read.