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The Peach Keeper: A Novel (Random House Reader's Circle) Paperback – January 10, 2012
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A Letter from Author Sarah Addison Allen
--Chapter Eight, The Peach Keeper The original title of The Peach Keeper was God Eats Peaches, which I took from the old saying, “When God eats peaches, He saves the pit.” I had a cousin who would never throw away a peach pit based on that saying. She thought it was bad luck. My family is full of strange Southern superstitions. My great-aunt never liked for company to come in through one door and leave through another because she said that meant the preacher would visit. How many of us grew up seeing our mothers throw a pinch of salt over their shoulders when salt was spilled? How many of us remember when our grandmothers whispered that a bird tapping on a window meant someone was going to die? We took these things on trembling faith as children, believing them to be real because everything was real back then. Everything had possibilities. So how do we explain, with our skeptical grown-up natures, why we still make an X in the air when a black cat passes. Why we still have to eat something in the morning before we will tell someone about our bad dreams. Why we still worry about umbrellas being opened indoors. What is it about superstitions that stay with us, that encourage us to pass them on? Flights of fancy, maybe. Or nostalgia. Or maybe the power of the unknown is just that strong. We can’t help but think: What if it’s true? What if it just might be true? So we take an ounce of prevention instead of a pound of cure. We knock on wood and avoid ladders and never break mirrors. Just in case. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Secrets are ready to be uncovered. . . . Allen masterfully weaves a Southern world of believable characters and keeps readers flipping pages with this dreamy one-nighter.”—Southern Literary Review
“[Sarah Addison Allen] juggles small-town history and mystical thriller, character development and eerie magical realism in a fine Southern gothic drama.”—Publishers Weekly
“In this delectable, read-in-one-sitting treasure, Allen once again demonstrates her astonishing ability to believably blur the lines between the magical and the mundane.”—Booklist
“Peppered with Allen’s trademark Southern charm . . . a must-read for fans of Alice Hoffman.”—Library Journal
“Immensely readable . . . pulses with sensual details.”—The Denver Post
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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.
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. ♥