- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Bantam; First Edition edition (March 22, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553807226
- ISBN-13: 978-0553807226
- Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 663 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #427,991 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Peach Keeper: A Novel Hardcover – March 22, 2011
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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.
Praise for The Peach Keeper
Allen juggles smalltown history and mystical thriller, character development and eerie magical realism in a fine Southern gothic drama. The underlying tension will please and unnerve readers, as well as leave them eager for Allen's next.
Praise for Sarah Addison Allen’s The Girl Who Chased the Moon
“Captivating . . . Sarah Addison Allen produces tantalizing fiction.”—The Roanoke Times
“A dusting of magic, the aroma of sugary cakes swirling through the breeze, and a girl who unwittingly brings change to a town of misfits make for a sweet summer story filled with hope and forgiveness.”—Beth Hoffman, author of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
“Charming and entertaining . . . Don’t miss this spellbinding tale.”—Asheville Citizen Times
“Allen clearly knows that all the fun is in the journey. . . . Sit back, open this book and join her.”—Greensboro News & Record
“An enjoyable read [with] doses of magical realism and romance.”—Associated Press
“Easy to devour in one sitting.” —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top customer reviews
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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.
The blurb seems to imply the mystery is the main plot, but it's not really. It's more a story of finding yourself and friendships, with a bit of romance thrown in. The two main characters are both at places in their lives where they've gotten stuck in a way of thinking that prevents them from seeing the bigger picture, and a way to move forward. The mysterious body is just a way to move the two characters more into each other's orbit. The body is of a man both of their grandmas, now ninety-something, knew 75 years ago. A mysterious stranger who blew into town.
Things I liked:
-Both women were likable, and didn't fit any certain trope, both were flawed, but recognized it. Reading the blurb, I expected Paxton to be a rich girl trope, and Willa the classic underdog everyday girl, but that really wasn't the case.
-While neither romance wowed me, I found the Sebastian character interesting, and far from the stereotypes we usually see in these types of books. I found the ambiguity around him a refreshing change, and was almost disappointed the way their relationship turned out because of it. Would have liked him to be just who he seemed to be, ambiguous, just for the sake of being different.
-The underlying story of friendship, and how you should never take that for granted
-I liked the touch of magic the story drew upon, nothing so fantastic that you couldn't write it off as overactive imaginations if that kind of thing doesn't appeal to you, but enough for someone like me who likes to feel a sense of underlying forces at play
Things I thought could be better:
-when all was said and done, the thing that left me feeling not quite satisfied is that I think this plot needed to be more than it was. There are some great underlying themes in the book like lost friendships, growing into ourselves, struggles with outgrowing your old ways of being, sexual assault, etc. I think this book could have gone into a lot more depth than it did.
In particular, I think Agatha and Georgie's story deserved more time, and would have enjoyed more flashbacks than we got. I felt we were told more things, than shown them. I would have liked to have seen the friendship between them.
The same with the romances, something just felt lacking there, like there should have been more of a struggle than there was, and we should have seen more in-depth struggles with overcoming their fears. I feel like Colin's story needed more behind it, I really never got a good read on his character.
It's hard to explain, but for all the great themes this book touches upon, it's kind of also just another shallow fictional piece. I felt this had the potential to be more literary.
That's probably expecting too much, and the author likely never intended it to be more than it was, which is fine. But for me, I found myself wanting just a bit more than I got.
However, it's a solid read, and I enjoyed the book.
Most recent customer reviews
What a wonderfully magical story teller! You can't wait to read each page but are a little sad when it is over.Read more