Books are cheaper than heroin, but they DO add up....

Amy, Carrie, Chanin and Sarah buy (and read and review) their own stuff. They've been known to shop around from dealer to dealer looking for the best price. If you're interested in slipping them something to try out, just contact us.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

I'm going out of order with my review, and I'm kind of usurping a review Carrie could be doing.  Ooh! Scandal!  But I'm pretty sure she won't be too mad because she does love this author and I have her to thank for introducing me to Sarah Addison Allen.  If you take a quick peek at the right sidebar you'll see that one of Ms. Allen's books made Carrie's top five list.  That's quite an honor considering the sheer number of books Carrie has consumed in her lifetime; being in her top five is like being in the top 0.000000000000005 percent!  And because it's summer and Sean's home on R&R and I'm enjoying not being the only parent around here, I decided to review The Peach Keeper instead of the ultra-depressing book that was next in my book journal (Push by Saphire aka the movie Precious which I will review but didn't feel like crying this morning so I'm going out of order).

The Peach Keeper is a good summer read.  It has elements of romance, whimsy, and a bit of a mystery, but I wouldn't call it a romance novel, a magic story, or a whodunit.  So how's that for a non-classification?  All of Ms. Allen's books have some sort of mystical quality - not outright magic but more of a deeper superstition or legend.  In this particular book, we have a restless spirit, a peach tree that bears no fruit, and all sorts of superstitions running around. 

It's set in the hills of North Carolina (like all of her books) and also tells of growing up, becoming who you want to be despite rocky beginnings, and how true friendships will last beyond time and social classes.  The characters are all slightly nutty and they live in a small town with a long history, which always makes for some good stories. The ending is happy and the getting there is fun. 

This is actually my second or third favorite of Ms. Allen's works and I read this book in one sitting which, as a sleep-coveting, geographically single, never-in-one-place-very-long-as-a-matter-of-necessity, mother to two small children, speaks volumes.  As a matter of fact it has taken my 50 minutes to write two paragraphs thanks to my collective sixty pounds of kinetic distraction, so if I can make the time to read this all at once you know it's good enough for a summer read at the least.  But really, I'd read her books any time; especially if someone would come watch my kids.

All of Sarah Addison Allen on Amazon

Product Description

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.

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.

From the Hardcover edition.
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