The Peach Keeper

“Happiness is a risk. If you’re not a little scared, then you’re not doing it right.”   – Sarah Addison Allen, The Peach Keeper       

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The Peach Keeper written by Sarah Addison Allen

Published by Bantam in March of 2011

Blurb: 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.

My Take On It:  I giggled my way through this novel at the characters and their witty personalities. They felt like real people to me. I found myself totally convinced that I identified more with Willa, but before the end I felt more like a Paxton. Both women have more to them than meets the eye.

It’s a great story about women that stick together and friendships that stand the tests of time and strife. I loved the mysterious element that was tangled throughout. The two main characters, though they are my favs, are not the only great characters. The story also has an aspect of finding out who you really are and finding the friends that will accept you for it. Hence the name of one chapter being: The Joker, the Stick Man, the Princess, and the Freak. I enjoyed reading The Peach Keeper! It was a quick read and sweet like a peach!

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The Stories We Take With Us by Wendy Scalfaro

Just thought this was such a great post from Nerdy Book Club!

Nerdy Book Club

“What about my books?” my mom asked. She was in hospice, and still coherent. Although that would last only another day or two.

“Do you want me to take care of them?” I asked.

She nodded.

“What do you want me to do with them? Donate them?”

“I don’t know.” She closed her eyes. This question was too much for her to contemplate at this point.

“I’ll go through them, and save some for the children.” This seemed to satisfy her.

While my older brother took care of the legal and financial details of our mother’s final days, I knew that, as the librarian, I was in charge of deciding what to do with her book collection when she died.

Less than a week later, I started my task. I saved the Stephen King hardcovers. He was a favorite author of Mom’s and mine, and we shared his books constantly…

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The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Quote from the book: “If there is a thing I truly despise, it is being addressed as “dearie.” When I write my magnum opus, A Treatise Upon All Poison, and come to “Cyanide,” I am going to put under “Uses” the phrase “Particularly efficacious in the cure of those who call one ‘Dearie.”
Alan Bradley, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie    

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The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie written by Alan Bradley

Published by Delacorte Press in April 2009

Blurb: It is the summer of 1950–and at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, young Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, is intrigued by a series of inexplicable events: A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Then, hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath.

For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.”

My take on it: Refreshing! That is the word I would use to describe Flavia de Luce. There are a lot of female characters in literature. They’re brave, romantic, silly, strong, caring etc. What I loved most about this book was that 11 year old Flavia is smart. Sure there many “smart” characters, but what was unique about this one is that she loves Chemistry! A very smart 11 year old girl who wants to be a chemist! Flavia is anything but the nose in her text book, boring kind of smart. She is also a little sassy, very adventurous and funny. Can you tell that I fell in love with her character? With each member of her family being totally different than the next she is finding her place and her passion. Always trying to be one step ahead of the investigator she stays busy trying to save her family and solve the crime that is laid at their door step. I haven’t read many 11-ish year old girl characters (though I have read a handful of young boy characters) so this was fun and new for me.

When I first picked this up as part of a book club read I didn’t realize that there are more novels starring Flavia de Luce. Yay! I can’t wait to see where her life takes her!

P.S. Apparently there is talk of making these Novels about Flavia into a TV series? Hmmm I will keep you posted if I hear any concrete news!