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