THE PEACH KEEPER: Vintage Fantasy and Culture

The Peach Keeper



PEACH_Keeperby Sarah Addison Allen
Read by Karen White

Random House Audio ISBN: 9780739368718
Format: Unabridged Audiobook Download
On Sale Date: Mar 22, 2011

LIBRARY DOWNLOAD, No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.


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.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.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.
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My Take Oblong



Sarah Addison Allen is a writer who can combine all the characters in a small town and make the most preposterous and anachronistic of them feel real.  THE PEACH KEEPER is a gem of a tale about the grown grandchildren of  two women, and the grandchildren’s friends who find the preconceived ideas they had of their families and of each other were skewed by time, circumstance and magic.



The effects of  magic on everyday life is another aspect of Allen’s work I have enjoyed.  In this case, it is about how the past influences the future.  And, how, what was accepted in the past is harder to accept now. My only real issues with this  book were the feeling of  this small town, and the people in it, being frozen in time — specifically in the form of  women’s societies and parental influence.Maybe having been raised in the North in a less isolated location makes me feel that these people are somewhat skewed in time; I have heard that traditions in the southern states have taken longer to change than in others.  But even then, the ages of the characters and their parents in particular do not seem to add up.  We’re talking about the present day 20 to 30 year old women having parents born in 1938.


Maybe it’s that magic at work.


Otherwise, the love stories themselves are enticing.  One is understandable, the other more of an odd coupling. The development of the friendship feels natural as well.  And, it feels like the people had to wait to grow up to either find each other as romantic or friendly interests.  They had to come out from under the hazy influence of the town’s magic to see life clearly. 

I was quite enchanted by GARDEN SPELLS but was less into by THE GIRL WHO CHASED THE MOON which I felt shared some characteristics of TWILIGHT.  So, I had not kept track of Allen’s work until this one hit my library shelf.  I am glad it did; the story surprised me with the simplicity of its telling and the way the author makes each character feel real.

The narration is also fabulous with distinct and easily recognizable characters but neither the accents nor the acting is overdone.  The quality of the recording is also outstanding.

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