The Peach Keeper.Finished audio 3-25-13. 4 stars, pub. 2011
Unabridged audio 7 hours, 35 minutes. Read by Karen White who did an excellent job.
When I read Allen’s first novel, Garden Spells, I fell in love with this writer who embodies lightness and magical realism in such a beautiful way. I love the southern charm and those moments of the supernatural in her books. I always finish satisfied. Once I got past that expectation I enjoyed the book for what it was, a great story of friendship among women, from one generation to the next. Some of the whimsy was missing, but only missing because I expected it.
Wall of Water, North Carolina, is home to Willa, Paxton, and Sebastian. Though none of them were friends in high school, Paxton and Sebastian are inseparable now. Willa own her own store and lives a happy but quiet life. When Paxton restores the Blue Ridge Madam, an old home important to Willa’s family, it brings a mystery that leads them both to their grandmothers, looking for answers.
I loved the friendship that forms between Willa and Paxton, much like the one their grandmothers shared many years ago. By the end of the book I was ready to look up some of my friends from high school to see if we could be BFFs again. I also loved how the story showed how much where and how we grow up influences who we are as adults, and not just in the obvious ways. I moved away from home when I went to college and, except for a 5 month pit stop after I graduated, I’ve never moved back. So, I understood when Paxton’s brother didn’t want to move back to Wall of Water, afraid he’d forever be labelled ‘Stick Man’. And Paxton, who had never lived anywhere else, lived the opposite life, always struggling with the expectations placed on her. There was was much to like about this story.
SAA delivers once again. She can’t write fast enough for her fans 🙂