For The Someday Book

Book Review: The Peach Keeper

Posted on: March 4, 2015

The Peach Keeper, by Sarah Addison Allen, Bantam Books, 2011, 273 pp.

Peach KeeperThis book was like candy. So sweet, so nice, so delicious, that you just keep having one more bite after another. It’s not deep or nutritious, it’s not going to make you healthier or better in any way, but it tastes wonderful and it brings great pleasure.

The Peach Keeper tells the story of Willa Jackson, who grew up in a hard-working family, and Paxton Osgood, a wealthy socialite. They are now in their early 20s, and both have returned to their small town in the mountains of North Carolina. Paxton is the leader of the society crowd, while Willa runs a store selling organic outdoor equipment in the tourist part of town. Paxton and Willa went to high school together, but their social status kept them far apart. However, their grandmothers share a history full of mutual secrets.

The story brings Willa and Paxton together because Paxton is restoring the Blue Ridge Madam, an old home owned by Willa’s family before they lost their fortune. Paxton wants Willa to attend the opening with the society crowd, but she naturally resists. The plot is a mixture of feel-good twists and turns that include women helping women, the development of a friendship across class lines, the discovery of old secrets and mysteries, the grandmothers revealing all, and the young women’s journey into independence and full adulthood. There’s sweet romance too–Willa with Paxton’s brother Colin, and Paxton with her longtime friend Sebastian.

This is candy, but it’s the good stuff. Well-written, smart, funny, upbeat, interesting, exciting, with the added bonus of being a story about women’s friendships and support for one another. Take it to the beach or on an airplane, consume the whole thing in one sitting without the guilt. Enjoy.

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About Me

I am a full-time pastor in the United Church of Christ, mother of a young child (B.), married to an aspiring academic and curmudgeon (J.). I live by faith, intuition and intellect. I follow politics, football and the Boston Red Sox. I like to talk about progressive issues, theological concerns, church life, the impact of technology and media, pop culture and books.

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