They say you’ll never find friends like the ones who knew you when you were young and for the women in Sarah Addison Allen’s The Peach Keeper, that wisdom is half right. The story traces the relationships between two sets of women Agatha and Georgie and their granddaughters, Paxton and Willa who travel the winding path of lifelong friendship and the detours along the way.
Narrator Karen White lends her gentle tone to three generations of families in the town of Walls of Water, North Carolina, a southern escape that’s become more of a trap for Paxton and Willa. As part of a celebration of the town’s Women’s Society Club, started by Agatha and Georgie when they were teenagers, Paxton takes on the overhaul of the town’s most acclaimed property: A breathtaking mansion that Willa’s relatives were forced to sell when they lost their fortune. But when landscapers discover a dead body buried on the property, the town starts looking at the Club, the property, and its history in a whole new way.
Paxton and Willa didn’t grow up as friends, but as adults they’re forced to work together to solve the mysteries their grandmothers left behind. White balances the complicated relationship of Paxton and Willa’s youth where they weren’t exactly enemies but definitely weren’t friends with their grown-up emotions, their love for their grandmothers, and their burgeoning friendship. Her grounded narration keeps listeners hooked while Paxton and Willa deal with questions of trust, surprising confidences, and unexpected similarities (along with one’s romantic entanglement with the other’s brother). In the end, The Peach Keeper is a story about the friends you make, the friends you keep, and the friends you never forget. Blythe Copeland
The New York Times best-selling 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 30-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 75 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.
©2011 Sarah Addison Allen (P)2011 Random House
It took a little while for all the pieces of the story to develop, but once it does it is a wonderful story about generations and connections. The narrator took some getting used too, but it wouldn't keep me from listening again....the voice just doesn't quite fit. Overall, worth the credit.
Yes, the story is good and the mystery keep me interested. I liked the 'magic' of love.
Sebastian, because he was himself and had grown comfortable since high school in who he is. He had wise advise. He was charming. And he was genuine.
I was annoyed by the reading in the beginning. It was clipped and short sounding, like she couldn't find her voice. I couldn't help but think that my kindle mechanical reader would do better. But i hung in there and she soon found her voice and did a good job, though at times the reading still sounded short and choppy, but her characters found their voices!
Say something about yourself!
The performance is great it . You can feel the heat, pace, and even the smell of the south
The girl who chased the moon and some books of south American writers where life always has a bit of magic
Difficult to choose only one scene.
Although I was so caught up by the story that I wanted to listen to all in one setting I recommend to enjoy the book with no rush
This was an okay listen, but it was just okay. I wasn't terribly captivated by any of the characters. It certainly wasn't a waste of time, but it's been a couple of months since I listened to it and I can hardly remember it.
I have enjoyed several novels by Sarah Addison Allen. The best so far has easily been The Sugar Queen. This book lacked a major conflict. It couldn't quite get it's feet under it in the drama department. All great stories need some sort of conflict. There were no stakes in this book. There was a great deal of character development, but all of the characters were comfortable. None of them risked anything major in the book at all. Plot wise this story was lacking.
She seemed fine to me.
Actually I would say that this book needed more scenes from the past in it. Had Allen developed the characters of Georgie and her friends in 1936 the book would have had more conflict and been a great deal more interesting.
The tiny tidbits of magic suggested throughout the book were interesting and fun, there should have been more of those.
Avatar by The Domestic Goddess at allavatars
Every so often, I feel the need for the simplicity of a Sarah Addison Allen. Her books are comforting. They are interesting. They are light, but delightful pastimes. I suppose, in a way, she is our touch stone of how we wish things were. She and the narrator Karen White always make for a fun couple of evenings. The slight touch of understated magic is enough to tantalize without bugging us with things like werewolves and wizards. The romance is predictable and sometimes frustratingly obvious, but the soft southern feel rounds out the edges. And, as all good daiquiris do, they leave a little buzz before climbing under the covers at night for a good night's sleep.
I am a retired high school American Sign Language teacher. Ph.D in multicultural Education. Married, 2 grown daughters.
In my "really like it" list.
All of them. Each had a valuable place in the overall story.
She did well with all of them. Good narrator.
No, just couldnt stop listening!
Sarah Addison Allen does it again, produces a "can't put it down" book.
Interesting story, some what predictible
I did not have a favorite character.
I loved her voicing of the characters
Paxton's gramdmother. A true southern lady from a time gone by.
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