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
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.
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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 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.
I look forward each of her books, each has the right mix of magic, love, south, friendship, families, and a wide range of human emotions, and delicious as the juice of a yummy peach.
I have read several of Allen's books, and have loved every one of them! I love how she brings magic into her stories and it is so believable! Don't miss any of Sarah's books--I can't wait to read/listen to more!
Ive read the reviews which attack this narrator and I dont agree. I find her voice perfect for the characters and tone of the book. I fell in love with Sarah Addison Allen the moment I read/listened to Garden Spells and have since been working my way through all of her books. I like the way that Ms. Allen develops her characters. She creates female characters that are easy to identify with, likeable women who are in the midst of some struggle we've all been in before. I find myself rooting for these women as they break through the barrier of self and develop their source of strength. I like the soft tone of her books and find myself wishing I could go to North Carolina - the location of all her novels The books are quick reads/listens (< 10 hrs) which I like because I get through them quickly, however I find myself missing the characters when the books are through. This specific book tells a story about the bonds of female friendship as well as touching on the struggle a woman has when she leaves the nest for the first time. I thoroughly enjoyed it - both the content and the narrator.
I like the author; however, the story was ruined by the narrator. I will be buying the paperback version instead because the narrator's voice is so whiny and annoying that I couldn't tolerate listening to it.
Yes, I like the author. I also read Garden Spells which was great
Voice reminded me of my children whining and begging.
Sarah Addison Allen's stories are TOTALLY MAGICAL. I want to be sure that is understood.
The reader made the story go flat - I struggled with this one :(
my favorite is Kate Reading ,, BUT Sarah A. A. has had other gr8 readers too.
Audible + Sarah A. A. = a win !
Possibly. I love Sarah Addison Allen--that's why I selected this book.
It was lovely.
I have enjoyed Sarah Addison Allen since I discovered her first book. Karen White is a perfect match.
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