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The Peach Keeper: A Novel | [Sarah Addison Allen]

The Peach Keeper: A Novel

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.
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Audible Editor Reviews

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

Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (357 )
5 star
 (129)
4 star
 (113)
3 star
 (84)
2 star
 (16)
1 star
 (15)
Overall
4.0 (242 )
5 star
 (102)
4 star
 (71)
3 star
 (48)
2 star
 (11)
1 star
 (10)
Story
4.1 (231 )
5 star
 (100)
4 star
 (78)
3 star
 (31)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (13)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Lisa Champlin, MN, United States 03-20-12
    Lisa Champlin, MN, United States 03-20-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    63
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Narrator ruined the story - it's true."
    Would you try another book from Sarah Addison Allen and/or Karen White?

    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 :(


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Karen White?

    my favorite is Kate Reading ,, BUT Sarah A. A. has had other gr8 readers too.


    Any additional comments?

    Audible + Sarah A. A. = a win !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Bozeman, MT, United States 03-19-12
    Barbara Bozeman, MT, United States 03-19-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lovely read."
    Would you try another book from Sarah Addison Allen and/or Karen White?

    Yes, absolutely.


    What was most disappointing about Sarah Addison Allen’s story?

    Nothing


    Would you be willing to try another one of Karen White’s performances?

    Possibly. I love Sarah Addison Allen--that's why I selected this book.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    It was lovely.


    Any additional comments?

    I have enjoyed Sarah Addison Allen since I discovered her first book. Karen White is a perfect match.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie United States 03-14-12
    Leslie United States 03-14-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Allen ruined by White"
    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I love Sarah Addison Allen as an author. I have read several of her books and find her language and character development to be a true joy. She is whimsical, funny and has an ability to make magic happen on the page. Often it is like catching a glimpse of a fairy in the woods. Karen White tore the wings off the fairy and stomped on them. She was too breathy and her inflections and cadence were completely off. It was so distracting. Not to mention that the differences between female and male voices were so unnoticeable that I had a hard time figuring out who was supposed to be flirting with whom. The only characters that she seemed to pull off half successfully were the old women/grandmother’s voices and even those were weak. It was genuine disappointment and a disservice to Sarah Addison Allen as a writer.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nikki rockwall, TX, United States 03-08-12
    nikki rockwall, TX, United States 03-08-12 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I love this Author!"
    If you could sum up The Peach Keeper in three words, what would they be?

    Great Story


    What did you like best about this story?

    I like the characters and how you aren't hearing from only one character but from all


    Have you listened to any of Karen White’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, Great


    Any additional comments?

    All 4 books I have listened to have been great, they keep you wanting more. Which usually means I am in my garage for another hour trying to hear more of the story :) Great books, not mushy :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon Texas 02-05-12
    Sharon Texas 02-05-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    309
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    336
    23
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    49
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Magic prose"

    I love this Author and I loved this performance. Southern Chic Lit at its best. A little bit of mystery, a little bit of romance and prose that is magic. Wish it was longer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shae 02-01-12
    Shae 02-01-12 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Narrator needs help - bought the book"

    Love this author, but narrator was jerky, too much (and not necessarily at the right time) inflection, too slow.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stachowski East Troy, WI, United States 09-20-11
    Stachowski East Troy, WI, United States 09-20-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "slow, hard to keep interested"

    love southern fiction but was not impressed by this book. did not keep my interest.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan oakland, ca, United States 05-29-11
    Susan oakland, ca, United States 05-29-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    65
    22
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Fell short"

    This started out so well - full of mystery, unanswered questions and characters that I liked. But it dropped the ball and missed opportunities. The mysteries were simplistic - no surprises, the references to magic led nowhere - turned into a few love stories -- I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop - like there just had to be nothing more. There wasn't. If you want nothing more than a love story that is simple, uncomplicated, go for it. I wish I had saved my money.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy Lake Forest, CA, United States 03-26-13
    Judy Lake Forest, CA, United States 03-26-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    171
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This book was torture!!!!!"
    Would you try another book from Sarah Addison Allen and/or Karen White?

    No


    Would you ever listen to anything by Sarah Addison Allen again?

    No


    How could the performance have been better?

    Yes, her voice was annoying.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    I'm going to check if this literary pablum is in the romance section because that may be why it was torture to get through

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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