This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

I actually finished this book a few days ago but because my blogging time has dropped dramatically, well, you know.

Sarah Addison Allen is one of my favorite authors. She is such a unique writer. Each novel has a little bit of magic in it. And it just feels good to read them. My introduction to Allen was The Sugar Queen, which will always be my favorite. It's a must read, IMO, for any of you that are into quirky novels. And the best thing about Allen? She's a North Carolinian.

The Peach Keeper has been out for awhile and I don't know why I didn't quickly scoop it up to read. No. I do know why. I was deep into my Harry Potter series, which I then followed up with the Song of Ice and Fire. That pretty much took up my year; what a great year that was too.

So now that I'm (so far) out of series' mode, I can pick up books here and there and I remembered that I forgot this little book. And once I stepped into the world of Walls of Water, North Carolina, I was happy to be 'back' in Allen's world.

The story revolves around the Walls of Water Women's Society Club 75th anniversary celebration. Willa Jackson and Paxton Osgood's grandmothers were two of the original women that started the club. Willa, a sporting goods business owner who has shunned the elite society of Wall of Waters, is disinterested, of course; while Paxton, struggles to follow in the footsteps of her demanding mother, the expectations of the Osgood name.

The celebration is to take place at the Blue Ridge Madam, a restored estate that once belonged to Willa Jackson's family. Her grandmother lived there and, at one time, her family had been one of the wealthier families of the town but hard times fell and they hit rock bottom.

The Osgood's, on the other hand, remained wealthy and in good standing and had the Blue Ridge Madam restored. Willa, while feigning non-interest in the Blue Ridge Madam, really did want to see what became of the place that once was her grandmother's.

While checking out the restoration, after hours, Colin Osgood, Paxton's twin brother, runs into her and then the love-pursuit of Colin-to-Willa begins. There's always a love story in Allen's books but they're sweet and most of all, it's the other relationships that are heartwarming.

The other little twist of relationships is the one with Paxton and Sebastian Rogers, the "effeminate kid" from high school. Sebastian has grown up to be one beautifully well-dressed man, who has become the successful dentist at Walls of Water. Paxton has fallen madly in love with Sebastian, but he's gay. At least, that's what everyone thinks. And Allen doesn't lead on until the end.

Trouble arises for the celebration at the Madam when Colin, a landscape engineer, discovers a skeleton at the base of a peach tree that is being pulled out, we discover the real reason why the women's society was formed in the first place. Paxton and Willa learn through Paxton's grandmother, because Willa's grandmother is now too senile, the truth about their friendship (who knew?) and what happened at the Madam that a skeleton ended up buried under a peach tree.

I can't wait for her next novel...tentatively titled Lost Lake...2013. Only George R. R. Martin stands in the way (sorry Sarah :)).

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