[Review] – The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

Posted 5 April, 2011 by DLWhite in Reviews, Writers Read 3 Comments

The Peach Keeper Book Cover The Peach Keeper
Sarah Addison Allen
Bantam Dell Publishing Group

Returning to the hometown of her youth after a failed marriage, Willa struggles to find her place in a community where she no longer feels like she belongs, uncovers a 60-year family feud and falls for a strangely secretive man. (This title is being re-listed in Forecast.) By the author of The Girl Who Chased the Moon.


This is my second book by Sarah Addison Allen and I really enjoyed it. I’m a reader of pretty heavy material, so every once in awhile, I like to clear my palate with some lighter fare and Ms Allen always delivers a fun, indulgent read laced with sweetness and a little bit of magic.

Willa Jackson, Colin and Paxton Osgood, and Sebastian Rogers all went to high school together and all but Paxton (who never left) returned years later, completely changed people. The story centers around a Gala, a formal party to celebrate the re-opening of the Blue Ridge Madam, led by Paxton and the Women’s Society. Just as the Madam is about to open,a skeleton is found, tying Willa, Colin and Paxton together via their ancestors and a well kept secret.

The Peach Keeper is more than a story about a magical man who smelled of peaches and once held an entire town under his spell, and who suddenly and mysteriously disappeared… and then reappeared as a skeleton just as Walls of Water’s premiere luxury hotel was to reopen. It is a story of regrets, of self reinvention, of resistance to change and letting go of fears, and most of all of being true to oneself.

There was a lot less magic in this book than in The Girl Who Chased the Moon— I really expected more and perhaps the story could have benefited from it, but I also felt the story was full– each character had a purpose for being in the book and each character lived up to his or her potential. I especially enjoyed the scandal between Tucker, Agatha (Paxton and Colin Osgood’s grandmother), and Georgie (Willa Jackson’s grandmother. I wanted there to be a bit more detail about covering up the secret and what it had taken to keep it quiet.

And I’ll say this, because romances in books, by definition are unrealistic, but the romantic connections, to me, seem to be a stretch. Too pat and perfect and… unrealistic. I guess I am hard to please, and these relationships needed to form in order to push the story along. I was happy to see some old friendships rekindle, and some begin for the first time. I’m still sort of appalled that people still live in the town where they went to high school.

I gave this book 4 of 5 stars, purely because I enjoyed it so much!

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3 Responses to “[Review] – The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen”

  1. There’s nothing wrong with staying in the town you grew up in if its a great town and has everything you need and want out of life! :)

    The book sounds interesting. I write romance and not every story has an unrealistic romance. I think the older romance novels were like that…some of the newer Harlequins still are too. My books have real characters living real lives in today’s world. Romance is never easy in my books…it’s messy, just like life often is.

    Maybe my views on romance are a little dreamy…I’ve been real lucky. My romance with my hubby happened so easily and so perfectly….we met, started dating, and within a few weeks knew we’d get married. We’ve been together almost 16 years, married almost 13 and still just as happy as ever!

    • yeah when I read a story and the characters are falling in love after the
      first date…. ugh. Give me some conflict and resistance!

      BUt you and your hubby’s story is beautiful! :D

      • I don’t mind if they fall in love easy, but there has to be some kind of conflict..something that is messing it up for them and preventing the HEA.

        Me and my hubby were lucky..it hasn’t been all hearts and flowers since then, but we’ve become real good at making it work!