Saturday, August 13, 2011

Review: The Peach Keeper

Review: The Peach Keeper

The Peach Keeper
Publisher: Kindle Edition
Pages: 273
Rating: ***/*
Review Source: Purchased on my Nook

Back of Book Synopsis: (from 
 It’s the dubious distinction of thirty-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 seventy-five 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

My Thoughts:

I usually love Sarah Addison Allen’s books but for some reason I just did not get as into it as I did her others. I mean it had all of the necessary draws for me like great characters, the magic so skillfully woven through the story, family secrets, and a mystery. I know I should have loved it but for some reason after I finished reading, the only thought I had was “eh, it was ok”

The mystery about who was Tucker Devlin and how he died seemed almost secondary to the relationships but it lent the story enough suspense and mystery to keep me guessing about what happened. I think that if the mystery was bigger I would have enjoyed the story more.

Willa was not a very strong main character, mainly because she spent almost the entire novel trying to force herself to be different than she actually was. She tried to be the person she thought that everyone thought she should be so she was very uptight. When she was in high school she was the trickster but by the time we meet her she is your average responsible woman. She runs into Colin, a boy she went to high school with and Paxton’s twin brother and they have this great sexual tension, but Colin remembers her as the class trickster and he is sort of disappointed by the fact that she is living a respectable life. He spends his time trying to get her to remember the girl she used to be. Their relationship/ crush thing is very cute and you totally want them to decide to be together.

Paxton and her best friend, Sebastian, are my favorite characters. Paxton is the rich good girl who is trying to break away from her mother’s grasp. She tries to be the perfect daughter because her brother, Colin, left and spent his time staying as far away from home as possible, so she saw it as her duty to stay with her parents. Sebastian is her best friend; she also has a crush on him, but she is sure that he is gay because when they were in high school she witnessed him kissing another boy. The “is he or isn’t he” game is fun and you feel sorry for Paxton because of how tortured she feels because of it.

Paxton and Willa become friends over trying to discover what exactly happened at The Blue Ridge Madam when their grandmothers were friends and because Willa rescued Paxton from a difficult situation. I was totally rooting for them to become friends and find out the mystery together.

Watch for a guest appearance of one of the characters from Garden Spells.

Overall the book was a fast read and it was entertaining. I guess that is all you can really ask for; you can’t love them all. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy character driven stories with a little hint of magic.
I give it ***/*

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