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Review: The Peach Keeper, Sarah Addison Allen

the peach keeperThe tiny town of Walls of Water, North Carolina, has been home to logging wealth for generations. But Willa Jackson, the only remaining member of one of the most prominent families, now makes a living for herself running a sporting goods store, and has no desire to be associated with her past. Meanwhile, Paxton Osgood, another scion of the famous families, buries herself in family and town lore, ignoring her personal problems to become an image of a perfect society daughter. Their grandmothers were – and in some ways are – best friends, but these two women couldn’t be further apart. Enter the restoration of the Blue Ridge Madam, Willa’s family’s hereditary house, and Paxton’s pet project. When a skeleton is dug up underneath the peach tree, the women can no longer avoid each other in their mutual quest for their family’s histories.

I’ve made a point of reading all of Sarah Addison Allen’s books since her first one, Garden Spells, captivated me many moons ago. Unfortunately, either I’m changing or her books are – I just wasn’t really feeling the magic on this one. Her prose is still delicious and the touches of fantasy she adds to every day life as charming as always, but the characters in this particular book didn’t strike a chord with me. While the story’s plot is made to sound somewhat exciting, I actually found most of it rather predictable bar one small bit at the end, and the way the characters would end up from the start is obvious.

That isn’t something that normally bothers me; you are hearing from a girl who regularly enjoys romance novels right now, after all. I’m perfectly fine with a generally predictable ending. I suppose what bugged me here is that the entire book is that way, from the plot to the friendships to the romances. And those romances, I had a hard time believing in; they happen too quickly, and one is especially absurd, at least from my perspective. I didn’t find the heartwarming book I was seeking here.

It was a fast read, with a nice atmosphere, as I would expect from one of her books, and I had a fine time reading it, but I was ultimately disappointed in The Peach Keeper. I hope Allen’s next book will be a bigger hit with me.

All external links are affiliate links. I received this book for free for review from Amazon Vine.

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12 comments to Review: The Peach Keeper, Sarah Addison Allen

  • Ah thats a shame but overall she sounds like a successful author in your book. Its very rare I think to love everything an author produces

  • Oh, I am sorry that you didn’t like this one! It was my first Allen, and I enjoyed it, but now I am wondering if I would like any of her other books more than I liked this one. Great perspective on this one!

  • Amy

    I liked this one but I agree that it doesn’t resonate the way Garden Spells does. I still have one of her books left to read and while I’ve enjoyed most, none have lived up to Garden Spells yet.

  • I’m sorry this was a disappointment for you. I haven’t tried Allen’s work yet, but I really want to.

  • I liked this one well enough when I read it, but the memory is not really surviving so well. It was pleasant enough, but it did not live up to most of the others for me.

  • This is my least favourite book by this author. Still readable, but not as good as the others!

  • Sorry it did not work for you. I have to try her work.

  • I loved Garden Spells, too, but haven’t felt the urge to read any of Allen’s other novels, even though I have them (or my mom does). Even going by just the blurbs it seems like they’re all a little same-y? Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

  • I was disappointed by this as well.

  • Meg

    I can definitely appreciate what you mean about the predictable nature of the plot and romances, but I still wound really liking this one! I found it enchanting, as I do all her stories; she’s definitely a great storyteller.

  • Like you, I really enjoyed Garden Spells, and I read the first chapter of this one while looking for a gift for my mom for Christmas. This one definitely didn’t hold my attention from the beginning like Garden Spells. I”ll probably still read it, though.

  • I hadn’t read anything by this author before, but I agree with you that the book was a lovely read but the characters just didn’t do anything for me. Happy Reading in 2012!