Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Random Book Club: The Peach Keeper

I love Southern fiction and Sarah Addison Allen's, The Peach Keeper was as satisfying as biting into a sun ripened summer peach. Sarah writes the story in multiple point of views, effortlessly switching from one character to the other, the story grows deep into the history of the mystical town of Wall of Waters, delving into the past of two generations, and how each generation grows from their high school image of themselves.This excerpt from the Peach Keeper will have you downloading the book, requesting it through your library or buying a copy, this, I am certain.
"The day Paxton Osgood took the box of heavy-stock, foil-lined envelopes to the post office, the ones she's had a professional calligrapher address, it began to rain so hard the air turned as white as bleached cotton. By nightfall, rivers had crested at flood stage and, for the first time since 1936, the mail couldn't be delivered. When things began to dry out, when basements were pumped free of water and branches were cleared from yards and streets, the invitations were finally delivered, but to all the wrong houses. Neighbors laughed over fences, handing the misdelivered pieces of mail to their rightful owners with comments about the crazy weather and their careless postman. The next day, an unusual number of people showed up at the doctor's office with infected paper cuts, because the envelopes had sealed, cement like, from the moisture. Later, the single-card invitations themselves seemed to hide and pop back up at random. Mrs. Jameson's invitation disappeared for two days, then reappeared in a bird's nest outside. Harper Rowley's invitation was found in the church bell tower, Mr. Kingsley's in his elderly mother's garden shed.

If anyone had been paying attention to the signs, they would have realized that air turns white when things are about to change, that paper cuts mean there's more to what's written on the page than meets the eye, and that birds are always out to protect you from things you don't see."

Willa Jackson a rebellious teen and outcast in high school has returned to her hometown after the death of her father. She has opened Au Natural Sporting Goods and Cafe, even though she herself has no interest in the outdoor lifestyle the shop caters too. She likes the down to earth patrons though, and prefers them over the local country club crowd. Where Paxton has followed the expectations of her family and society, she is struggling with who she really is; Willa Jackson is combating her old wild ways and is now trying to become a responsible adult her father and grandmother wanted her to be. Both Paxton and Willa are striving for the part the other woman has, by nature they are seeking a balance and in the process realize they are not so different after all. 

Paxton is overseeing the renovation of the mansion into an inn, the mansion, the Blue Ridge Madam, where Willa's grandmother had grown up before the family lost their money in the 1930s. To coincide with the inns grand opening Paxton is planning a gala in honor the Wall of Waters Women's Society Club's 75th anniversary. Willa is none to happy when she receives an invitation to the gala, since her grandmother, Georgie, and Paxton's grandmother Adele, were the founders of the WWWSC and there is no way she can send regrets. 

A skeleton is discovered beneath the lone peach tree by the grounds crew. With the discovery, long hidden secrets are revealed, secrets of a mysterious man who held the town captive under his spell. Secrets belonging to both of their grandmothers. As Willa and Paxton face their intertwined family history, The secret brings them together, in an attempt to protect their grandmothers. 

Some romance, a dusting of magic, and southern tropes. Settle in and enjoy.

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