Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Paperback: 273 pages (ARC version)
Publication date: March 2011
Publisher: Random House
FTC: asked by TLC Book Reviews
When I saw that TLC was hosting Sarah Addison Allen's latest book, I immediately sent an email asking to join. I really didn't there would be room for me. I mean, I haven't seen any bad reviews of her books. They are just so much fun. So I was beyond excited when I heard there was room for me. If you remember this post, I was even more excited when the book came with a Yankee Candle with the most amazing peach smell. Check out my previous reviews of her novels: Garden Spells, The Sugar Queen, and The Girl Who Chased the Moon.
Willa Jackson lives in Walls of Water, North Carolina: a place known for it's beautiful waterfalls and outdoor beauty. Willa owns and runs a local organic outdoor clothing store. All is quiet and normal until the newly restored Blue Ridge Madam - a beautiful large mansion - is set to re-open as a high end tourist hotel. Willa's family lost the mansion and their fortune when her grandmother was young...around the same time she became pregnant and the father was never known. Today, Willa just doesn't want to be reminded of the family's past or her own. Back when Willa was in high school, she was known as The Joker, committing all sorts of outlandish pranks.
On the other side of the tracks is socialite and wealthy Paxton Osgood. She is in charge of the mansion's restoration and has only good intentions. While she seems like she would have it all together, she is just as lost as anyone else. She still lives at home and has no clue what she really wants except for a secret unrequited love.
Of course each girl has their little love story, but what impressed me the most was that this was a tale of friendship. When the opening of the mansion brings secrets literally up out of the grave, it forces Willa and Paxton to face their past and their future. As usual I love the men in the story. I don't want to give too much away so you'll just have to read the book to discover them.
The Peach Keeper is written so, like all her books, it makes you smell, taste and feel the setting of the story. However, unlike her other other books none of the main characters really focused on food. And while there was a little bit of magic it wasn't as much as some of her other stories. As a little note, I totally enjoyed the side character of Rachel, a twenty-something girl who worked at Willa's store. She made coffee and pastries for the store and I thoroughly loved her character. She tried to figure out people's personalities through the types of coffee they ordered. I honestly hope Sarah Addison Allen comes back to her as a main character as I love love coffee and her transient character.
Here's a quote I loved regarding Rachel:
Coffee, she discovered, was tied to all sorts of memories, different for each person. Sunday mornings, friendly get-togethers, a favorite grandfather long since gone, the AA meeting that saved their life. Coffee meant something to people. Most found their lives miserable without it.
Oh! And if you've read other Sarah Addison Allen books, specifically Garden Spells, you'll be happy to note that Claire Waverley makes a fun cameo. I love when authors do that!
Check out Sarah Addison Allen's website for some recipes of Rachel's delicious coffee snacks like Double Chocolate Espresso Brownies. Mmmm.
Since this book is new this year, I only found one other alternate cover. I still prefer the the cover I have:
Now for the GIVEAWAY!
The publisher is letting me give away ONE copy of The Peach Keeper to one lucky person who lives in the US or Canada. The contest is open through May 23rd. Please fill out the form below to enter. Good luck!!
Sarah Addison Allen’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:Wednesday, April 13th: Knowing the Difference
Friday, April 15th: Peeking Between the Pages
Monday, April 18th: Bewitched Bookworms
Tuesday, April 19th: Book Reviews by Molly
Wednesday, April 20th: A Few More Pages
Thursday, April 21st: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Friday, April 22nd: Life in Review
Monday, April 25th: The Broke and the Bookish
Tuesday, April 26th: Life in the Thumb
Wednesday, April 27th: Crazy for Books
Friday, April 29th: A Fair Substitute for He
Monday, May 2nd: Fizzy Thoughts
Tuesday, May 3rd: Coffee and a Book Chick
Wednesday, May 4th: Jenn’s Bookshelves
Thursday, May 5th: Alison’s Book Marks
Friday, May 6th: Bookfoolery and Babble
Monday, May 9th: A Library of My Own
Tuesday, May 10th: Teresa’s Reading Corner
Wednesday, May 11th: Unabridged Chick
Monday, May 16th: A Bookshelf Monstrosity
Wednesday, May 18th: Two Kids and Tired
Friday, May 20th: In the Next Room