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The Peach Keeper

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3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  36,676 ratings  ·  4,875 reviews
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

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 and once the finest home in Walls of Water, North Carolina—has stood for years as a monument to misfortune and scandal. Willa has l...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published March 22nd 2011 by Bantam (first published 2011)
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
This wasn't terrible, but it lacks that spark of magic Allen's readers have grown to love. Late in the book there's a chapter called "The Joker, the Stick Man, the Princess, and the Freak." That should have been the book's title. There's not really anything about "peach keeping" in the story except one little thing near the end that feels like it was tossed in to justify the title.

The story's about four thirty-year-olds who finally come to terms with high school pettiness and decide to get on w...more
K
Apr 13, 2011 K rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nicer people than me
I guess the only thing more predictable than this book was my reaction to it. Once again I let myself be fooled by a high goodreads rating despite the fact that Winter Garden and lots of other dumb (or mostly dumb) chicklit books had high ratings as well. I should have known when I saw there was magic realism which I almost never enjoy(it usually feels like a deux ex machina to me), though all the goodreads reviewers said there was less of it here than in Sarah Addison Allen's other books so I h...more
Dee
There is just something about Sarah Addison Allen's writing that makes you fall in love with reading all over again. In the Peach Keeper, her fourth book, Allen takes us back to North Carolina and to the town of Walls of Water. Paxton Osgood has been working to restore the Blue Bridge Madam, a local inn, to its former glory. Willa Jackson is, while not an outcast, one of the unique characters that show up in small Southern towns. While they grew up together and attended school together, they nev...more
Angie
Confession: I sent my husband out last night to retrieve this book for me while I made dinner for the kids and tried to breathe deeply. This pregnancy . . .it palls, you guys. The thing is, he was happy to do it and even (after some creative detective work) snagged the very last copy at our local bookstore! I was incredibly relieved. Because all I wanted to do last night, after dinner and talking to my two squirts, and reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows with Will, was get comfortable o...more
Barbara
Sarah Addison Allen writes magic: her stories are full of strong Southern women, sweetness and secrets. In The Peach Keeper: A Novel, she once again weaves a wonderful tale of two Southern women, distant in the present but bound together by the past and a powerful secret. Paxton Osgood has spent her life being the girl and then the woman that everyone seemed to expect her to be. Willa Jackson is just the opposite. She defied convention and her grandmother's attempt at a strict upbringing, only t...more
Lynda
The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen was like a beautiful pie with a golden brown crust that just invites you to slice into it and enjoy a piece. Unfortunately, once the first bite has been taken you find yourself chewing and chewing waiting for a burst of juicy fruit or a satisfying custard filling but instead finding a lot of puff pastry and air.
I really, really wanted to read this novel, expecting a driving plot or strong character development that fleshes out the subplot of love, friendsh...more
Lindsay
Disappointing.

That's the best word to describe this book. I have read Sarah Addison Allen's previous books, and I have generally enjoyed them. They're basically Alice Hoffman knock-offs, but that's okay, that's what I was looking for. When I read the description for this latest book, I was excited. It sounded like an interesting story, with all the small-town elements I enjoy. And the problem is, the basic plot elements are really interesting: a skeleton found beneath a peach tree on an old dere...more
Julie
I really disliked this book. That said, I really enjoyed Addison Allen's other titles, but this one read too chick-lit-ish for me. I didn't feel like Colin, Paxton, or Willa were as interesting as her usual characters, nor did I feel like their problems were very difficult or compelling. I mean, Colin felt like his youth was rough because his friends considered him to be tightly wound? How horrible. And what were Paxton's reasons for staying in her parents' house so long? I didn't feel like we u...more
Angela
Well, I have officially read all of Ms. Allen's novels and I must admit to being a wee bit sad there are no more left to read. Her stories have a special kind of magic to them, a combination of bitter and sweet, dark and light that is done so seamlessly I am in awe of her.

While her books are not perfection (but honestly, what book is truly perfection?) the way they make me feel when I read them takes my breath away. I long to live in the world she's created, to eat flowers that will make me fal...more
Rachel
My son told me a story about a spider and a ladybug, and how he squashed the spider because it was icky and it bites, but he let the ladybug crawl across a toy at the toy store instead. That story was ten times more riveting than this one, and the language in it was far more believable than the language in The Peach Keeper. Some of the events are interesting - like when the ladies' club meeting goes horribly wrong because everyone tells the person next to her what she really thinks of her, as if...more
Laura Freed
Such a great book. As always, Sarah's writing is a treat and she creates characters that draw you in - and even though they are flawed, Sarah gives you a reason to love them.
At the heart of the story we have acceptance - coming to terms with who you are - or who you think you are! Highly recommend.
My only niggling complaint: SPOILER AHEAD - STOP READING NOW IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE PEACH KEEPER:

It was just sooooo obvious when Willa discovered the newsletters...perhaps even before that, but cert...more
Staci
My Thoughts: I have been anxiously waiting for this book to come out! I fell under Sarah's spell when I happened upon "Garden Spells" on my library shelves way back in 2007. After that I have literally gobbled up everything this author has offered and I happy to say that I really enjoyed this one. I actually felt like I was watching a version of "Practical Magic" while I was reading this book. I enjoyed the southern location. What's not to love about the quaint and charming town of Water Falls,...more
Lisa Kay
★★★★✩ Audiobook well narrated by Karen White.

Sisterhood is powerful. If you want to read a book about women, friendships, tradition, power, regret, love, loss and finding an enduring strength, this is the book for you. Plus, I love a good murder mystery, especially if a ghost is thrown into the mix.

SAA has a deft hand at writing books for the magical realism genre and I've delighted in most of them, none more than Garden Spells. But this one runs a close second. (Though I have yet to read The S...more
Janelle
I'm going to say this is her best book yet. Another romantic and adventuresome story with fantastic writing about magic, mystery, love and friendship. Sarah Addison Allen is so unique; while you can always expect big elements of magic and mystery, each story goes in a direction that is its own fairy tale. Each of her characters have their quirks but you root that the twists and turns in the story will go in their favor and they will have the "happily ever after" ending.

If you have liked SAA's o...more
Nikoleta
Τέσσερις διαφορετικοί, νέοι άνθρωποι, που αφήνουν τις καταστάσεις να τους ορίζουν. Τους ανθρώπους, τον τόπο τους, τις αναμνήσεις τους. Είτε συμβιβάζονται και αποδέχονται, είτε τρέχουν να ξεφύγουν, τελικά δεν μπορούν να ξεπεράσουν το Γουόλς οφ Γουότερ και ότι αυτό συμβολίζει. Ένας θαμμένος σκελετός που αποκαλύπτεται με τον ξεριζωμό μιας ροδακινιάς, θα σημάνει την στιγμή που οι καταπιεσμένες ανάγκες τους θα αρχίσουν να βγαίνουν στην επιφάνεια και θα απαιτούν ικανοποίηση. Θα συνειδητοποιήσουν όμως...more
~Tina~
I adored Sarah Addison Allen's The Girl Who Chased the Moon.
So I couldn't wait to read her latest.
The Peach Keeper is a wonderful whimsical and magical story about two different women and an incredible secret that links them.
I love the setting to this story and that the homes feel real with sweet little names. I loved how every character felt unique and added that something special to each role and I loved how Allen can bring mystery and enchantment in slight measures without overwhelming the s...more
Laura
I loved this book. I received an advance reader's edition and I thought I would save it for a day when I needed a read that I knew would be good. I finally caved in yesterday and just read it in one sitting - once I began I couldn't stop.

As with Sarah Addison Allen's other novels, there's an element of magic (in the sense of the fantastical, or fanciful) to the story and in the relationships characters have with one another. In this case, a friendship that's lasted for decades between two elderl...more
Katie
My experience of The Peach Keeper can be compared to going to a bakery to enjoy a dessert. Walking into a library or bookstore gives me a similar joy as walking into a bakery. Picking up this book from the shelf made me happy-- a brand new, fresh smelling, unread book with an uncracked spine and beautiful cover (Book lovers get this)...and entering a bakery with its delicious aromas and pretty treats is just a delight.

Bakeries aren't the places of substantial meals with complex flavors or innov...more
kari
Reading a book by Sarah Addison Allen feels like sitting on the front porch swing of an old house drinking a glass of lemonade (a perfect glass that isn't too sweet or too tart) watching the sun set over the hills until the fireflies begin to wink at the slowly appearing stars.
If that sounds like something you'd enjoy, then I think you'd enjoy this book.
There are some small supernatural elements woven into the story, but don't worry, it isn't a paranormal romance and the slight touches are so de...more
Robin (RBBR)
I don't think this review has any spoilers that give away more then what is on the cover. This is another really good book from Sarah Addison Allen. Although her books are Stand Alone's there is a brief appearance in this one by Claire Waverley and her niece Bay from Garden Spells. The Peach Keeper like SAA's other books deals with some form of magic and\or mysterious happening. This story focuses on two families the Osgood's who have money and the Jackson's who use to. Although this book has 2...more
Diane
"If you make room in your life, good things will enter."

What a lovely book! It's the story of two women, Willa and Paxton, who live in a small town in North Carolina. The women have never been friends, but an unearthed mystery and a secret held by their grandmothers will bring them together.

I enjoyed "The Peach Keeper" so much I plan on reading the author's other books.
Erin
Won this in a good reads giveaway!! Can't wait to get it. Really enjoyed The Girl Who Chased the Moon
Just got it in the mail today! Very excited

I really enjoyed this book. It took me a bit to get into it, but only because I was distracted...once I got going I had a hard time putting it down.
MissSusie
Another great book by, Sarah Addison Allen. This is the story of 2 generations of women grandmothers and granddaughters, friendship, secrets and ghosts. The 4 main characters Paxton, Willa, Sebastian and Colin are all trying to find where they belong and who they are. In highschool they were the princess, the joker, the freak and the stick man all of them are trying to live down these reputations and come into their own.

Paxton is in the process of restoring the house The Blue Ridge Madam which w...more
Susan
I must confess right off the bat that I love Sarah Addison Allen's books. I was hooked by GARDEN SPELLS years ago and have gobbled up each new title just as soon as it's released. THE PEACH KEEPER was no different. I received an advance copy on Friday afternoon and had it finished by Saturday morning. It's the tale of women from two generations: good friends Agatha and Georgie, now grandmothers and in nursing homes, and their granddaughters, Paxton and Willa, who seem to have nothing in common a...more
Ruth
I sat and read this all in one last night. There is something extremely satisfying in reading a book cover to cover in one sitting, even if the book is mediocre at best. Sadly, this description fits The Peach Keeper: mediocre. I say "sadly" because as much as I'm not naturally drawn to chicklit, I do sometimes get in the mood to read from the genre, and when that happens, I check out what my reading girl friends have been nattering about. Recently, The Peach Keeper has been showing up all over m...more
Grace
When the newest book by Sarah Addison Allen was released, I waited impatiently for a week and a half until my reserved copy came into the library. The brand new copy showed up all shiny and lovely, except for a strange sticky residue on the bottom left corner of the front cover that no amount of scrubbing would eliminate. By the time I finished reading this delightful romp of magical realism, I was so engrossed in the tale, I thought perhaps one of the book's magical characters, known to have pe...more
Parvathy
Jul 17, 2012 Parvathy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Parvathy by: goodreads
"The Peach Keeper" as confusing a title for a confusing story. When I say confusing I am not implying that the dictionary meaning of the word is applicable here to describe the story but rather it is a feeling,sort of like an after taste that remains with you even after the book is finished.
Pray tell me dear author. What was the purpose of this venture? Was it to teach us that friendship is the greatest magic of all and that there is no evil friendship can't defeat in a less flashy manner?. I c...more
Alisha Marie
I'm a sucker for a friendship story and I'm a sucker for a Southern Fiction story. Add that to the fact that I read and loved Sarah Addison Allen's novel Garden Spells, and you basically have a book that I was destined to love. And I did. I loved and adored The Peach Keeper just as I did Garden Spells.

The great thing about The Peach Keeper was that there was a bit of a mystery involved in it and I'm also a sucker for mysteries. This wasn't some elaborate, whodunit type of mystery, but rather a m...more
Debbie
The house had set empty for so many years, when Paxton Osgood and her family chose to restore it, they didn’t know what sort of trouble they were digging up . Coming back to Wall of Water had been a difficult decision for Willa Jackson without the well deserved reputation as the town prankster. Knowing her ancestral home was being renovated, Willa took every chance she could at a private peak without anyone knowing, or getting to close to it. Taking over the landscape design end of the renovatio...more
Susan Ideus
The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen is a lyrical and lavish tale of past and present lives, hopes, secrets and expectations. It is a story of loves and friendships, both those enduring and those misplaced, of being lost and coming home again. Allen weaves her enchantment, as always, around her well-developed, believable, albeit somewhat quirky, characters. Her own special vibrant elements of place and history and just a touch of the supernatural for good measure make the book a treat to read...more
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New York Times Bestselling novelist Sarah Addison Allen brings the full flavor of her southern upbringing to bear on her fiction -- a captivating blend of magical realism, heartwarming romance, and small-town sensibility.

Born and raised in Asheville, North Carolina, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Allen grew up with a love of books and an appreciation of good food (she credits her journa...more
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“Happiness is a risk. If you’re not a little scared, then you’re not doing it right.” 606 likes
“Every life needs a little space. It leaves room for good things to enter it.” 222 likes
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