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 mild one that had just enough punch to it to keep you guessing as to what was going on. It was mystery-lite, but it was still a bit more serious than her previous novels. But, again, I say that my favorite part of The Peach Keeper were the friendships.
I really did love all of the friendships. The friendship between Paxton and Sebastian was so intense. The friendship between Paxton and Willa's grandmothers was so incredibly loyal and I loved seeing the burgeoning friendship between Willa and Paxton. Sigh. Friendship all around really is so great. The rest of the relationships were extremely well-written. I loved diving into Paxton's relationship with her parents, Colin's relationship with Willa, and Willa's relationship with Rachel. Sarah Addison Allen just excels in writing every single type of relationship whether it be platonic or romantic.
The magic was a bit more understated in The Peach Keeper as opposed to Garden Spells and The Girl Who Chased the Moon. I would've liked if it had a bit more in it, but what it did have was fantastic. The subtle touches of magic that Allen includes always seem to add so much to her books. It just makes you sigh and smile and basically just feel all around comfortable. Oh, one itty bitty minor complaint: The Peach Keeper was a bit too short. It's not like it felt unfinished, but I loved it so much that I wish there was more of it to read.
So, ultimately, I loved The Peach Keeper. It was cute, fluffy, summer reading (even though it's Spring, but this book made it feel like Summer so kudos for that). It was also an extremely fast read. I didn't love it as much as Garden Spells (that's one of my favorite books ever), but I liked it more than The Girl Who Chased the Moon (I have yet to read The Sugar Queen. I'm saving it on my bookshelf until summer actually comes).